Friday 19 February 2016

ReadItDaddy's Second Book of the Week - Week Ending 19th February 2016 - "Mr Horton's Violin" by Wenhua Wang, Amann Wang and Yu Yan Chen (Balestier Press)

This may well be a first - our Second Book of the Week shares author, artist, translator and publisher with our first - they were both way too good for us to pick just one...
"Mr Horton's Violin" again by Wenhua Wang, Amann Wang and translated by Yu Yan Chen follows the musical theme of our first book of the week "The Chief Cellist" with another fantastic original story that instantly feels so brilliantly written and illustrated that you'll feel like it's been around forever. That's how impressive this hugely original story is.

Many woodcutters walk through the forest and ignore the twisted musical tree, far too odd a shape to cut any good planks from. However, the tree makes such a sweet sound in the gentle breeze that a violin maker can't resist it, and cuts the tree down to make a new instrument.

It takes a long time to craft the finest violin from the wood, but as soon as it's finished, it makes the most amazingly sweet sound.

As word spreads about this violin, many covet it and make Mr Horton increasingly crazy offers for it. But a gang of thieves also have their beady eyes on Mr Horton's violin. Could it take a very special and talented individual to amaze everyone with his playing, finally giving the violin a most deserving owner?

It's such a great story, reminiscent of the best of Grimms Fairy Tales or Hans Christian Andersen, but fused with the glorious tone and wisdom of the far east.

Beautifully written, beautifully illustrated and once again a real wow from this talented team and brought to us by Balestier. Truly the sweetest sound in the world has to be the sound of Charlotte saying at the end of this story "Can we read that again?"

Charlotte's favourite bit: Hugely exciting kidnapping and a grim gang of thieves but Mr Horton's tenacity and wisdom wins the day.

Daddy's favourite bit: Again, this is utterly fantastic, original and entertaining stuff with the feeling of a classic folk tale satisfyingly fleshed out into a really exciting story. Brilliant! If Balestier keep this up during 2016, they're going to become a publishing force to be reckoned with.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Balestier Press)

"Mr Horton's Violin"

Written by Wenhua Wang and translated by Yu Yan Chen

Illustrated by Amann Wang

Published by Balestier Press

Publication Date: 15th December 2015