Who is playing that beautiful music in the subway? And why is nobody listening? This gorgeous picture book is based on the true story of Joshua Bell, the renowned American violinist who famously took his instrument down into the Washington D.C. subway for a free concert. More than a thousand commuters rushed by him, but only seven stopped to listen for more than a minute. In The Man with the Violin, bestselling author Kathy Stinson has woven a heart-warming story that reminds us all to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Dylan is someone who notices things. His mom is someone who doesn’t. So try as he might, Dylan can’t get his mom to listen to the man playing the violin in the subway station. With the beautiful music in his head all day long, Dylan can’t forget the violinist, and finally succeeds in making his mother stop and listen, too. Vividly imagined text combined with illustrations that pulse with energy expertly demonstrate the transformative power of music. With a postscript explaining Joshua Bell’s story, and afterword by Joshua Bell himself.
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Kathy Stinson is the author of over 25 books for young people, including the beloved, bestselling Red Is Best. She lives near Guelph, Ontario.
Dusan Petricic is an editorial cartoonist as well as the award-winning illustrator of such children's books as Mattland, Bone Button Borscht, and Mr. Zinger's Hat. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.Review:
There's plenty to ponder in this melodious tale. It's a story that's bound to get kids thinking about the importance of listening. And, of course, the power of music. (Julie Hale Book Page 2013-08-21)
I think it's very important that we all pay attention to this wonderful book! (Sally Bender Sal's Fiction Addiction 2013-08-28)
Here's a much-needed reminder that we all need to slowwwwwwwwwww down. (Terry Hong Smithsonian BookDragon 2013-08-11)
This compelling story has a clear message for young and old, and features an inspiring young talent as a role model. It also provides the possibility of an enriched read aloud experience thanks to the links provided for musical accompaniment. The Man with the Violin captures the reader's imagination just as the violinist's music enthralls its young protagonist. This story reminds us that there is much in life to appreciate, if we can just pay attention. (Robin Sales Canadian Children's Book News 2013-12-01)
A brilliant portrayal of the sensitivities of children and the sad loss of that wonder by most adults... [In] 2007, [Joshua] Bell played his 1713 Stradivarius for transit goers for 45 minutes. Only 7 of over a thousand people stopped to watch...[but] every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away. Kathy Stinson takes this astounding demographic and tells the story of a child who becomes enthralled by the music that he hears as his mother pulls him along on her way to work... Only when he hears the same music on the radio can Dylan get his mother's attention and take her along on his magical musical ride... Kathy Stinson's simple but powerful representation [is a] convincing message of the capacity of music to enrich our lives and the wisdom of children that is too often and too easily disregarded. (Helen K CanLit for Little Canadians 2013-09-05)
In the hands of such skilful creators, who have many books to their credit, this captivating tale is a beautiful balance between a simple but powerful text and illustrations that are full of vitality and rhythm. (Reesa Cohen CM Magazine 2013-10-04)
The drawings almost dance off the page. (Mary Lavers Cozy Little Book Journal 2013-10-10)
This is a phenomenal book. (goodreads.com 2013-10-01)
I want to read it over and over again. I want for others to read it. I want for schools and libraries to use it to teach music appreciation. I want it to get attention, lots of attention, because that's what it deserves. (Reading and Sharing 2013-10-01)
This book is a celebration of music and a great reminder to take the time to appreciate beauty that surrounds us. An interesting account of the real event is provided at the back. This was such an interesting story and one that I can see would be the starting point for some excellent class discussions. I can't wait to share this with my students. Love it! (Readingpowergear.com 2013-09-02)
This is a fine reminder of the old adage to stop and smell the roses, and a good impetus for a discussion of using one's powers of observation. (Grace Oliff School Library Journal)
There's a lot to see in here--for your child and you, both. (Terri Schlichenmeyer Simcoe County 2013-10-14)
This book allows children and adults alike to appreciate little day-to-day wonders, to find solace in a rushed world, and to discover the joys of music. (ABQLA Bulletin (Quebec Library Association))
This important picture book will remind each of us to enjoy and savor our surroundings. (National Parenting Publications Award Gold Winner)
The Man With the Violin--a beautiful new children's book worth cherishing this season--is based on a true story. (Vi-An Nguyen Parade 2013-12-02)
Stinson's melodious descriptions and Petricic's colourful swirls seem to envelop the reader, captivating them just like the music captivates Dylan. (Jen Bailey Readerly, National Reading Campaign 2014-01-28)
IndieFab Awards Finalist (Foreword 2014-06-01)
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