Cover image for Listen to the storyteller : a trio of musical tales from around the world
Listen to the storyteller : a trio of musical tales from around the world
Balouch, Kristen, illustrator.
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume unpaged : color illustrations ; 24 cm
A collection of three original tales derived from diverse cultural and folktale traditions.
The lesson of the land (Native American) -- The face in the lake (Celtic) -- The fiddler and the dancin' witch (Afro-Caribbean)
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.2 1.0 32709.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8 .L687 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A willful boy and a dancing witch go to clamorous lengths to win a magic fiddle'.A maiden imprisoned by her cold heated brother is rescued by the power of love'.A quest for knowledge leads three boys on an unforgettable journey'.Inspired by Afro-Caribbean, Celtic, and Native American lore, this engaging trio of original stories comes to vivid life in stunning, collage-like illustrations by Kristin Balouch. In addition, each story has been interpreted through specially commissioned music (available on a separate CD or cassette from Sony Classical*) by three of today's most well known composers ?Wynton Marsalis, Patrick Doyle, and Edgar Meyer. The result is a unique storytelling experience that also provides the most refreshing way in which to introduce children to classical music since Peter and the Wolf.* Sony Classical is simultaneously releasing the companion CD to this book, with original music by Wynton Marsalis, Edgar Meyer, and Patrick Doyle; narration by Kate Winslet, Wynton Marsalis, and Graham Greene; musical performances by Joshua Bell (violin), Edgar Meyer (bass), Jerry Douglas (dobro), and the Orchestra of St. Luke's.

Author Notes

Kristen Balouch was recently selected by Publishers Weekly as a "Flying Start" for her first book, Listen to the Storyteller . This is her second book.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In her picture book debut, Balouch's electric compositions resembling cut-paper collage bring a distinctive verve to three original tales inspired by folklore. The artist's arresting, often swirling perspectives and bold use of solid colors make a lasting impression. First up in the text is Caribbean-influenced "The Fiddler and the Dancin' Witch," featuring a boy who faces a witch in a dancing, fiddling showdown in order to win a magic fiddle. The witch, sporting dreadlocks and kicking up her heels in a red skirt adorned with fish bones against an olive-green backdrop, is one of many memorable images here. In "The Lesson of the Land," a Native American boy on his vision quest learns the importance of respecting the earth. And from the European tradition, "The Face in the Lake" stars a beautiful maiden who comes to recognize that love truly is blind. Though the evocative tales each hold their own on the page, this volume serves as a companion to an audio CD from Sony Classical (see Children's Audio/Video, Aug. 9) containing musical interpretations of the stories by three composers and narration by Marsalis and actors Graham Greene and Kate Winslet. Enjoyed alone or with its audio counterpart, this mini-collection provides an imagination-stretching jaunt for readers and listeners. All ages. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-A disclaimer at the beginning of this book states: "While the stories in this book contain themes, characters, and situations reminiscent of folktale traditions found throughout the world, each tale is wholly original ." The first part of this statement is true-the stories are derivative-but the second part is a total contradiction. It is not possible to lift material from previous works and then lay claim to originality. "The Fiddler and the Dancin' Witch" is a reworked version of Pete Seeger's story-song Abiyoyo (Macmillan, 1986), relocated from South Africa to the Caribbean, and the livestock-devouring giant replaced by a nasty witch. "The Lesson of the Land," loosely based on the Native American rite of passage, the vision quest, and "The Face in the Lake," said to be inspired by folklore from the Celtic Highlands, are mediocre and predictable. Balouch's illustrations, done in acrylics, are abstract collages that change primarily through color to capture the various cultures presented-turquoise blue and pinks for the Caribbean, olive green and browns for Native American, and pastels for the Celtic Highlands. For a book that draws on folklore traditions but emerges as a fresh and original entity, see Audrey Wood's Heckedy Peg (Harcourt, 1987).-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.