Kirkus Reviews QR Code
I, VIVALDI by Janice Shefelman


by Janice Shefelman & illustrated by Tom Shefelman

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5328-9
Publisher: Eerdmans

Children are at least as likely to pore over the pictures as absorb the narrative in this first-person account of Vivaldi’s youth and prime. The few known facts about the composer’s life are smoothly incorporated. For instance, so weak was his breathing at birth that his mother promised him to the clergy if he survived—a vow that became a major source of domestic tension later on as he displayed early brilliance on the violin and little interest in anything else. He did become a priest, but after shirking his duties, ended up being put in charge of an orchestra of orphaned girls that earned international renown. Giving even Canaletto a run for his money, the illustrator sets expressive, natural-looking figures against golden-toned backdrops of 17th-century Venice’s rich interiors, splendid vistas, opulent churches and serene canals. A citation for a favored recording of “The Four Seasons” and a few printed bars of “Spring” close this fetching introduction to one of the great masters of the Baroque era. (historical note, glossary) (Picture book/biography. 8-10)