Book: A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle Author: Alice Walsh Illustrator: Geoff Butler Publisher: Tuckamore Books Date: May 1, 2010 Genre: non-fiction children's picture book; gr K-5; age 5-9 Pages: 32; paperback Price: $12.95 My rating: an interesting story about a gifted musician
This is another picture book I purchased from one of the authors at the children’s book fair last year.
A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle is a non-fiction story by Canadian author Alice Walsh about a young boy who grew up to be a well-known fiddler in Canada, the United States, and other countries.
Émile Benoit (March 24, 1913 – September 3, 1992) was born in Newfoundland and weighed only one pound, seven ounces at birth. Émile’s father sheared one of their sheep and his mother wrapped their tiny baby in the raw wool, placed him in a small box under the wood stove to try to save him, and fed him from a dropper. No one thought he would survive, but his mother’s loving care brought him through.
Émile loved music. He especially loved violin, and would practice on the small toy one his father made him that had thread for strings. (Notice the cover illustration above.) His father promised to make him a real violin when he was old enough to have one. When he was twelve, one day he came home from school and there it was! Émile had imagined this so often that he picked up the violin and – within minutes – began to play the tunes he had composed in his head! Friends and family came from all around to hear him play, amazed at his gift of music. In his lifetime he composed more than one hundred tunes.
Alice Walsh has written an interesting story of how, from an early age, Émile Benoit’s life was centered on music. The realistic illustrations by Geoff Butler capture the life and passion of Émile and people in his life. A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle is an encouraging story for children – who have dreams of their own – to not give up on their talent and important life goals.
At the back of the book there is a page called Historical Note on which is information about Émile. There is also a music score of a tune called Émile’s Dream that he composed in his sleep!
You can find A Gift of Music: Émile Benoit & his Fiddle by Alice Walsh on my BUY THE BOOK page.
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂
Sounds like a wonderful book. I love books for kids about famous folks and how they became successful.
I agree, Darlene. It is encouraging, and not just for children. 🙂