Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I, Vivaldi

I, Vivaldi

Janice Shefelman
Illustrator:  Tom Shefelman 
Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2008   ISBN: 978-0802853189

On the day when Antonio Vivaldi was born in 1678, the earth quite literally shook. Because Antonio was sickly at his birth, his mother prayed to God, promising Him that she would give her son up to the priesthood if He would spare Antonio's life. God did let Antonio live, but he was a sickly boy who often had trouble breathing. Because he could not run around outside, Antonio's father decided to teach him how to play the violin. At least playing the instrument would give his little son something to do.

Antonio soon fell in love with the violin and became a very skilled player. However, his mother was determined to keep her vow; Antonio would be a priest no matter what. Desperately Antonio tried to convince her to let him become a musician, but she would not allow it. And so, a reluctant Antonio began his studies for a life in the church. Thankfully, got permission to continue playing his violin as well.

In this well written picture book, the author tells Antonio Vivaldi's story with skill and sensitivity. Janice Shefelman shows her children how Vivaldi found a way to do what he loved, even when others tried to stop him from doing so.

A section at the back of the book provides readers with more information about Vivaldi's life.