Review Detail4.0 2
The Magic Violin by Mayra Calvani
A Childrens Picture BookAges 5-8
Softcover paperback, Guardian Angel Publishing, October 2007
An Important Lesson for Everyone
Review by Douglas Quinn, Author of Blue Heron Marsh, etal
and Donna Higgins Colson, Professional Artist
The Magic Violin carries a necessary message and conveys an important lesson for everyone, no matter what discipline, whether child or adult. There is no easy path to what one wants to accomplish, in this case, the mastery of a musical instrument. Hard work and practice brings improvement. This reality is often a difficult concept for children to grasp.
We enjoyed the setting in Belgium, as its also important that children learn about the world outside of their own area of personal experience. That said, while the introduction of the cute hamster under the old womans hat was whimsical and fun, we didnt understand the hamsters purpose. Perhaps, if the hamster had been shown peeking out from behind the metronome in the illustration that appeared near the end on page 22, it would have worked better for us. Also, the way the story ended left us a little non-plussed. We believe that the message of the story needed to be reinforced at the end, rather than making the focal point the idea that the old woman and the childs violin instructor might be one in the same person.
As for the art, we felt the story and illustrations flowed well together. We found the cover illustration to be well done and delightfulmagical, in fact. Which made the interior illustrations more of a disappointment, as they come across to the viewer as pleasant but somewhat wooden.
Overall, because of the important lesson it conveys, we would recommend The Magic Violin for the targeted 5 to 8 age range.