Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Circle of Friends

Igor Stravinsky, the great Russian composer, would have been 128 years old today. His well-known and well-loved works, which include The Rite of Spring and The Firebird, are popular and familiar even decades after the talented musician has passed away.

What made Stravinsky's art so fantastic? Was it his mastery of melody, layering of instruments, feel for each individual note, or timing of each measure? It is safe to say that Stravinsky's greatest strength, like all renowned composers, was found in his ability to blend all of these qualities together harmoniously to create a masterpiece that would last for centuries.

"A good picture book is like a good symphony," says Peter Sis, children's book author and illustrator. "The art, the story and the treatment come together in one voice."

Giora Carmi conducts such a symphony with her book A Circle of Friends. A wordless tale, the story of the contagious nature of giving is told entirely through illustrations. Children and adults alike will be charmed and touched by the narrative of kindness opening doors to more kindness. Carmi's illustrations really do speak louder than words or melodies as the story weaves along, and it is impossible not to be drawn in.

As Sis says, "Open this book by Giora Carmi and listen..."

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