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A fairytale in the tradition of Hans Christian Andersen – heart-warming and enchanting.

A fairytale in the tradition of Hans Christian Andersen – heart-warming and enchanting.
It is 1823 and the child is a loner who spends her time hiding in the Vienna Woods until she spies an old man - a music maker. And so begins an odd friendship which develops through their mutual love of music.

The man is composing a new work. It will break new ground. He fears it will be ridiculed and is aware that he is thought mad. He confides in the child, who sits for hours watching and listening as he revises and plays. She has a feeling for the music that he cannot fathom. And not only for the music, but for what he is. She knows his pain, his anger, his fear and also his gentleness. Together they give each other the courage to face their critics and dare to be different.

A tale of a song written by a man who couldn't hear for a child people thought strange. Yet the song will live forever in the heart and mind of every child where there's nurtured a love of music.


A Certain Music displays an appreciation of the lyrical nature of language, the emotional power of music and the ability of art to move us. It is a beautifully written, moving novel which will give pleasure to many young readers.


It’s a book full of gentle charm, enhanced by the delicate illustrations, a memorable experience for thoughtful readers.

Jo Goodman, Magpies

This tale for young readers concentrates on the themes of love, loss, faith and redemption. It is written in delicate and carefully considered prose, and demonstrates a perfect union between illustration and text.

Bookseller + Publisher

This is a beautiful story for readers of all ages who know what it’s like to be moved by certain music.

Good Reading

All credit to Celeste Walters for treating her readers with respect. A Certain Music balances moments of desperate sadness with rapturous joy and ferocious love, blending harsh reality with fairytale elements. Walters creates a tender tale, delicately complemented by Anne Spudvilas’ black-and-white illustrations.

The Age

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    September 3, 2012

    Vintage Classic Children's

    144 pages

    RRP $14.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    May 1, 2010

    Random House Australia

    144 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

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