cover image Rondo in C

Rondo in C

Paul Fleischman. HarperCollins Publishers, $13.95 (29pp) ISBN 978-0-06-021856-0

A girl at her piano recital plays `` `Beethoven's Rondo in C' lovely piece!'' A man in the audience muses, ``Strange how it brings to mind south-flying geese.'' One by one each member of the audience responds to the music, and each double-page spread becomes a portrait of the present juxtaposed with a tantalizing glimpse of that person's past. The music reminds a pensive girl in a pink ruffled dress of ``the first squint of sunlight on the water in Maine,'' which is pictured opposite. A white-haired woman in a shawl listens intently, remembering her youth at a ball in Vienna. Though the text and concept may be difficult for children to understand, there are riches in this book well worth the mastery. Wentworth's pastel portraits are powerfully evocative, and Fleischman's rhymed couplets present poetically condensed moments from each listener's life. ``Bravo . . . for that `Rondo in C'!'' Ages 5-8. (Oct.)