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Monday, June 13, 2011

BLOG TOUR: Frederico, the Mouse Violinist by Mayra Calvani

Hi there, everyone!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Here's hoping your weekend went well and that Monday is treating you right.  To help you kick start the week reading wise, I've got a great title for you today.  Thanks to the Dorothy over at Pump Up Your Book, we are today's stop along an adorable yet educational tour currently making its way through the blogosphere.  It features a "small" cast with big hearts that's sure to leave you with a smile on your face and a little wiser for the read.  Please welcome our blog tour guests and book of choice for today....

Frederico, the Mouse Violinist
Mayra Calvani
illustrated by
K.C. Snider

From the tour site...
Frederico is a little mouse with a big dream: he wants to become a violinist. Each day he watches as Stradivari makes his famous violins. Each night, he sneaks into the workshop to play. But the violins are too big! Then, unbeknown to Frederico, Stradivari sees him playing and begins carving a tiny device. Could it be a famous Strad especially for Frederico?

First, let's talk about the artwork, after is a storybook and part of the overall magic is definitely the pictures.  The illustrations have an older quality to them but not in the sense of merely aged by years.  I'd liken the effects to that of wine aging....years pass and yet the quality only improves; the final product gaining more value.  The shading and color palette used whisk the imagination away to this workshop of old and place you by the candle's light to explore the musical enchantment awaiting you in the night.  A quiet playground brought to life by a dream, a skilled artisan, and one little mouse.  Moving to the story....

It reminded me of the Disney film Ratatouille...but not in a carbon copy sort of way.  I mean, grant it....first looks would have you guessing the similarities were merely fur deep....but the choice of main characters (mouse versus rat) is purely a starting point.  The meat of the dish...or rather story....carries a greater message though simple (and beautiful) in delivery.  One can do anything no matter how big or small the dream or the dreamer may be.  (Empowering now, isn't it?)  Dream of being the world's fastest runner?  Short legs are no reason to hang up your running shoes.  Wish upon many a star for a chance to shine enough and with some effort on your part....that chance may come sooner than you think.

In Frederico's case, he lucked out.  He was a mouse in love with music and the sound of the violin (sounds like my Mom....let's not get into the violin lessons I had as a kid).  What better home to find oneself in than that of the creator of the standard we measure all others by today?  The name Stradivarius is synonymous with violins of quality and lasting beauty in both design and sound.  Can you think of a better home for this little mouse than the creator of this masterpiece...because I sure can't.  Now did Mr. Stradivari's generosity extend as far as this tale leads us to believe in REAL life?  Alas, we may never know for certain, but I'd like to think that in some dark portion of his home city there can be heard the fine strands of a melody old yet new coming through the air from a source unknown.  Perhaps that little musician still resides there today sharing his passion with generations to come.  One can only dream....

All in all, a wonderful story for readers of all ages.  Small ones will delight in the artwork whilst still being captivated by the simple story.  Older readers will enjoy the same vantage points on another level, including a potentially increased desire to read.  One final note about this unique title.....upon reaching books end, you get a brief glimpse at the man himself, Antonio Stradivari, along with a glossary of terms, and a few activities to add a bit of memorable fun the reading experience.  A wonderful touch that is sure to excite those that love a truly interactive yet educational read.

About the author...

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. Her nonfiction work, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing was a ForeWord Best Book of the Year Award winner. She’s had over 300 stories, articles, interviews and reviews published. Frederico, the Mouse Violinist is her fifth and latest children’s picture book.

Mayra reviews for and is co-editor of Voice in the Dark Ezine. She also offers book reviewing workshops online. Visit her website at For her children’s books, visit You can find Voice in the Dark at

Ebook for review courtesy of Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this tour as well as those still to come, be sure to check out their site, or follow along on Twitter.  To find out more about the author, connect with her on Facebook, or follow her Twitter feed.

Until next time....happy reading!



Shy said...

Good minds surely think alike! The moment I finished reading the description of the book, my brain also tuned to Ratatouille and then, voila, you wrote the same thing :D

The artwork of the cover surely looks impressive. I wonder how the inner part of the book looks like!

As the theme of today's post is about Violin, why don't you listen to this incredible version of Smooth Criminal played by David Garrett --> Smooth Criminal by David Garrett

Happy Monday to you!

p.s. I have not been around much lately. Miss you and everybody on Twitter SO much =)

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks so much for hosting me and for the awesome review! I'm your newest blog follower!

Kate @ Candlemark said...

As a former violinist, and a former rat owner, the idea of this book just tickles me deep down inside.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

This sounds adorable and I love the cover.

Gina said...

Shy: LOL! Too right. The interior pictures....just as good or better. Definitely gonna check out the musical link (thanks for that!)...and I hope you had a GREAT Monday. (P.S. I haven't been either...*le SIGH*....miss all my buds too. {hugs})

Mayra Calvani: It was my pleasure. Thank you for the moving and adorable read. (...and for the follow! ^_^)

Kate @ Candlemark: Wow, a former violinist...who knew! ^_^ Sounds like this one would be right up your alley (especially with the rat connection too...).

Petty Witter: Definitely is....

Misha said...

The cover is so pretty!
A mouse violinist sounds so cute :)

Gina said...

Misha: He definitely is...and so ambitious too!

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