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THE FABULOUS FEUD OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN  by Jonah Winter

THE FABULOUS FEUD OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN

By Jonah Winter (Author) , Richard Egielski (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-439-93050-5
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Author and illustrator set the opening scene as impeccably as their subjects: Life in Victorian England is grim. Even the Queen frowns as her coach drives through the dreary rain. But there is one place where life is brighter. A quick page turn reveals the light, topsy-turvy world of the opera stage. Winter explains that the opera is where “grown-ups acted silly, and everything got very, very, very confused.” And oh boy, did it ever. One day Gilbert and Sullivan, the famed lyricist/composer duo, get into an argument. Sullivan accuses Gilbert of writing the same opera over and over. With grumps and grumbles and scowls on their faces, they refuse to work with each other anymore. However, out of the argument comes the inspiration for The Mikado. Lessons of friendship and forgiveness slip in, and Egielski’s saturated, theatrical tableaux add warmth and weight, but the intended audience is as perplexing as, well, a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Budding maestros will enjoy this dramatic tale, but youngsters unable to place the context may not relate much to these two mustached men. (author’s note, website) (Informational picture book. 6-12)