Sweet Notes, Sour Nntes

Nancy Smiler Levinson, Author, Beth Peck, Illustrator Dutton Books $12.99 (64p) ISBN 978-0-525-67379-8
When Zayde, David's grandfather, takes David to hear the great concert artist Mischa Elman, the fourth-grader is entranced and declares, ``I want to make the violin sing too.'' His parents are skeptical, believing his surge of interest to be yet another of David's short-lived enthusiasms, while sister Rose snickers. David persists and, with Zayde's help, a violin is rented and a teacher found. Daunted by the difficulty of learning (and by the emotive Madame Markov), David briefly considers giving up. This invitingly atmospheric vignette effectively captures a prewar urban ambience and, more particularly, the quiet warmth of a closely knit first-generation Jewish family. Peck's softly evocative pencil sketches expand on the reassuringly cozy proceedings of the steady narrative. Levinson's novel, believable and genuinely beguiling, should find a place alongside those of Riki Levinson and Sydney Taylor. Ages 7-10. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/28/1993
Release date: 07/01/1993
Genre: Children's
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