When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky: Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot
Written and Illustrated by Lauren Stringer
Imagine a piano on wheels traveling through town! Stravinsky cannot be separated from his piano, and he has to provide the music besides. His wheeled piano leads the procession. Young readers will enjoy the idea of playing on a moving piano. “Well I will learn the piano if I can push it around the house,” may become an oft-heard request. Nijinsky, one cavorting cat, and his troupe of well trained ballet dancers follow, dancing in time to the music. The Eiffel Tower clues the readers to the setting. “Follow me, follow me,” the dog in the picture seems to say. We follow along, eager to know what comes next.
Oh what a riot of color! Whether we are looking at the smaller illustrations or the full page pictures, the bleed-to-the-edge full color illustrations have us mesmerized. Look at the double page spread that has the words “And when it was ready Stravinsky and Nijinsky brought their new show to town.”
The words provide point and counterpoint:
Some people hated it! They were nettled by the new.
They stood on their seats and shouted “Boo! Boo! Boo!”
The facing page says:
And some people loved it! They were excited by the new.
They stood on their seats and shouted “Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!”
And so a riot breaks out. Imagine that – a riot in a theater.
Thus, the author succeeds in introducing fifth grade readers to two of the greats of the world of music and ballet. “Who are these people?” they may ask, intrigued by this story. A great launching point into the lives and achievement of Stravinsky and Nijinsky, and how their balletThe Rites of Spring changed the musical world forever. This book is a deserving addition to all libraries and reading lists.
Author’s studio: http://www.laurenstringer.com/Studio.html
Stravinsky’s The Rites of Spring: http://www.pbs.org/keepingscore/stravinsky-rite-of-spring.html
Rites of Spring Part I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf0e_n49dcQ