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Simeon's Gift
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Simeon's Gift

4.6 3
by Julie Andrews Edwards, Gennady Spirin (Illustrator), Emma Walton Hamilton
 

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There once lived a humble musician named Simeon. Longing to be worthy of the beautiful Sorrel's love, he sets off on a quest for knowledge. His journey brings many discoveries, but the vast tapestry of sounds and ideas he encounters becomes overwhelming . . . and, dispirited, Simeon turns for home. Alone in the grace of nature, he experiences a series of wondrous

Overview

There once lived a humble musician named Simeon. Longing to be worthy of the beautiful Sorrel's love, he sets off on a quest for knowledge. His journey brings many discoveries, but the vast tapestry of sounds and ideas he encounters becomes overwhelming . . . and, dispirited, Simeon turns for home. Alone in the grace of nature, he experiences a series of wondrous events that lead him to the discovery of his true self and the glorious gift he has to offer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A poor musician ventures out into the world to raise his social stature so he can marry the noblewoman he loves. "Spirin's watercolors are simply exquisite, as is the book's design," according to PW. Ages 5-9. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
What a gentle, elegant tale of passion and generosity of spirit. Simeon is a poor and uneducated musician. We never know exactly where he lives, but the Gennady Spirin's exquisitely detailed and delicately painted illustrations suggest the Italian countryside during the Renaissance. Simeon decides to travel far and wide to "hear new sounds, new rhythms, new voices so that he might be able to free the music he was certain lay deep in his soul." As Simeon travels to new and unfamiliar cities, children will hear new and unfamiliar words like "cacophony" and "resonant chords," but the meaning will be clear from context and an enthusiastic interpretation by an adult reader. The book is indeed perfect for reading aloud, as Julie Andrews herself demonstrates on the enclosed CD. During his travels, Simeon befriends a bird, a fawn and a fish but returns home to his beloved Sorrel without even his lute, which he had traded for a canoe. But in the end, on a page bursting with streamers and tiny flowers, angels, butterflies and musical instruments, Simeon has learned that "a true and brave heart can find a way, if it will only trust in all the wonders under God's canopy." The new Julie Andrews Collection promises "books for young readers of all ages that nurture the imagination and celebrate a sense of wonder." Simeon's Gift fulfills the promise. 2003, HarperCollins, Ages 5 up.
—Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Simeon, a humble musician living in the days of knights and castles, ekes out a meager living entertaining others. He is in love with a "beautiful lady of noble birth," but feels unworthy since he can't offer her a satisfactory standard of living. He ventures into the greater world in search of inspiration that "-might be able to free the music he was certain lay deep in his soul" and turn him into a composer rather than merely a performer. In his wanderings, he appreciates the cadences of soldiers, monks, and poets along with nature and city sounds. However, all of these influences put Simeon into a kind of sensory overload and he longs to return to his beloved. On the river trip home, the young man befriends a bird, a fish, and a fawn. Their friendship, along with the sounds of the creatures and the river, prompts Simeon to make sweet music. He arrives home a reinvigorated man and is welcomed into the loving arms of his lady. Predictably, he goes on to enjoy great success as a musician and composer. The illustrator's ornate, gorgeous watercolors add substance to a purposeful tale. Although the authors incorporate traditional fairy-tale elements, including a love story, a journey, and a quest, the narrative conveys a kind of New Age self-realization sensibility that rings false. A CD of Edwards narrating the story comes with the book.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a time of "castles and monasteries," a poor young man named Simeon plays his lute for all and loves a noblewoman, Sorrel. He's ashamed that he has little to offer her, so he goes on a journey to open himself to more music. The percussion of soldiers, the chant of monks, even the cacophony of the city inspire him, but he feels lost and overwhelmed. He trades his lute for a boat home, saves a bird, fish, and fawn who follow him on his way (musically, of course), cuts a reed from the riverbank to make a flute, and when he arrives home finds a perfect melody in his heart for Sorrel and for all. The illustrations are in Spirin's blindingly gorgeous style: echoes of Florentine and Venetian architecture, French manuscript painting, and Renaissance portraits make a beautiful and evocative whole. The story rather bobbles and clunks along, though, with the weight of too many words and perhaps not a clear enough melody. (CD of Andrews reading) (Picture book. 6-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060089160
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/26/2006
Series:
Julie Andrews Collection Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Julie Andrews Edwards is one of the most recognized figures in the world of entertainment. She is perhaps best known for her performances in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Princess Diaries. Ms. Edwards is the author of many favorite children's books, including Mandy, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, and the Little Bo series. She and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, an arts educator and theater professional, have coauthored over twenty books for young readers, including Simeon's Gift, The Great American Mousical, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother & Child, and the recent New York Times bestsellers The Very Fairy Princess and Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. Emma is also the author of Raising Bookworms.

Gennady Spirin was born near Moscow in the former Soviet Union. His delicate watercolor illustrations echo the great masters of the Renaissance. Mr. Spirin has received four gold medals from the Society of Illustrators, the Golden Apple from the Bratislava International Biennial, and First Prize at both the Bologna and Barcelona International Book Fairs, and has appeared on The New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year list four times.

Julie Andrews Edwards is one of the most recognized figures in the world of entertainment. She is perhaps best known for her performances in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Princess Diaries. Ms. Edwards is the author of many favorite children's books, including Mandy, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, and the Little Bo series. She and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, an arts educator and theater professional, have coauthored over twenty books for young readers, including Simeon's Gift, The Great American Mousical, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother & Child, and the recent New York Times bestsellers The Very Fairy Princess and Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. Emma is also the author of Raising Bookworms.

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Simeon's Gift 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a yeah. its pretty cool. this dude, simeon, is just floating around. he meets a fish. yeah. i guess he's a pretty cool guy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK FREAKIN' ROCKS!!!!!!! so read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i didn't think that an actress could write so well. it was a very touching story. i'm glad i bought it.