The Flute Player: La Flautista

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Magical realism lives!... even in children's books. This engaging story connects rather lonely people in the same apartment building by the interaction of two of them: a young girl and a flute player. When her instrument ceases to function, the flute player allows the little girl to bring it back to life. It not only does so, but it also gives each person in the story something to brighten their lives. The dreamlike story is reflected marvelously in the illustrations. Both the Spanish and English texts are true to the story and each language, making it enchanting and easy to read.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3The flute player plays her music on the fifth floor of an old building, while on every other floor various people hear sounds that express their loneliness and longings. When the flute player and a little girl on the first floor meet, the magic of music and human encounters causes all of their lives to be touched. This charming story is sprinkled with elements of magical realism, such as a long stream of yellow butterflies coming out of the flute, followed by fish from the sea songs, and a nightingale and green leaves from the forest songs. On each page, Spanish and English texts are separated by a visual motif resembling musical notes. It is unclear whether the story was originally written in English or Spanish, and no translation credits are given. Both languages are used naturally to create a fluid musicality, except for a couple of odd phrases in Spanish. Karas's illustrations aptly capture and expand the story. The first pages, in which the characters are in their own worlds, are laid out as individual paintings hanging on pastel backgrounds; when the musical encounter occurs, the pages explode into freer designs and rhythms, visualizing the magic music brings to the world. This is an interesting book for a wide range of readers; younger children will enjoy the simple story line and beautiful pictures, while older ones will be able to read it on many different levels.Graciela Italiano, Weber State University, Ogden, UT
Annie Ayres
As a flute player plays songs of nature on the fifth floor of an apartment building, an old couple on the fourth floor hear the whistling of a cold wind, a woman on the third hears the sound of the sea, and a boy on the second hears the wailing of a ghost. But on the first floor, where the windows are shut, a little girl hears nothing but quiet. Taking her flute to be repaired, the flute player meets the little girl and lets her try to play the broken flute. The little girl unclogs it by blowing out butterflies that will flutter outside the apartment building, goose feathers for a quilt for the old couple, fish to fill an aquarium for the woman who longs for the sea, an owl that hoots like a ghost (but is not scary) for the boy, and a nightingale for herself so that she will always hear music. The expressionistic, mixed-media illustrations rendered in acrylic, gouache, pencil, and collage provide a harmonious visual accompaniment to the story, which is presented in both English and Spanish.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531094693
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD330L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 10.58 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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