Dance of the Violin, The Share this with a friend

by Kathy Stinson
illustrated by Dušan Petričić

Everyone deserves a second chance.

As a young student of the violin, Joshua Bell learns about an international competition to be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He chooses a piece of music, that his teacher suggests may be too difficult, but Joshua is determined: it’s a piece of music he loves. At the competition, Joshua experiences the usual jitters. Once his name is called, he strides to the stage and begins to play, but almost immediately, he makes a mistake. As he is about to walk off the stage, he asks if he can try again. This time, the playing is impeccable.

Dušan Petričić’s brilliant illustrations, full of movement and color, capture the sounds made by Joshua’s violin, from the missed notes to the swirling, uplifting strains of the perfectly executed piece. Children will readily empathize with Joshua’s misstep, but they will also learn that with perseverance, second chances are possible. The story behind the story appears at the end of the book.


“Magical realism is at its best in this delightful picture book … An excellent addition to most collections.”
—School Library Journal, 04/17

“An original picture book.”
—Booklist, 03/10/17

“[Petričić’s] deft illustrations … lift the story far beyond the text and make the reader appreciate the impact of art.”
—Quill & Quire, 01/17

“Petričić once again uses bright swoops and streaks of color to visualize the sensory joy that music can elicit as Stinson’s direct writing underscores the rewards of dedication to one’s art.”
—Publishers Weekly, 02/20/17

“A picture book to remember.”
—Canadian Children’s Book News, Spring/17

“A joyful reminder that perseverance pays off.”
—Kirkus Reviews, 01/15/17

“Children will readily empathize with Joshua's misstep, but they will also learn the value of being given a second chance.”
—Music & Vision, 04/27/17

“Should give heart to any child trying to master an art.”
—New Jersey Online, 05/10/17