...are a band of Sicilian waifs of varying ages and disadvantages, whom Turi, a would-be band-master, teaches to play instruments together. When Turi wins a scholarship to study band-mastering in far-off Milan, the children finagle train tickets and follow him, and subsequent adventures lead the Little Sicilian Band to smashing success on nation-wide television, A brief fling at stardom-Turi doesn't want to exploit the children--and they are all so well-heeled that the Little Sicilians can disband to pursue their own individual successes. There runs through the whole story a rather tired strain of sentimental realism. A drunken father, a careless mother, an orphan, and the general poverty of all provide the realism; homely little sermons on living-in-this-world-anyway provide the sentiment. And of course people everywhere are basically good. Children will be unimpressed because the story is unentertaining; the characters are undistinguishable; the plot episodic, flat, and flaccid; the adult point-of-view overbearing. There are too many false notes to lay the criticism on the translator.