Synopses & Reviews
THERE IS NO better way to introduce children to classical music than with Prokofievs musical fairy tale of the little boy (played by all the strings of the orchestra) who, with the help of a bird (played by the flute), outsmarted the big, bad wolf (played by the French horns). And now with this book and CD package, children can look and listen all at the same time. A new retelling by Janet Schulman follows the basic story, but with a kinder ending for both the big bad wolf and the argumentative duck. Peter Malones paintings have the luminous quality of old Russian masters. The CD, with music performed by the Cincinnati Pops and word-for-word narration by Peter A. Thomas, was made exclusively for this book and CD package.
"Malone's (How Many Miles to Bethlehem?, reviewed Sept. 27) jewel-toned paintings will give pause even to readers thoroughly familiar with Prokofiev's piece. Schulman (Countdown to Spring!) softens the traditional text, letting the duck free at the story's end. Otherwise, the narrative plays second fiddle to Malone's images. He takes his palette from Italian frescoes in shades of sage and cherry bleached by age and the noonday sun. Poignant detail enlivens the human figures golden-haired Peter in his milk-white blouse, bearded Grandfather in straw hat and suspenders and the architecture of the town center plus the hats of the red-nosed hunters give a nod to the composer's Russian origins. As the wolf enters the action and Peter plots his capture, the artist frames the dramatic moments in eerie stillness. Malone's sedate tableaux give even witty moments gravity. As the bird and the duck bicker about whether fowl should swim or fly, a spot illustration shows the duck imagining the bird encircled by a tiny inner-tube, equipped with flippers, while the bird pictures the duck fitted out with a wooden propeller and an aviator's headgear. Medieval perspectives, billowing golden clouds and the sporadic reappearance of figures from Grandfather's dreams all deepen the feeling that the story takes place in a world far away. All ages. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, was born in 1891 in the Ukraine and died in 1953 in Moscow. He composed Peter and the Wolf
Peter Malone has illustrated many distinguished picture books, including Brother Sun, Sister Moon: The Life and Stories of St. Francis, The World of King Arthur and His Court, and Magic Flute. Peter Malone lives in Bath, England.