Simeon's Gift

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9780060089146: Simeon's Gift

CD included with a reading by Julie Andrews Edwards

In a faraway time and place, a humble musician named Simeon sets out on a quest. Thirsting for knowledge and eager to improve his craft, he risks losing all that is important to him, including the love of his beautiful Sorrel.

The journey brings many discoveries, and though he tries hard to absorb the vast new tapestry of sounds and ideas before him, the scope of choices eventually becomes overwhelming.

Dispirited, he turns for home -- and alone in the grace of nature, he experiences a series of wondrous events that lead him to the discovery of his own true self, and the glorious gift he has to offer.

Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton -- with stunning illustrations from Gennady Spirin -- weave a magical tale with a timeless lesson about beauty, music, and the power of giving.

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Review:

Convinced that his "lowly status" and the "simplicity of his art" will never provide more than a "meager existence" for his beloved, minstrel Simeon sets out on a fairy tale-like quest to free the music "deep in his soul." He encounters a veritable symphony of new sounds on his pilgrimage--the insistent beat of soldiers' drums, the harmonic chanting of monks, the general cacophony of a big city--but sadly, this barrage of new sounds bewilders and overwhelms Simeon, who feels his own attempts at song suffer in comparison. Lonely and weary, he abandons his quest and trades his lute for a canoe to take him home. On the way, Simeon befriends a bright little bird, a beautiful fish, and lovely fawn who become his companions. Heartened by his new friends and overjoyed to see his beloved Sorrel, Simeon breaks into song and discovers the music of his soul.

Julie Andrews Edwards, author of The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles and star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, has teamed up again with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton (Dumpy the Dumptruck, etc.), for an original story with all the elements of traditional fairy tales. Award-winning illustrator Gennady Spirin creates magical pictures that hearken back to Renaissance era artists. Also includes a reading by the charming Julie Andrews Edwards. (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

About the Author:

Julie Andrews Edwards is one of the most recognized figures in the world of entertainment. She is perhaps best known for her performances in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Princess Diaries. Ms. Edwards is the author of many favorite children's books, including Mandy, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, and the Little Bo series. She and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, an arts educator and theater professional, have coauthored over twenty books for young readers, including Simeon's Gift, The Great American Mousical, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother & Child, and the recent New York Times bestsellers The Very Fairy Princess and Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. Emma is also the author of Raising Bookworms.



Gennady Spirin was born near Moscow in the former Soviet Union. His delicate watercolor illustrations echo the great masters of the Renaissance. Mr. Spirin has received four gold medals from the Society of Illustrators, the Golden Apple from the Bratislava International Biennial, and First Prize at both the Bologna and Barcelona International Book Fairs, and has appeared on The New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year list four times.

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