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TCHAIKOVSKY DISCOVERS AMERICA by Esther Kalman

TCHAIKOVSKY DISCOVERS AMERICA

by Esther Kalman & illustrated by Laura Fernandez & Rick Jacobson

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-531-06894-3
Publisher: Orchard

 In this rewritten spinoff from a recording of the same name (published in Toronto: BMG KIDZ, 1993), the 11-year-old daughter of Russian ÇmigrÇs meets the composer during his 1891 trip to America. Like its companion, Nichol's Beethoven Lives Upstairs (Orchard, 1994), this is designed to spark some interest in the music through a child's-eye view of the Great Man. It is even more successful: the narrative, though written as diary entries, is connected rather than disjointed; Eugenia sounds the age she is supposed to be; and the composer comes across not as a remote, Olympian figure, but as an approachable visitor, impressed with America's wonders (from Niagara Falls to New York City elevators), whose real genius shines through a diffident exterior. Precisely rendered period details in the polished illustrations create a vivid sense of time and place; occasional dramatic full spreads enhance the story's emotional peaks. A treat for those who already love Tchaikovsky's music, and certain to create legions of new fans. (source notes) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)