Mozart : The Wonder Child - Diane Stanley (2009)

           Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart was just three years old, when he first played a clavier. He lived upto the age of thirty five. It is these thirty years, that are covered in this book.

Child prodigy to the wizard of music

          Diane Stanley's book, about Mozart, brings out the events that shaped the musical genius, in the form of puppet show.

         The book is divided into three acts of a puppet show:

  • The first act introduces the life of Mozart as a child prodigy. His continuous travels for his performances, his knowledge gaining from other famous musicians, the praises he received from noble families, the struggles of his continuous travels are all intertwined in this act.
  • The second act displays a little grown-up stage of Mozart, where he is neither a child prodigy nor a mature musical genius. The days, when Mozart has to face the hard realities of life, fill this act.
  • The third act brings back the glorious genius, writing operas, that mesmerizes through generations. It also glimpses the personal life of Mozart, his love and marriage, till his death.

Publisher: HarperCollins

Classification : Biography (Mozart)

Age : Grades 1 and above

ISBN 10 : 0060726741

My Comment:

      Which parent can resist the opportunity of introducing Mozart, to their kids? Well, this book is a wonderful  way to do that. With elegant illustrations and lively narration to follow, this book would make biography easy on children's minds.

        Apart from these, I wonder about the techniques, the author handled, to make the reading a rich experience.
  • The biography is handled with Salzburg Marionette puppet show theme; Salzburg (in Austria) is Mozart's hometown and this is a great relevance. Each character is drawn with strings, as marionettes. (To a child's eye, these nuances appeal a lot. And, yes, I even talked about marionette puppet show to my son.)
  • The illustrations use ancient Egg Tempera technique, which gives rich, glorious finish to the pictures. No wonder, the pictures capture the eyes and minds of the readers.
  • The vocabulary used is grand and explanation for rare words are provided in apt places, making the book more readable, thus by learning new words.
  • A lot of details of Mozart's life history is included. It not only introduces Mozart as a musical genius but also a man of innovation, motivation and hard work.

     In addition to this, I add this personal suggestion. As my son found this book long, I divided reading into three parts as 'one act, each time'. You can try this, if you have an impatient kid to finish biography in a single read.
    This book offered a unique experience in reading and the life of Mozart rendered in my mind after reading also. I believe my son (and in general, any child) would remember Mozart's life for a long time.

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