Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Violin Man

“You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'” - G. B. Shaw.

But, are dreams that important? We dream of having a bigger car than the neighbour, a more luxurious house than a five star hotel; dream of a permanent vacation at a sunny beach. Are these dreams important that we let go of our day to day existence and miss the beauty in our life?

The Violin Man, a picture book by Colin Thompson deals with this profound subject. Oscar, the violinist has been playing his violin outside the theatre for ever. People waiting for the theatre to open will brave the weather and listen to his melodious tunes. He gave wings to their dreams. The Beethoven's' and the Mozart's' music from his violin would mesmerise the crowd and lead them to their own private dreams.

Oscar has his own dream - a dream that he had once shared with his daughter Marietta. A dream that he is the world's greatest violinist and his daughter the world's greatest ballerina. His daughter had her sickness and along with that their dreams remained just a wisp in the air.

Due to certain circumstances, a chance comes along for him to play inside the theatre; in front of thousands of folks; and along with a great orchestra. Does Oscar enjoy his dream coming true? That forms the rest of the story. I would leave you without giving too much of the ending. But, be prepared for a tiny little philosophical lesson at the end. The end could put to shame any tear-jerker of a movie!

I loved the fact that Colin Thompson deals with an important subject of necessity of dreams in a kids book. I am glad that he did not consider it as an adult subject. Every picture in the book is a great collage of various items - a combination of real life photography with some surrealist imagery thrown in. Every page has a tiny little rat looking out from a lighted window; a rather cute pink creatures tagging along with Oscar as he goes along with his life; a tiny cafe called 'Cafe Max in Paris'; a dog and a red sail boat called Max 14. I can't imagine the amount of effort that must have gone into every page of his work.

The story and illustration in a nutshell - Beautiful, bright and thought provoking. Sooraj enjoyed the story and looked lost in his own thoughts as I tried to explain the story. Wonder what he was thinking and how he interpreted the story?

This book made me think about the importance of music and its relationship to our dreams. It is odd that I never thought of this before. Music seems to provide a new pair of wings our dreams. As we immerse ourselves into any music, we feel uplifted and that one tiny wafer-thin moment of absolute bliss through music, makes one think of our future and our dreams.

Sadly many adults might have one look at the book, consider it book for kids and move away. I wish the bookshops do not put these titles under the children section and instead put them away into a section called "FOR ALL".

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” - Epicurus. Dreams, are they really special?


Sheela said...

Beautiful review, as always, Sathish! And, what a choice. How do you manage to find such gems? Almost every review of yours makes me want to run and get the book right away and check it out for myself :)

Loved the earlier one you have posted too!

Sooraj and Shraddha are very lucky indeed!

sathish said...

Thank you Sheela. A wonderful comment like this always lights up our day! :)

Sooraj and Shraddha will have to thank Ranjani more. Ranjani does most of the grind work of reading to the kids come rain or shine - every day.

While I breeze through their book reading session once in a while with some well researched/prepared book and also end up blogging about it and gathering all the credits!!!!

I usually end up finding such interesting books; Ranjani finishes the tough job of answering all their queries after that for the next few days!

Sheela said...

Wonderful to hear this, Sathish! This little glimpse into your world affirms my faith!

See, the thing is, like Ranjani, i read the books over and over and answer queries, but, in addition, I hunt for books as well like you... which leaves me terribly exhausted and asking, "Why bother?" sometimes!

I wonder if it is worth rounding up my list of baby books and posting here - Oggie, my 1-yr-old, loves books and has a few faves - it might be useful for ST readers who want to start early...

D finds an occasional Welsh children's book and is happy for months about it. Not me - I am constantly hunting and gathering :)

Poppins said...

I agree with you Sheela, I do enjoy Satish's picks - Satish do you get all these in the Hippocampus Library in KM?

And Sheela please do post about Oggie's books!

sathish said...

Poppins, Thanks.

A few of them I get in Hippocampus; a few from landmark book stores, and a few I order them from amazon or get some one to get it for me when they return from their trips abroad.

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