'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Review: Peter and the Wolf

The classic tale of Peter and the Wolf, a composition with words by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev,  is brought to life with this exquisitely-illustrated book, with words adapted by Ayesha Rubio.

Peter the little pioneer who is 'not afraid of wolves', is warned by his grandfather for being out in the forest alone.

'This is a dangerous place, Peter,' he warns, but Peter remains undaunted.

When the wolf swallows the family's duck, Peter manages to trap the wolf. Then through the trees, a group of hunters arrive, ready to slay the great grey beast, but Peter whispers to the wolf that if he sets the duck free, he will stop the hunters from taking his life.

A simple adaption, with a warm ending, this is a perfect book for introducing a new generation of children to a classic, world-famous tale about friendship, tolerance, understanding, and facing fears.

I can hear the magnificent score from this story in my head as I flick through its pages. Here is an audio of the music on Youtube that you can play as you read this story to young ones. Each of the characters in the book is represented by a musical instrument. The bird by the flute, the duck by the oboe, the cat by the clarinet, the grandfather by the bassoon, Peter by the strings, the rifle shots by the tympani and big base drum, and the wolf by three French horns.

Rubio's illustrations are a true standout in this book. They are fresh, clean, modern, textured and beyond charming.

A beautiful all-rounder, I particularly like the author's sweet end-note: 'no animals were harmed in the making of this book'.

Title: Peter and the Wolf
Author/Illustrator: Ayesha L Rubio
Publisher: The Five Mile Press, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2015
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781760067816
For ages: 4 - 9
Type: Picture Book

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