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Children's Fiction General

Anna Maria & Maestro Vivaldi

by (author) Jan L. Coates

illustrated by Francois Thisdale

Red Deer Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
General, Music, Individual Composer & Musician
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 4


This is the story of a young orphan whose only joy is the singing of her violin.

An 18th century composer who became one of the most renowned figures in European classical music. Here, their fictionalized story unfolds as Antonio Vivaldi guides Anna Maria toward becoming one of the most celebrated violinists of her time and finding a home in the heart of her famiglia musicale. With Anna Maria's synesthesia — her gift for "seeing" music — and an imagined context for the creation of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.

This is a poetic tale of belonging, diversity, and music history, set amidst the striking architecture of Venice.

About the authors

Jan L. Coates is the author of numerous books for young readers, including A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk, a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Ann Connor Brimer Award, as well as a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Her middle grade novels have been finalists for the Ann Connor Brimer Award, the Violet Downey Award, and the Hackmatack Children's Choice Award. Sky Pig received the 2017 Lillian Shepherd Award for Illustration and was shortlisted for a Willow Award. She lives, writes, and teaches in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Jan L. Coates' profile page


L’œuvre de François Thisdale mélange les techniques traditionnelles et l’imagerie numérique. Il est l’illustrateur de The Stamp Collector, qui a été sur la liste d’honneur IBBY, That Squeak, un livre qui s’est mérité une mention d’honneur pour le prix IBBY Canada Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver et Missing Nimama, lauréat du prix TD de littérature pour l’enfance et la jeunesse. François vit à Montréal, au Québec.


François Thisdale's work blends traditional drawing and painting with digital imagery. He is the illustrator of The Stamp Collector, which is on IBBY Honor List, That Squeak, an honour book for the IBBY Canada Elizabeth Mrazik- Cleaver Picture Book Award, and Missing Nimama, winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Book Award. François lives in Montreal, Quebec.


Francois Thisdale's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"I had the pleasure of tuning in to the online launch for this picture book. Getting to know the author and illustrator a little more and hear about the story behind the writing of this book and the process for the illustrations has only heightened my love for this hardcover book. I received this book from the publisher in December and have read and re-read it many times now and feel ready to give it the review it deserves… Told with richly evocative language. The relationship between the young orphan girl and Maestro Vivaldi is one of heart and a passion for music. The language in this book is melodious. I felt as if I was floating along on a Berceuse (lullaby) each page needing to be read Adagio (slowly) to savour the Cadence as Anna Marie and the Maestro take their bow together at the end of the book.
"Francois Thisdale has created a "symphony" for our eyes. Francois hits all the perfect chords with his illustrations. Each page is an octave higher than the last, richly layered and perfectly in tune with the story as it unfolds. In Francois' "cadenza" he has taken the opportunity to play freely and with artistic license to bring even more power to the beauty of Jan's chosen words.
"I encourage you to listen to Vivaldi's, The Four Seasons, while reading this story. It will enrich your experience as you sit with this masterpiece of story and illustration."
Atlantic Book Reviews

Other titles by Jan L. Coates

Other titles by Francois Thisdale