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Dance of the Violin

Following the success of The Man with the Violin, a children's book which garnered more than twenty awards and prompted the creation of a new concert of the same title, Annick Press published a new story on 14 March 2017 which focuses on a seminal childhood moment of internationally acclaimed American violinist Joshua Bell.

Written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić, the book focuses on what can happen when one is given a second chance, and is titled The Dance of the Violin.

As a young violin student, Joshua Bell learns about an international competition to be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. He chooses a piece of music which his teacher suggests may be too difficult, but Joshua is determined: it's a piece of music he loves. At the competition, Joshua experiences the usual jitters. Once his name is called, he strides to the stage and begins to play, but almost immediately, he makes a mistake. As he is about to walk off the stage, he asks the judges if he could try again. They agree, and this time the playing is impeccable.

Dušan Petričić's brilliant illustrations, full of movement and color, capture the sounds of Joshua's violin from the missed notes, to the swirling, uplifting strains of the perfectly executed piece. Children will readily empathize with Joshua's misstep, but they will also learn the value of being given a second chance.

The book is based on Bell's experience as a twelve-year-old at the Stulberg International String Competition. Bell placed third, which is a remarkable achievement for someone so young playing Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole. The following year he returned and won the competition.

Kathy Stinson is the author of over twenty-five books for young people, including the beloved, bestselling Red is Best and her recent, award-winning book, also featuring Joshua Bell, The Man with the Violin. She lives near Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Dušan Petričić is an editorial cartoonist as well as the award-winning illustrator of such children's books as Mattland, Bone Button Borscht, and The Man with the Violin. He lives in Zemun, Serbia.

The Dance of the Violin (Annick Press, 32 pages hardcover, 8"x10", ISBN 978-1-55451-900-2) is for children aged 5-8.

The Man with the Violin concert for film and orchestra took place on 12 February 2017 at Washington DC's Kennedy Center. The concert featured Joshua Bell and the National Symphony Orchestra led by Michael Stern, performing music which included the first performance of Anne Dudley's new work The Man with the Violin. The first Canadian performance will take place on 20 December 2017 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

Posted: 27 April 2017

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