Imaginatively illustrated and beautifully written, this offbeat ode to the power of music is a winner.
Stinson’s text, brimming with life, is filled with onomatopoeia that places the reader in the subway station with the bustling crowds. The text centres on sounds Dylan hears throughout the day, as interpreted by Petrcic’s watercolour illustrations… The art bursts forth, ccreating a stunning visual expression of Stinson’s test.
Quill and Quire
This outstanding collaboration between children’s book author Kathy Stinson and illustrator Dusan Petricic explores in a unique way, the power and beauty of music to a child who is willing to pause and listen…
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.
CM Magazine, October 4, 2013
“In January of 2007, over a thousand people heard me play my violin in the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station in Washington, D.C. But very few actually listened,” writes musician Joshua Bell in a postscript to a picture book based on that event.
In a world of sounds that aren’t always as pleasant as a Stradivarius, Stinson and Petricic remind readers young (and especially old) to stop and listen to the arpeggios.
Publishers Weekly, July 29, 2013
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.
Canadian Children’s Book Centre
The Man with the Violin is a rare, special thing – a book that will move you, warm your heart, and bring you closer to the children in your life.
Heather Reisman, CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
With plain-spoken eloquence, Kathy Stinson distils the essence of Bell’s experience and the little boy’s in the fictionalized The Man with the Violin, building her affecting story on just the kind of details and moments to prompt young readers’ appreciation.
The Vancouver Sun, December 6, 2013
The fictional little boy draws the reader into his enchantment with the soaring notes of the music. The vocabulary is vivid with melodic words and the illustrations depict the eloquent rhythm and clear sound that only a violin can make… The Man with the Violin is a rich springboard for creative learning across the curriculum, great for all age groups. It’s a must for any classroom or school library.
Professional Speaking, June 2014
The Man with the Violin succeeds on so many levels that it’s hard to pick the best place to start…
We teach non-fiction for a multitude of reasons. But, is there any reason more important than encouraging our students to seek out more non-fiction? It’s hard not to be blown away by what happened in L’Enfant Plaza that day. It’s even harder to present this content in a student-centric manner. This is precisely why Man with the Violin succeeds. Kathy Stinson doesn’t tell Bell’s story, which she could have. It’s gripping enough. But, would it resonate with kids?
Room 142 News and Notes
How lovely to have this book come into our classroom – it is already easily one of my favourite picture books for 2013 and both author and illustrator are Canadian! This book is also especially meaningful for students because music is such a large part of many of their lives.
There’s a Book for That
A heartwarming and touching story told ever so gently and with lovely art. I would love to see this book in school libraries and included in Accelerated Reader or other school reading point systems to encourage children to read this one. Adults and children alike should stop and take a look around them instead of always rushing, rushing, rushing.
Books Books Books
Go ahead … open to the first spread: “Dylan was someone who noticed things. His mom was someone who didn’t.” Illustrator Dušan Petricic couldn’t have devised a more effective way of showing author Kathy Stinson‘s telling! Flying straight across the page, young Dylan’s contrail is filled with technicolor details of everything he passes – the mismatched rubber boots, the colorful candy, the misbuttoned jacket, the cost of a radio, someone’s pink phone. His mother, in contrast, has just a long empty space erasing everything in her path as she pulls Dylan forward with determination. Look familiar?
Here’s a much-needed reminder that we all need to slowwwwwwwwwww down …
… 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.
School Library Journal, October 2013
Together, Stinson and Petricic have created a picture book classic that reminds us all to open our eyes and ears to discover the beauty around us.
Second Bookshelf on the Right
A beautifully illustrated book, a moving story, a character you connect with. I loved this book.
Crazy Casa K
Kathy Stinson created young Dylan, a boy who tries to get his mother to stop and listen with no success. Later, when Dylan and his mom are home fixing supper and listening to the radio, the music that Dylan had heard in the station plays and the radio announcer talks about the musician and why he had been playing the music in the station that morning. Only then does his mother stop to listen and they enjoy the music together.
The Birch Bark
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.
Book Page, August 21, 2013
I think it’s very important that we all pay attention to this wonderful book!
Sal’s Fiction Addiction, August 28, 2013
This is the perfect book for curious kids, especially 3- to 7-year-olds who love music or are already entwined with an instrument. Read “The Man with the Violin” because it’s a book they’ll want to see.
When Kathy Stinson coupled the story of world-famous violinist Joshua Bell’s playing incognito in a Washington subway station with illustrator Dušan Petricic’s distinguished artwork, The Man with the Violin became a brilliant portrayal of the sensitivities of children and the sad loss of that wonder by most adults.
