Cover image for Peter and the wolf
Peter and the wolf
Wiencirz, Gerlinde.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : North-South Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Retells the orchestral fairy tale in which a boy ignores his grandfather's warnings and proceeds to capture a wolf.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 31104.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.P947 PE 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

On Order



Written in 1936, Sergei Prokofiev's symphonic fairy tale for narrator and orchestra has enchanted generations of children. This inviting picture book introduces a new generation of youngsters to the exciting story of the hungry wolf, the ill-fated duck, the fortunate cat, the fearless little bird, and the brave and cunning Peter, who helps save his friends from the wolf's jaws -- and the wolf from the hunters' guns.

Author Notes

The music of 20th century, Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev is a sharp mix of traditional and modern elements. His innovative style is characterized by emotional restraint, strong drumlike rhythms, harsh-sounding harmonies, and humor.

Prokofiev was born in the town of Sontzovka, in the Ukraine. His mother, an accomplished pianist, encouraged her young son to play along with her as she practiced. The young Prokofiev showed unusual talent and began composing music at the age of five. At the age of 13, he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied with some of the finest teachers of the day, including Rimsky-Korsakov. By the time he graduated in 1914, Prokofiev has established himself as a musical innovator.

In 1918 Prokofiev left Russia to appear as a pianist and conductor in Europe and the United States. While in America, he composed his most popular opera, Love for Three Oranges (1919), a musical satire of traditional operatic plots and conventions. From 1922 to 1933, Prokofiev lived mostly in Paris, where he composed two ballets, three symphonies, and four concertos.

In 1934 Prokofiev returned to the Soviet Union. Back in his native land, Prokofiev's style mellowed, and he accepted the idea that a state-supported artist must appeal to a wide audience. During the next few years, he composed some of his most popular and best-known pieces, including Peter and the Wolf (1936) and Romeo and Juliet (1938). Prokofiev won the Stalin Prize during World War II. However, in 1948 Prokofiev and other leading Russian composers were denounced by Soviet Communist party leaders for "antidemocratic tendencies alien to the Soviet people." He returned to favor in the early 1950s and enjoyed great success in the Soviet Union, winning the Stalin Prize a second time. By the year of his death, in 1953, Prokofiev's music had become well known throughout the world.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

K-Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.