Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fiddlin Sam

By Marianna Dengler and Illustrated by Sybil Graber Gerig.

Every week I take my children to the library. I will sit in a corner, keeping them in view while they both search for their own bedtime story for the week.

I will then make my way to the educational section and pick up a book on whatever topic they had expressed interest in. This time, I was going to check out a book about evaporation and condensation.

As I was sitting, however, this book drew my eye from across the room. The cover is stunning with the brilliant colors and light effects.

When took up the book and rifled through it, I was nearly overwhelmed at the beautiful illustrations. The cover image doesn't do the inside of the book justice. The level of skill the artist shows is stellar and equally matched by her use of the paints and her knowledge of color. I am in awe.

And then I read the story. Fiddlin' Sam is an old country nomad, wandering the back woods, hills and valleys of the Ozarks playing his fiddle at one farm and then another. As a Missouri girl, the setting made the book even more special to me as I have spent some good times myself wandering around the Ozarks and playing in the woods.

Sam is loved and admired by all for his skill. It is said he could fiddle away peoples worries, their cares, even the aches in their bones and when Sam came to play everyone would stop their work and gather around him to dance. But Sam is also determined to do as his Pa had taught him and pass the knowledge on when the time came, just as his Pa had passed the knowledge onto him.

This is a tremendously beautiful story and the images are breathtaking. I will be purchasing my own copy to keep for myself and it will be an absolute treasure.

Fiddlin' Sam

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