CanLit for Little Canadians
Stinson writes with a playfulness that makes the book dance along. She uses lots of rhythms and noises throughout, really bringing the world of the city and subway to life.
Bravo for capturing this eloquent story about the power of music and its connection to children in particular. Standing ovation!
Waking Brain Cells
Taking an actual event, Stinson weaves it into a compelling story…
Children’s Books and the Arts, September, 2013
I want to read it over and over again…I want it to get attention, lots of attention, because that’s what it deserves.
Reading and Sharing
Sure to be counted among one of 2013’s best picture books, The Man with the Violin is a reminder that the world is often seen and heard best through the eyes and ears of a child.
Sometimes we really do get carried away with our lives to take the time we need to enjoy something. I think Stinson does a beautiful job portraying that and Petricic did a beautiful job illustrating… The Man with the Violin is highly recommended to all readers.
Owl Tell You About It
What a beautiful story… The drawings almost dance off the page.
Cozy Little Book Journal
The story is simple, but the language has its own musicality… gorgeous illustrations…are as light and lucid as they are satirical.
Booklist, November 15, 2013
The artwork by Dusan Petricic was perfect, meaningful in various ways, and fun. Petricic captures what Author Stinson writes in words. I love it!
Sophie and Mamma, November 20, 2013
When the strains of beautiful violin music catch a young boy’s attention in The Man with the Violin… something magical happens.
The Record, December 6, 2013
…a beautiful new children’s book worth cherishing this season…
Parade, November 30, 2013
Children…will… enjoy the illustrations, and share the initial curiosity and eventual joy of young Dylan in realizing that he was right in wanting to stop and listen.
The Westfield Booktalker, December 4, 2013
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, December 2013
You can see the music flow upon the page…
Books Beside My Bed, December 18, 2013
A beautiful and compelling story …even teens and adults will enjoy this one!
Hooked on Books, December 18, 2013
This book is the perfect Christmas present or a birthday present or a present just because.
Kids Read, December 18, 2013
Find that book and open to page one. Sigh. Swoon. Hooked.
Nerdy Book Club, January 18, 2014
This story wonderfully portrays a child’s sensitivity to beauty too often ignored by adults. The text is alive with the sounds and busyness of the city and life.
Laura Anne Miller
Stinson’s engaging writing style pairs well with Petricic’s creative use of colour to depict the musical sounds of the violin. The author and illustrator bring music to life in this touching book that reminds us of the curious nature of children, and their ability to notice things that adults ignore.
The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature
…a lyrical explanation of the value of the arts in the human experience.
Library Media Connection, April 1, 2014
Stinson and Petricic’s collaboration helps kids tune in to what Dylan notices. Upside-down newspapers, unmatched boots, backward numbers — they’re all colourfully highlighted against the busy black and white opening scene. The sparse text also draws attention to the pictures. Later, Stinson’s melodious descriptions and Petricic’s colourful swirls seem to envelop the reader, captivating them just like the music captivates Dylan.
Readerly, January 28, 2014
Kathy Stinson… has told this story … with words and prose that seem to rise and soar like the notes of a song…Dusan Petricic’s striking illustrations… aptly compliment this outstanding picture book.
The Book Shelf, May 29, 2014
This is a story about mindfulness, about noticing things and taking time to appreciate them.
Friends Journal, June 2014
The Ontario, Canada-based mother of two, two stepdaughters and grandmother to five has been inspired by all of the children in her life to write her books … and this one is inspired by children and the fabulous Joshua Bell, telling a real-life tale.
Children’s Retail Today
I believe this book will become a classic.
For the Art of It, August 5, 2014
A true story, creative use of illustrations, and such a poignant message. A must-read.
The Fun Librarian, August 10, 2014
Don’t let the fact that it’s a picture book stop older readers from checking it out. It is COOL!
The Starborn Revue, October 14, 2014
One Friday morning, while rushing with his mother into the subway station, Dylan notices something very unusual. He first hears the music, “…high notes soar to the ceiling….low notes swoop to the floor…” Dylan asks his mother to wait so he can watch the man with violin, who sways to the music. But instead, he is hurried onto the escalator and down into the subway where the roar of the trains blurrrrrrs out the music.
LibrisNotes, November 6, 2014
Kathy Stinson’s Red is Best is a classic, timeless and fantastic children’s book, but her recent award-winning The Man With the Violin is on a whole other level, which is where so many picture books are appearing these days.
Pickle Me This, September 24, 2015