SUMMARY: As a little girl, Elva hears a violinist playing one day. From that day on she wants to play the violin. She asks her parents for one, but they say no. So she pretends. In her spare time she pretend rehearses for a concert. She grows up and forgets about the violin in her busyness. Occasionally she would listen to records of music and she would remember for a little while. She eventually thinks she is too old to learn to play. But one day, she takes a chance and buys a violin. She tries to teach herself to play, but it is very difficult. So she hires a teacher and finally gets the chance to play in her first recital.
ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations were created in watcolor. They are very sweet, nicely colored and detailed.
THE GOOD: The underlying message in this story is: It is never too late to learn something you have always dreamed of.
THE NOT AS GOOD: Elva desperately wanted to learn how to play music as a little girl. It is all she thought about. And yet this dream gets squashed by her parents. Then she grows up and that dream is turned to dust. This is incredibly sad. Elva becomes a lonely person who lives alone with a dog and her chocolates. This is again, sad. When she finally learns to play the violin, she is in a class with little children and she only gets to play a very simple tune. It feels as if, instead of triumph, Elva gets mediocre and she never truly recaptured here dream.
AGE RECOMMENDATION: Grades 1-3 (although I would recommend using this book to encourage children to pursue their dreams NOW rather than later)