Nina’s Waltz, by Corinne Demas

Nina’s Waltz
by Corinne Demas
Illustrated by Deborah Lanino
Orchard Books
ISBN: 0-531-30281-4
Copyright 2000
Children’s picture book, 32 pages, $16.95

Author’s website:

Reviewed by Mayra Calvani

Early one morning in the serene landscape of the countryside, Nina and her Dad take a trip to a fair, where a violin contest will take place. The prize is two hundred dollars, money they need, as they’re a poor family. Her dad, who in Nina’s eyes is the best player in the whole world, plans to play a tune he wrote especially for Nina, “Nina’s Waltz”. Once at the fair, however, a wasp stings his hand and he’s unable to play. Who will take his place? Will Nina do it? But how, when she’s petrified by the idea of playing in public?

This is a charming tale about the magic of violin music and the loving bond between father and daughter. The author, using simple yet softly lyrical prose, shows us a glimpse into a young girl’s life and her resolution not to let her dad down. This is also a story about the power of self esteem and believing in oneself. The illustrations are beautiful and even dream-like at times, bringing to life the countryside, Nina, and the ethereal magic of violin music. This would make a lovely present to any little violin player, especially a girl.

I feel sorry when books like this go out of print. Copies are still available from ‘Other sellers’ at


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