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Peter And The Wolf

Press:Scholastic Scholastic Press; 1st edition (November 1, 2000)
Author Name:Vagin, Vladimir Vasilevich/ Vagin, Vladimir Vasilevich (ILT)/ Prokofiev, Sergei


The wonderful tale of a little boy outsmarting the enemy to save a friend, based on Sergey Prokofiev's symphony, and beautifully illustrated by the well-known Russian artist, Vladimir Vagin.On vacation at his grandfather's, Peter wants to do nothing but play with his friends Bird, Cat, and Duck, and his toys. 
But a sly and vicious wolf sneaks onto the grounds of Grandpapa's home and gobbles up Duck!Peter quickly gathers his wits and some rope, and with the help of Bird, outsmarts the wolf before he can catch Cat too.
Hunters come, but they're too late--Peter has captured the wolf!Vladimir Vagin brings her personal knowledge of Russia to make the character, settings, and costumes of Prokofiev's classic tale come alive and takes readers to the heart of a young boy's first encounter with his own bravery.

From Publishers Weekly

This presentation of Prokofiev's symphonic fairy tale loses its melody in a wordy adaptation of the narrative. 
In the opening scene, instead of simply meeting Peter as he opens the garden gate early one morning, readers weave their way through "the great forest...
just outside town" to an "apple tree on the bank of a pond [where] one of the tree's sturdy branches hung above the fence and over a garden." Here, Peter and his friend, the little bird, finally meet.
Though the characters remain true to form and the story line of a brave young boy capturing a wild and ravenous wolf remains intact, the essence of Prokofiev's masterpiece, a study in simplicity, is obscured by labyrinthine details.
Gukova's (The Blind Fairy) mixed-media illustrations, alive with color and texture, allow for intimate encounters with each of the animals.
In one of the most enchanting, as the cat stealthily approaches his potential feathered prey, the duck exits the lower right-hand corner of the spread in a great splash of water while only the reflection of the fleeing bird is visible in the pond.
Yet some of the images here may be more menacing than they would be in a listener's imagination.
And fans of the original tale will miss the closing sounds of the duck's quacking from inside the wolf's stomach (she's been swallowed whole), which goes unmentioned here.
Ages 5-8 (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3 The creators of this retelling of Prokofiev's work have tried their best to bring stage and orchestra into the book (a cassette is available separately). 
The title page is framed by the proscenium arch; individual musicians and their instruments are introduced; and only after the curtain has risen on Peter's stage-set hut does the scene expand naturalistically to take in meadow, pond, and forest.
Large-type captions and speech-balloons accompany copious illustrations (mostly vignettes, from three to nine per page), their pace and direction set by the narrative and musical tempo.
The lively comic-book layout counterpoints the well-made paintings.
The tone of the text is pragmatic but not moralistic: Grandfather is not allowed to preach at the end, and the appetites of cat and wolf are not glossed over.
The wolf is rather frighteningly painted, but becomes abject in captivity and is returned to the forest instead of being sentenced to the zoo.
Characterization is fuller than in other versions, and an effective visual comparison of their views of the forest contrasts Peter's youthful optimism with the Grandfather's elderly caution.
The book ends in the theatre again, and the duck reassuringly takes her bow with the others, before the applauding audience in the gloriously baroque hall.
The book's oversized square format is its only drawback: it is awkward and requires a capacious lap when it is read.
This version is richer and more developed than Erna Voigt's (Godine, 1980), and on a different scale altogether from Warren Chappell's (Knopf, 1940; o.p.).
Patricia Dooley, formerly at Drexel Univiversity, PhiladelphiaCopyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-Wiencirz attempts to flesh out the basic story by adding dialogue and description. 
Unfortunately, rather than adding to the overall impact of the story, this effort only seems to make it more wordy.
The clipped sentences sound slightly stilted: "One morning Peter woke up early.
He went out into the garden and looked around.
Where was his friend the little bird? Peter gave a soft whistle." Compare that passage to Patricia Crampton's Peter and the Wolf (Picture Book Studio, 1987; o.p.): "Only Peter's friend the bird, perched at the top of a big tree, sang the song of the peaceful meadow and the quiet, blue pond." Gukova's illustrations, reminiscent of Eastern European folk art, are more successful than the text.
The animals, in particular, are nicely portrayed and seem to have distinct personalities as they interact.
The design is basic-a single block of text placed on a double-page painting.
Librarians needing a version of this story would be better served by Selina Hastings's Peter and the Wolf (Holt, 1995) or Patricia Crampton's book.Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Ages 4-8. 
Vagin offers a crisp, appealing addition to the print retellings of this classic musical fairy tale, taken from the symphony by Sergei Prokofiev.
In a mostly smooth, simple text, he follows the classic story closely, ending this time with the wolf in a zoo and the duck he swallowed safely back in Peter's arms.
The art, too, is traditional.
In his signature, representational style, Vagin places Peter and his grandfather in a typical Russian dacha surrounded by a lush forest, a historic village of onion-domed buildings in the distance.
Despite the story's suspense, Vagin's illustrations have a gentle cast: unlike other versions, such as Migelanxo Prado's (1998), which featured a harsh grandfather and dark, foreboding forest scenes, Vagin's grandfather appears to be sweet and caring and the wolf more neutral than menacing.
Vagin waits until the end to discuss the tale's symphonic roots, with a final page that briefly introduces Prokofiev and includes the musical score for each animal.
Those looking for a more musical retelling will appreciate Loriot's 1986 version, with Jorg Muller's inset illustrations of an orchestra alongside scenes from Peter's story.
Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

