The Cello of Mr. O

Front Cover
Dutton Children's Books, 1999 - Juvenile Fiction - 32 pages
In this picture book about a war-torn city, a little girl struggles with many emotions. Her father is away fighting. There is no heating oil, and food is scarce. Bombs have devastated the neighborhood, so she and her friends must work out their anxieties and fears indoors.

Mr. O, the famous musician who lives upstairs, gets angry at them for their noisy hallway games. "You kids!" he shouts, as if just being a kid was a bad thing.

But when a rocket destroys the relief truck that brings their meager rations, Mr. O surprises them all. He takes his cello into the middle of the square -- where he can be seen by everyone, even by the attackers who blew up the supply truck -- and he plays. And through his music, the little girl learns that courage can sustain the soul just as bread sustains the body.

In glowing watercolors, Greg Couch beautifully captures Jane Cutler's stirring message about the resilience of the human spirit.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - alarso2 - LibraryThing

This is a fantastic book. In The Cello of Mr. O, Mr. O is a Jewish man who lives in a ghetto of a German occupied country during the holocaust. Living conditions are very poor, but Mr. O manages to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CatherineWillett - LibraryThing

“The Cello of Mr. O” was a fantastic picture book set during the Holocaust. What I liked the most about the book was the big picture, the fact that music can help you find peace. “The music of the ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Jane Cutler was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1936. When Jane was six she moved to Clayton, Missouri. In Clayton, Jane she was encouraged to read, draw, participate in drama and sports, and to do what she loved best: to write. Jane went to Northwestern University and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor's degree in English. In 1982, she graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master's degree in Creative Writing. In 1993, she published her first book for children. Both Jane and her books have won various awards.

Sue Stauffacher is a professional journalist and has been writing a children's book review column for 10 years. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Greg Couch is the illustrator of many children's books. He has received two Society of Illustrators Silver Medals. He lives in Nyack, New York.

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