Praise and Reviews
"...the text has a beat all its own as it introduces the two men... Their collaboration brought the world The Rite of Spring, which opened to a riot in Paris... the acrylic artwork captures the innovation, the noise, and the excitement in swirling, whirling images crowded with color and movement. This one will make kids want to sit down and listen to the music for themselves."
"...Stringer winningly plays with the symmetry of the two names in her rhythmic text and dynamic page design. The vibrantly saturated colors of her paintings pulse with energy. Musical notes, figures rehearsing and boisterous crowds at the premiere fill the pages. Humorous details abound, notably an appealing dog and cat who watch the artistes create. Music and dance made entertaining and joyous." --Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"...Acrylic paintings swoop and curl with the fluidity of music and dance, echoed in the stylistic leaps of Stringer’s prose: “Then Stravinsky met Nijinsky.... His piano pirouetted a puppet, his tuba leaped a loping bear, and his trumpet tah-tahed a twirling ballerina.” The repetition and disruption of shapes creates a kind of visual syncopation… Stringer trusts readers with a challenging and exciting account of the transformative power of visionary, risk-taking art."
--Publisher's Weekly (starred)
"Composed with much alliterative, musical language, and onomatopoeia, this narrative flows beautifully... the story conveys their composition process in a lively, upbeat fashion, with a percussive vocabulary… Vibrantly colored illustrations, inspired by Matisse and Picasso, of the musical notes, instruments, and dancers depicted, enhance the tone of the story and complement the text well. A detailed note from the author, complete with photographs, provides interesting background information about Stravinsky, Nijinsky, and The Rite of Spring."
--School Library Journal (starred)
… "they squared them and flattened them, twisted and cubed them,” Stringer writes as her accompanying acrylics take a Cubist turn, reflecting what Braque and Picasso were showing around the same time... Stringer is primarily an illustrator, and a very good one. Animated spreads of composer and choreographer, dancer and musician, form an enchanting illustration of music composition. Pages of notation spring to life with swirls of color and movement. Russian dancers gesture and leap and clap their hands, feet poised on drums… It’s enough to make readers want to put down the book and turn on the music. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?"
--NY Times Book Review
"...The engaging text is filled with delicious phrases as Stravinsky imagines "night drums that rumble and fires that blaze" (unpaged) or how Nijinsky's "torso trumpeted a melody" (unpaged). The color-splashed acrylic illustrations are striking in their depiction of these creative, kindred spirits willing to take risks as well as the performers and musicians who stuck by them. Back matter includes information about the artistic tributes hidden within the illustrations and details about the ballet's creators, the ballet itself, and photographs."
-- IRA, Book Reviews: The History of America and Beyond
"A pivotal moment in modernism’s history —is the subject of this colorful, informative work from Minnesota writer/artist Lauren Stringer… Stringer has done her homework, filling her book with many visual references to the artistic greats of the early 20th century, like Picasso, Matisse and Léon Bakst. The big, juicy pages are overflowing with color and images as rich as the ballet itself. A terrific introduction to a 20th-century masterpiece."
-- The Star Tribune
"… the book is visually brilliant; each illustration is inspired by one or other of the great painters, movements, and themes of the period. Moreover, Stringer wisely includes a note from the author at the end of the story with more background about the two artists and The Rite of Spring."
-- San Francisco Classical Voice
"There are many children's picture books about music and musicians and dance and dancer's, but, believe me when I say there are none like this one. Stringer's words and music and her illustrations dance. She captures the excitement and movement of a turning point in music and dance history…Stringer's lyrical text and exuberant paintings reflect the artistic styles of the period without being imitative, expressing the joy, frustration and excitement of creative processes."
--Early Word, The Publisher/Librarian Connection
When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky
To purchase a copy of Lauren Stringer's When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky visit your local independent bookstore, or order online at: