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Posted May 26, 2011
Posted June 23, 2008
Eight-year-old Melina takes violin lessons from Andrea, who is from Rumania. Andrea wears a beautiful large square-cut emerald ring on her right middle finger, and Melina admires it. Andrea tells Melina that it's her 'good luck' ring and she never takes it off. When Melina struggles to learn the second movement of 'Winter' by Antonio Vivaldi, she tells Andrea that she'll never be able to learn the difficult piece. Andrea tells her all she needs is a 'magic dose of self trust'. Wondering where she'd find that, Melina heads home. On Christmas Eve, Melina's parents take her to a big square plaza in the center of Brussels (Belgium) called The Grand Place. Angel statues stand on pedestals on all 4 corners of the square, there's a skating rink, and there's also a huge Gothic church with a big clock tower to complete the picture. While drinking some hot chocolate, Melina hears music ¿ somebody is playing the violin! She recognizes the music ¿ it's Vivaldi's 'Winter'! The violin player is an old woman in a ragged patched dress. Her face hides behind a large black hat. Something glitters on the old woman's right hand, but Melina can't quite see what it is from where she stands. People are throwing coins into the old woman's violin case, so Melina asks her parents if she can, too. Her dad gives her a one-franc note. Melina walks up to the old woman and holds out the franc note. The old woman reaches out to take it. On her hand is a large, square-cut emerald ring! Just like her teacher's ring! Was it her teacher's ring? And what or who is hiding under the old woman's hat? You will just have to read this book to find out the fun ending to this wonderful story! Mayra makes this storyline and its backdrop magical, with just the right hint of mystery to it. Her characters' 'voice' comes through loud and clear. Accompanied by the crisp, detailed, and lifelike illustrations of K.C. Snider, this book is a 'keeper'. This is a great read, especially for kids interested in music, mystery, magic during the holiday season, and the beauty of winter. CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEW BY: Gayle Jacobson-Huset Assistant Editor Stories for Children MagazineWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 10, 2007
Mayra Calvani¿s picture book, ¿The Magic Violin¿ is a delightful story of dreams, wishes, magic, and believing in oneself. Melina¿s dream is to play the second movement of Vivaldi¿s ¿Winter¿ on her violin. But no matter how much she practices it doesn¿t sound right. Melina tells her teacher, Andrea, that the song is too hard, and she might as well quit. Andrea encourages Melina, however, saying not to worry, she just needs a ¿magic dose of self-trust.¿ Melina isn¿t sure how to go about getting self-trust. Then on a visit to the Grand Place, a plaza in the center of Brussels, Belgium, where Melina and her parents have gone to celebrate Christmas Eve, soft music floats through the air. An old woman, dressed in rags, is playing Vivaldi¿s ¿Winter¿ for coins. Melina feels sorry for the woman and as she hands her money, the woman tells her to make a wish that night on a shooting star, and it will come true. Oh, no! I won¿t give away what happens next, except to say that Melina does wish on the star. Young readers will love the illustrations that complement the story. Many children will wish for a magic violin of their own. I know I do. After all, dreams sometimes come true. This is a lovely tale to snuggle with family and a cup of hot cocoa, in front of a cozy fire, on Christmas Eve.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2011
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