Silver Moon

Silver Moon

by Ian Krykorka, Vladyana Krykorka
     
 

The stories that inspired Antonin Dvorak's enchanting operas

Once upon a time, deep in the forests of Bohemia...enchantment was as thick as the trees, and young men and women of all kinds met and fell in love under the spell of the silver moon. Many years later, Czech composer

Overview

The stories that inspired Antonin Dvorak's enchanting operas

Once upon a time, deep in the forests of Bohemia...enchantment was as thick as the trees, and young men and women of all kinds met and fell in love under the spell of the silver moon. Many years later, Czech composer

Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) set some of their stories to music. As the stories came to life on stage, they found an audience in the hearts of grownups and children around the world.

Here are three of Dvorak's Bohemian tales, richly told and lovingly illustrated. Meet Rusalka, Bohemia's own little mermaid; and Lidushka, the peasant who danced with a king. Then there is Kate, saved from certain doom

by her own bad temper! Just as in all the best fairytales, love suffers and is rewarded in these stories, and a good heart and quick thinking are enough to win the day.

Antonin Dvorak's own life had a bit of a fairy tale in it, as readers learn in these pages. His musical talent lifted him from the shopkeeper's life he was born to, up to the heights of international stardom. But his art was always deeply rooted in the folktales and songs of his homeland. Silver Moon celebrates that wellspring of creativity in a new and luminous way.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Dvorak's operas are relatively little performed in America; the Krykorkas introduce the stories of three of his operas to young American readers in this handsomely produced volume. In Rusalka, a beautiful water nymph trades her "shimmering" voice for the love of a mortal man; in The King and the Charcoal Burner, a Bohemian monarch rewards the peasant family who befriended him when he was in disguise; in Kate and the Devil, a cantankerous girl and her clever suitor outwit the devil himself. The stories, as retold, are not especially engaging or compelling: it's sad rather than inspiring that Rusalka is ready to sacrifice the core of who she is for love of a man she has only seen once; Kate is a greedy, selfish shrew who is not much tamed by her journey to Hell and back again (If she indeed is "a curious prefiguration of the modern woman," as the introductory note tells us, this certainly speaks poorly for the modern woman!). The art is beautiful in a dreamy, surreal, Chagall-esque way. But it is doubtful that this collection will attract the many young readers who are not yet aficionados of Dvorak operas. 2004, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ages 8 to 12.
—Claudia Mills
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-These retellings of three operas by the Czech composer transport readers to a world in which a prince sacrifices his worldly goods for true love, a king plays matchmaker, and a headstrong peasant girl outsmarts the devil. "Rusalka" will be familiar to anyone who has read or seen "The Little Mermaid," but "The King and the Charcoal Burner" and "Kate and the Devil" will be new to most youngsters. Exquisite illustrations are the book's greatest strength. Vladyana Krykorka employs a muted palette and a combination of wash effects and fine detail to achieve an appropriately otherworldly effect in her paintings, as though they are being viewed through a gossamer veil. A brief biography of Dvorak provides useful context. Although all three stories end happily, with love triumphant and enemies vanquished, their appeal may be slightly hampered by the elegant, reverent tone in which they are told. Ad le Geras's The Random House Book of Opera Stories (1998) is better suited to lively reading aloud. Consider Silver Moon only where folk and fairy tales are very popular.-Sophie R. Brookover, Camden County Library, Voorhees, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550416848
Publisher:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Publication date:
01/26/2004
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 10.58(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Prague-born Vladyana Krykorka's illustrations have appeared in many books including A Grain of Sand, The Polar Bear's Gift, The Twelve Months, Northern Lights-The Soccer Trails and Baseball Bats for Christmas. Vladyana lives in Toronto, Ontario

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