Violet's Music by Angela Johnson, Laura Huliska-Beith |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Violet's Music

Violet's Music

by Angela Johnson, Laura Huliska-Beith
     
 

There's nothing Violet loves more than music, and she plays or sings every chance she gets.  But where are the other kids like her-kids who think and dream music all day long?  As a baby, in kindergarten, at the beach and the zoo, she never gives up looking for companions.  And then one summer day...

Bright, lively, and lyrical, this is a book for

Overview

There's nothing Violet loves more than music, and she plays or sings every chance she gets.  But where are the other kids like her-kids who think and dream music all day long?  As a baby, in kindergarten, at the beach and the zoo, she never gives up looking for companions.  And then one summer day...

Bright, lively, and lyrical, this is a book for kids who march to a different drummer.  Violet's Music sings to us that the right friend is always out there-as long as we keep looking and hoping, and above all, staying true to ourselves.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although Violet's love of music ostensibly forms the heart of Johnson's (When I Am Old with You) story, the rhythm and joy of a child's delight in music comes through in neither text nor art. Starting in the nursery at the hospital, where the newborn Violet is already shaking her rattle, the heroine embarks on a years-long search for "other kids like her,/ who dreamed music,/ thought music,/ all day long." But she cannot find them among the babies in the hospital, the members of her family, the children at school or the sunbathers at the beach. Only when she's grown (or nearly so, it's hard to tell) does Violet find kindred spirits at last. The ending scenes strain to make Violet's experience universal. Retracing the narrative path Violet has followed, Violet's friends say they knew they'd find one another some day, " 'Cause when we were in the nursery,/ then were two,/ and later in kindergarten/ and at the beach,/ we kept on looking/ for kids playing music too!" The perspectives and colors in Huliska-Beith's (Favorite Things) mixed-media illustrations are playful, and they incorporate tiny, humorous details that bear scrutiny, as when four star-like suns wear wristwatches marking the time "from morning till that night." However, the intensely patterned, freeform spreads can also be distracting, as when a baby in the nursery scene appears to levitate above its crib. The effect is more stream-of-consciousness than harmonious. Ages 4-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Violet entered the world loving music. She began with banging a rhythm on her bed and shaking her rattle with a beat. None of the other babies joined in. She got a horn for her second birthday and tooted from morning till night. She thought she might find some fellow music lovers in kindergarten, but her classmates liked different activities. Violet continued to enjoy making music by herself, but she was constantly on the outlook for others who might share her interest. She looked around everywhere she went. Then one day several summers later, she was playing her guitar in the park when she heard a drum beating over by the fountain. Then she heard the smooth sound of a saxophone by the jungle gym. Someone started singing by the flower garden. And a band was born. Violet discovered that just like her, Angel, Randy, and Juan had been looking for musicians all of their lives. Violet is depicted as an adorable African-American girl. The boisterous pictures feature dynamic characters representing a variety of ethnic groups. Young children will appreciate the subtle message about following your dreams and not becoming discouraged when it appears that others do not share your vision. 2004, Dial, Ages 3 to 7.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This is a jazzy story about an African-American girl who loves music. From the time she was a baby banging out rhythms with her rattle or a two-year-old making a horn to toot on or a kindergartner looking for other kids with the same passion, Violet played and sang, and hummed and thought about music all the time. Then "one day a few summers later," she finds Angel, Randy, and Juan, all of whom are kindred spirits, to jam with. And the best part is that every one of them knew that they would find one another. With an upbeat text that uses lots of sound words, this tale celebrates music as much as it applauds being true to what you love. Violet seems perfectly happy to keep on making music and looking for fellow musicians. She never gives up in either pursuit, and in the end is rewarded for her perseverance. Done in acrylics and collage, the lively illustrations seem to move on the page. Violet and her friends have round, smiling faces; elongated arms and legs; and play instruments that have a life and movement all their own. Pair this title with Judy Cox's My Family Plays Music (Holiday, 2003) or Lloyd Moss's Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (S & S, 1995) and Music Is (Putnam, 2003) for a rousing storytime.-Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Children marching to the beat of different drummers may take comfort from this tale of a born musician who grows up playing alone, but never doubts that she will find kindred spirits one day. Violet is making music before she even leaves the maternity ward, but as she goes from rattle banging to pretend guitar, she can't find anyone who will join in. Huliska-Beith chronicles her search, and ever-appreciative family audience, in lively, undulant multimedia collages that nicely capture both the rhythms of Violet's music and the joy she takes in creating them. That joy is intensified when, playing in the park one day, she hears drums, a sax, and a voice chiming in; suddenly she's in a band, with mates who, likewise, never gave up their search for others like them. That message adds an extra level of meaning generally missing from similar tales of young music-makers. (Picture book. 7-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803727403
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/05/2004
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
462,622
Product dimensions:
8.88(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Angela Johnson’s previous picture books include the Coretta Scott King Honor Book When I Am Old With You and the ALA Notable Book Julius.
Laura Huliska-Beith received a Marion Vannett Ridgway Honor for The Book of Bad Ideas.

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