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The Dance of the Violin

The Dance of the Violin

By Kathy Stinson
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Interest Age: 4–7
Grade: k–2
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RF.2.3,3d,4,4a,4c

Reading Level: Lexile AD590L
Hardcover : 9781554519002, 32 pages, March 2017 , 8.0" x 10.0"
Paperback (Picture book) : 9781554518999, 32 pages, September 2019 , 8.0" x 10.0"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554519019, 32 pages, December 2017
Rights sold: Turkish


Even Joshua Bell makes mistakes, but there is always 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, which 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 the judges if could try again. They agree, and this time, the playing is impeccable.

Dušan Petricic’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 there is always a second chance.

This book is the follow up to Kathy Stinson and Dusan Petricic’s multi-award–winning The Man with the Violin. Among the more than 20 honors and awards that book received are: TD Children’s Book of the Year National Parenting Publications Award Best Book List, Kirkus Reviews White Ravens Collection, International Youth Library, Munich 100 Best Canadian Kids’ Books, Today’s Parent Magazine


“Readers feel the joy that music brings to this young boy, and envision it through the mixed media artwork so brilliantly created by an accomplished artist.”

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 07/30/17

“A picture book that hits all the right notes.”

- National Reading Campaign, 06/27/17

“Should give heart to any child trying to master an art.”

- New Jersey Online, 05/10/17

“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

“[Petričić’s] deft illustrations . . . lift the story far beyond the text and make the reader appreciate the impact of art.” 

- Quill & Quire, 01/17

“A joyful reminder that perseverance pays off.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 01/15/17

“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

“An original picture book.”

- Booklist, 03/10/17

“Magical realism is at its best in this delightful picture book . . . An excellent addition to most collections.”

- School Library Journal, 04/17

“A picture book to remember.” 

- Canadian Children’s Book News, Spring/17

“Children will readily empathize with Joshua’s misstep, but they will also learn the value of being given a second chance.” 

- National Federation of Music Clubs Magazine, Autumn/17

“Delightful illustrations, and a story with a great message about perseverance.” 

- Violinist, 12/01/17

“A joyous story about music and persistence.” 

- Youth Services Book Review, 11/12/19