cover image Mozart: The Wonder Child: A Puppet Play in Three Acts

Mozart: The Wonder Child: A Puppet Play in Three Acts

Diane Stanley, . . HarperCollins, $17.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-06-072674-4

Inspired by the Salzberg Marionette Theatre, Stanley (Joan of Arc ) frames this engaging and well-paced biography of Mozart as a three-act puppet play. Sprinklings of dialogue and witty anecdotes—such as the prank Mozart plays on a singer mid-performance—flesh out the life of this wunderkind (“What a strange and magical childhood it must have been for Wolfgang... being praised, petted, and covered with kisses by the greatest nobles of Europe”). Painting gessoed wood panels with egg tempera in soft tones, Stanley achieves an authentic sense of place, while augmenting the historic mood with musical staffs that wind through the scenes and informational asides presented by angels. While the three-act structure serves the through story well, some may find the marionette strings attached to every character distracting. Endnotes include an extensive chronology of Mozart’s life. Ages 8–12. (Feb.)