Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf: With a Fully-Orchestrated and Narrated CD

Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf: With a Fully-Orchestrated and Narrated CD

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by Sergei Prokofiev, Peter Malone
     
 

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THERE IS NO better way to introduce children to classical music than with Prokofiev’s musical fairy tale of the little boy (played by all the strings of the orchestra) who, with the help of a bird (played by the flute), outsmarted the big, bad wolf (played by the French horns). And now with this book and CD package, children can look and listen all at the

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Overview

THERE IS NO better way to introduce children to classical music than with Prokofiev’s musical fairy tale of the little boy (played by all the strings of the orchestra) who, with the help of a bird (played by the flute), outsmarted the big, bad wolf (played by the French horns). And now with this book and CD package, children can look and listen all at the same time. A new retelling by Janet Schulman follows the basic story, but with a kinder ending for both the big bad wolf and the argumentative duck. Peter Malone’s paintings have the luminous quality of old Russian masters. The CD, with music performed by the Cincinnati Pops and word-for-word narration by Peter A. Thomas, was made exclusively for this book and CD package.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Malone's (How Many Miles to Bethlehem?, reviewed Sept. 27) jewel-toned paintings will give pause even to readers thoroughly familiar with Prokofiev's piece. Schulman (Countdown to Spring!) softens the traditional text, letting the duck free at the story's end. Otherwise, the narrative plays second fiddle to Malone's images. He takes his palette from Italian frescoes-in shades of sage and cherry bleached by age and the noonday sun. Poignant detail enlivens the human figures-golden-haired Peter in his milk-white blouse, bearded Grandfather in straw hat and suspenders-and the architecture of the town center plus the hats of the red-nosed hunters give a nod to the composer's Russian origins. As the wolf enters the action and Peter plots his capture, the artist frames the dramatic moments in eerie stillness. Malone's sedate tableaux give even witty moments gravity. As the bird and the duck bicker about whether fowl should swim or fly, a spot illustration shows the duck imagining the bird encircled by a tiny inner-tube, equipped with flippers, while the bird pictures the duck fitted out with a wooden propeller and an aviator's headgear. Medieval perspectives, billowing golden clouds and the sporadic reappearance of figures from Grandfather's dreams all deepen the feeling that the story takes place in a world far away. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
An elegant retelling of this classic tale is accompanied by a CD recorded by the Cincinnati Pops under the direction of Erich Kunzel. The text is fully narrated by Peter A. Thomas who maintains the perfect tone and cadence for this composition. The endpapers show each character with the musical instrument that represents it, and the text names the instrument. Malone's illustrations provide a sense of the Russian setting with Peter's shirt and the buildings in the background. There are some whimsical additions in the background of several of the pages, strong action in the scenes with the wolf, and a fine procession with the defeated wolf at the end. The CD is about twenty minutes long and gives readers time to pore over the illustrations. This wonderful package is a fine introduction to the orchestra and is well-crafted in both the book and the CD. Remember this when looking for a gift for a child. 2004, Alfred A. Knopf, Ages 3 up.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-This musical fantasy about a disobedient boy who leaves the safety of the garden for the unknown world of the meadow, cleverly conquering the danger he encounters, has been a childhood favorite since 1936. An opening page introduces the characters, naming and depicting the instrument associated with each one. Prokofiev purists, however, will have issues with this retelling. The text is much longer, much of it hammering home the obvious (that the wolf is dangerous) or providing unnecessary background (the content of grandfather's dream). This extraneous verbiage leaves less room for the music to spin the story. It is the ending, though, that will prove most troubling to longtime fans. This wolf is a pathetic captive, begging to go home, feeling guilty about his deed; the hunters are nervous Nellies; grandfather has changed his tune from paternal skepticism to pride; and- yes, the duck is coughed out as the wolf is returned to the forest. The impact of the drama is considerably lessened. Malone's illustrations are well matched to the story, evoking a somewhat surreal and sometimes humorous world with a Russian flavor. A serviceable CD, recorded by the Cincinnati Pops and narrated by Peter Thomas, is included. Erna Voigt's faithful rendition (Godine, 1979; o.p.) set a standard for this story that is hard to beat.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A new treatment of Prokofiev's symphonic folktale in which each character is represented by a different orchestral instrument. Set in Russia, the familiar story presents a boy who, to save his animal friends from a wolf, disobeys grandfather's warnings. From his vantage point in a tree, and with the help of a teasing, distracting bird, Peter fearlessly lassoes the wolf by the tail. This new edition boasts pleasing new illustrations that are at once original and reminiscent of highly decorative Russian art, brightly colored and meticulously detailed. Each character with designated orchestral instrument is graphically introduced at the beginning. Problems arise with the brief, well-known text that has always been at the service of the symphonic movements. Here Prokofiev's original ending has been changed and softened so that the duck, which has been swallowed whole by the wolf, escapes. There is ample precedent for tinkering with Prokofiev's masterwork, but this ending may jar those for whom the final melancholy notes of the oboe, representing the trapped duck, are the poignant, seminal moment in the story. (CD included) (Picture book. 5-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375824302
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/14/2004
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
122,348
Product dimensions:
8.27(w) x 10.45(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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