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Peter and the Wolf

Press:Puffin Books Puffin Books; Reprint edition (September 2, 1986)
Publication Date:1986-09
Author Name:Sergei Prokofiev


The classic orchestral fairy tale of a brave boy who captures a wolf comes to brilliant new life. 
Maria Carlson’s translation and Charles Mikolaycak’s soft, inviting illustrations make for a fine update of Sergei Prokofiev’s beloved story.
Paired with the original orchestral composition or read by itself, this book makes a wonderful addition to any family’s story time.Received a Society of Illustrators notation.

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

PreSchool-Grade 3?Beck's sprightly retelling of Prokofiev's famous musical fairy tale is especially well suited to young children. 
He makes every word count in his simple yet elegant narrative.
The text is set in clear attractive type, boxed in with a border that incorporates the instruments associated with the characters on the page.
This device generally works well, but is not totally consistent.
Some children (and adults) will need to flip to the last page where the instruments are identified.
The illustrations are bright and nonthreatening, the scariest being a portrait of the wolf right after he swallows the duck, which some might find unnerving.
The paintings are rendered in muted pale colors accented with deep, vivid reds, blues, and greens.
Beck's style is more straightforward than the folk-art inspired illustrations of Josef Palecek (Picture Book Studio, 1991) and cheerier than the more somber oil paintings by Michele Lemieux (Morrow, 1991; o.p.).
He places less emphasis on the introduction of the musical instruments, but that does not detract from the book's appeal.
This one is sure to please, whether read one-on-one or to a group.?Donna L.
Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PACopyright 1995 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. 
Peter has been warned by his grandfather to keep out of the meadow, but "boys like him aren't afraid of wolves," and when a big gray wolf swallows a duck, brave Peter goes wolf-hunting, armed with a rope and his wits.
Beck faithfully retells Prokofiev's tale, working in some sly humor in both text and illustrations.
The cheery paintings show a Russian spring, with a jaunty young Peter and a wolf who is both scary and comical.
The final page discusses the story's origins as an orchestra piece, showing the instruments played for each character, and Beck borders the text with the instrument for each animal being discussed, making it easy to follow the story through pictures while listening to the music.
Susan Dove Lempke

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

From Kirkus Reviews

There have been many fine editions of Prokofiev's ``orchestral fairy tale'' since the first one (1940), which was elegantly illustrated by calligrapher Warren Chappell; Lemieux's is a worthy addition to this distinguished company. 
Using oils applied to pick up the texture of her canvas and a palette of blues, sunshine yellow, brick, and a keynote forest green, she creates boldly decorative scenes, inducing tension with dramatic points of view and providing just a few details of costume, facial types, etc., to give a Russian flavor.
The narrative is straightforward and acceptable; the link with the musical composition is noted in a brief introduction and an accompanying illustration with the characters playing the instruments that represent them.
(Picture book.
3+) -- Copyright ©1991, 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

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

Language Notes

Text: English, Russian (translation)

--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

Sergei Prokofiev was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist, and conductor. 
Creator of masterpieces across numerous musical genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century.
His works include the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet – from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken – and Peter and the Wolf. He created seven completed operas, seven symphonies, eight ballets, five piano concertos, two violin concertos, a cello concerto, a Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra, and nine completed piano sonatas.Charles Mikolaycak was best known for his Children's book illustrations. His book I Am Joseph was an ALA Notable Book, Peter and the Wolf received a Society of Illustrators notation, and Babushka was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book.


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

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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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