PETER AND THE WOLF by Vladimir  Vagin


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Age Range: 4 - 7
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An adventurous boy disregards his grandfather’s orders to remain behind the closed garden gate when a fierce wolf is spotted in the neighborhood. When the dangerous wolf threatens Peter’s wildlife friends in the meadow, he succeeds in tricking and capturing it with the help of a small bird. The happy ending shows the hunters, Peter and Grandfather, proudly leading the wolf to the zoo. The story is best known as the narrative to Prokofiev’s symphony written for children, which introduces orchestral instruments through musical themes that represented each character. To those already familiar with the music, it may reverberate in their heads as they read the text. For those unfamiliar with the music, an afterword includes the musical notation and instrumentation of the themes and a very brief biography of Prokofiev. Peter’s story stands alone, illustrated with Vagin’s (The Enormous Carrot, 1998, etc.) pencil and watercolor drawings. Clothing, tableware, architecture, and Peter’s toys represent the pre-Revolutionary Russia of Prokofiev’s music and portray an authentic Russian folk quality. Each action-filled page depicts the personalities of the characters and their realistic actions: the cat hunches close to the ground as she stalks the bird; the wolf licks his lips in anticipation of a tasty meal; the duck’s feathers fly as he tries to run before the wolf swallows him whole. The exciting illustrations give another context to a modern folktale than can co-exist with the symphony that first made it famous. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-590-38608-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2000


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