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SIMEON’S GIFT by Julie Andrews Edwards


by Julie Andrews Edwards & Emma Walton Hamilton & illustrated by Gennady Spirin

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-008914-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

In a time of “castles and monasteries,” a poor young man named Simeon plays his lute for all and loves a noblewoman, Sorrel. He’s ashamed that he has little to offer her, so he goes on a journey to open himself to more music. The percussion of soldiers, the chant of monks, even the cacophony of the city inspire him, but he feels lost and overwhelmed. He trades his lute for a boat home, saves a bird, fish, and fawn who follow him on his way (musically, of course), cuts a reed from the riverbank to make a flute, and when he arrives home finds a perfect melody in his heart for Sorrel and for all. The illustrations are in Spirin’s blindingly gorgeous style: echoes of Florentine and Venetian architecture, French manuscript painting, and Renaissance portraits make a beautiful and evocative whole. The story rather bobbles and clunks along, though, with the weight of too many words and perhaps not a clear enough melody. (CD of Andrews reading) (Picture book. 6-9)