From Kirkus Reviews

Prado's interpretation of Sergei Prokofiev's tale is a fine combination of raw power and arch simplicity. 
The story unfolds in comic-book format, with numerous panels to each page, and the artwork within the panels is hyper-evocative of the dark forest, moody and beautifully drafted, the colors rich and royal.
Despite his grizzled grandfather's advice``Don't ever go into the forest for any reason, because you'll never come back out''Peter roves into the woods in the querulous company of a songbird, a duck, and a cat.
The wolf, not just ferocious but talismanic of the forest's wild state, materializes and makes quick work of the duck.
Peter sets a trap, snares the wolf by the tailalthough hunters have him in their sightsand shoots him dead (the duck never makes a reappearance in this version).
Peter at first feels a pang of remorse over the noble beast's demise, for it is so necessary a presence in the forest.
``But people are fickle.
And their vanity is as insatiable as the hunger of wild animals.
Peter was no exception.
He now only felt the admiration that the entire hamlet expressed over his great feat.
So it goes.'' This book is a winner: dramatic, transporting, and attuned to the value of wildness in nature and how it touches lives irreplaceably.
(Picture book.
6-10) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP.
All rights reserved.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The concise, readable narrative would meld nicely with the orchestral interpretation of the story and be an entertaining read-aloud. 
-- School Library Journal, November 2000

Language Notes

Text: English (translation) Original Language: German

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

A series of 112 dramatic picture frames illuminate the story of how Peter and his friends, each represented by a different musical instrument, outsmart the Wolf and then lead a triumphant procession back to Peter's cottage.  The accompanying 25-minute audio cassette features eloquent narration and Prokofiev's splendid music.  Praised by School Library Journal for its richness and full characterizations, this handsome package makes a classic gift for any child.  

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Prokofiev was a prolific composer, his works include numerous operas, ballets, and symphonies.


Children's Books,Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths,European,Arts, Music & Photography,Music

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Comment List (Total:18)

  •     A spectacular visual accompaniment to the music and narration! Beautiful pictures. My 2-year-old daughter asks for the music by name and sits down looking at the book while she listens to the instruments, pointing out the different animals/characters when she hears the different instruments appear. I never imagined she'd be learning words for "oboe" and "clarinet" at this point, never mind their sounds, but she is entranced and easily goes back and forth between the music, the story, and the different instruments and characters.

  •     Well told story, and artwork is lovely

  •     Just as I remembered. Am enjoying reading it to my granddaughters, as I did my kids 25-30 years ago.

  •     Should have been a larger Picture book!

  •     Nice rendition of the classic tale.

  •     Delightful illustration, perfect companion for narrated Prokofiev

  •     great quality at a very fair price

  •     lovely book

  •     Beautiful illustrations. Great version of this classic. Easy to take around town or on trips. Love this little paperback book

  •     I bought this for some 3-5 year olds that I teach at a homeschool co-op to look at while listening to the music by Prokofiev.

  •     Good artwork, good story.

  •     This is a beautifully illustrated book of the classic tale. I bought it to accompany the Leonard Bernstein CD that includes Peter And The Wolf along with other children's classics. I'm a retired high school teacher, and I refuse to get my grandchildren a video version of this story. Frankly, I think that kids get far too much video entertainment, and many can't ride even a few minutes in a car without having a favorite video playing in the back seat. Yep- I'm old school... Can't help myself!My 5-year-old grandson got both the book and CD from me for Christmas, and loves them. No, he can't read the book yet, but he can look at the illustrations while he actually LISTENS to the recording. Then he can grow into the book as he builds his reading skills.

  •     This famous story of Peter and the Wolf has been enjoyed by young and old alike since it was written, enjoyed to teach youngsters the instruments in an orchestra has been ruined in its retelling by Ian Beck. Trying to make it politically correct destroys the story. Amazon failed to warn customers of this. Since it would cost more to return it for a refund than the book cost, I guess I will just use it for fire fuel and search for the real story. In his effort to "save" the bad wolf, Beck imprisons the poor victim duck forever in the belly of the evil wolf The revision stinks.

  •     I use this version of Peter and the Wolf when I teach music classes to young children. I also use a separate CD (a good one is narrated by Leonard Bernstein).The reason I like to use this edition for the younger kids is because in the end the duck actually comes out of the wolf alive, even though that's not the way it originally was written.

  •     I grew up on this illustration and it has been very difficult to find but it was worth all the trouble for my son to be able to grow up with THIS version! Illustration does not get better than this, it is both classic and easy for a child to relate with without being "cartoony". Magnificent!

  •     The best! Had this years ago for my daughter & misplaced it so bought replacement here last week. Our 6 yr old grandson LOVED it & had a ball learning which instrument went with which character. Then we got another audio book version & googled YouTubes & went to the library for the DVD that won an award a couple of years ago. We are now obsessed! What a fun way to expose children to the orchestra! It helps that my grandson already has a nice appreciation for classical music! Never thought I'd see the day, but playing classical at times during his visits as a baby & toddler must have done something right!

  •     This edition will accompany nicely the recording done by David Bowie (and Eugene Ormandy with the Philadelphia Orchestra) narration and music of Peter and the Wolf. My two toddler grandsons both love the music and the story.

  •     LOVE!!!!


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