Layered with energetic paint strokes, delicate ink drawings, and warm touches of charcoal and graphite, the compositions are full of high drama, nuanced emotion, and humor. Exuding a zest for living and loving, this nautical narrative is an ode to joy.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Ering has created an endearing picture book sure to enthrall young readers. Scratchy acrylic paint combines with ink, charcoal, and graphite to form atmospheric scenes—notably the roiling sea and ghostly fog—that capture the story’s drama and warmth. Youngsters will be smitten with Ering’s diminutive hero and cheer him on to the final page.
—Booklist (starred review)
Bold strokes and swaths of bright color telegraph cheer, and Alfred is an intrepid fellow, full of joy and curiosity. The violin is a lovely sidekick—no practicing, no lessons, just generously shared music—and the stream of happy coincidences makes this a joyful yarn.
Ering’s gorgeous paintings highlight the magic contained in an instrument beautifully played and the wonder of a safe return home. A book full of emotion that addresses the needs of all human hearts. A first purchase.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
The illustrations are very dramatic; one foggy page is completely devoid of all but clouds. This is a long picture book, but overall a nice addition to a picture book collection.
—School Library Connection
Ering’s illustrations are painterly and the story is told in sweeping brushstrokes that convey the essence of music.