Monday, February 23, 2015

Picture Books 14:14

I, Vivaldi

I, Vivaldi by Janice Shefelman 
Illustrated by Tom Shefelman
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Published: 2008
ISBN-13: 9780802853189
Library Copy
Word Count: 1720 (estimate)

Antonio Vivaldi was born on the day of an earthquake. When he was born, he struggled to breath. His mother prayed that if he was spared that he would become a priest. (This part is not confirmed as true according to the back matter...but it does create the conflict in this story.)

As Vivaldi grew, he listened to his dad play the violin. At the age of four, his father gave him a violin. His mother was not happy, but because he was ill from birth, she allowed it. Once he tried to play with the other children, but his chest got tight. His mother called him back inside and reminded him that she vowed that he would be a priest.

               "God meant me to be a violinist, Mama, not a priest."

As time went on, he continued to practice and play with his father. He once played in front of Papa's conductor who praised Vivaldi's talent.

               Then and there I made a vow that music would be my life.

Nevertheless, Vivaldi became a priest. He got in trouble for leaving the altar during Mass and was punished. His was made to teach violin to orphan girls. Not only did he teach them, he composed music for them. (Not confirmed to be true.)

Vivaldi kept not only his mother's vow, but his own as well. The conflict was resolved positively for both characters.

Unfortunately Vivaldi died poor and forgotten. But The Four Seasons is one of the most popular pieces of classical music today.