Children's Literature - Dr. Judy RowenSensuous black and white photographs and simple text follow a luthier (the author's husband) as he painstakingly constructs a new cello. From the wood he chooses (the wood is aged at least 10 years) to the myriad coats of varnish, all is done with love and care. A CD of music played on the newly constructed instrument by cellist Roel Dieltiens is included.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3-6-Despite its handsome black-and-white photographs, this informative book about the construction of a baroque cello has a narrative that fails to convey the excitement or drama inherent in the instrument's creation. Although the author-the violin maker's wife-clearly admires and respects the craftsman and his art, her attempts to lighten the text (by including mentions of the pet dog in the workshop, for example) are insufficient. Young readers may find the wealth of details overly technical and some of the vocabulary-luthier, purfling, soundpost-a bit daunting. The focus is very much on the instrument itself, not on the man or the music he seems to love so dearly. A wonderful two-page photograph of Cornelissen's work table provides a far more eloquent portrait than the text. Nevertheless, music teachers, cellists, and aspiring woodworkers may find this book interesting and perhaps inspiring, and the accompanying CD by Belgian cellist Roel Dieltiens may make it a useful addition. Younger readers may prefer Marguerite Davol's The Heart of the Wood (S.&S., 1992).-Cyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA
Hazel Rochmannger for reading aloud. A craftsman in his workroom makes a fine musical instrument in this photo-essay that reveals both the technique and the art of a complicated process. In John MacLachlan's beautiful black-and-white photographs, some full-page, some small, we see each stage in the creation of a cello: how the violin maker chooses the right "woods and cuts out the shapes; how he carves, glues, waits, dreams, and fits it all together. The words are quiet, precise, and technical. At the end, cellist Roel Dieltiens plays the instrument, and a compact disc of his playing in performance is included. A book for those who love crafts and for those who make music and listen.
- Random House Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.81(w) x 11.19(h) x 0.46(d)
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