First Edition | Drawings by David Hockney | Published by Viking Press
The Dulcimer Boy
Illustrated by Brian Selznick | Published by HarperCollins

A weathered stranger delivers an old wicker chest to the Carbuncles’ doorstep. In it they find two sleeping baby boys and a beautiful, silver-stringed instrument. For the sake of appearing charitable to their neighbors, the Carbuncles take the boys in, but William and Jules are consigned to the chilly attic, and the dulcimer is locked away—until William is old enough to play it and discovers a natural musical talent that leads him on a bittersweet journey to self-discovery.

  • “Tor Seidler’s first book for children is a brilliant tale—half Dickens, half Thurber—that sparkles with imagination. The book handles language with liquid smoothness, provides action and suspense, and introduces a writer of importance . . . Throughout the derring-do, Mr. Seidler has woven a thread of poetry and mysticism one rarely finds in children’s books. He is a wonderful writer, and one looks forward to hearing from him again.”
    - The New York Times Book Review
  • "The Dulcimer Boy is a New England fable. It is at once a simple story and an ambiguous morality tale. It is like a piece of music whose harmonies are forever shifting; when resolution finally comes, it is for a moment only before the chord slips. It is a fairy tale where good and bad seem frequently and incomprehensively to come from the same source. Above all, it is an absolute delight. While it is billed for young readers, parents who do not read it aloud to their children will be missing a very special gem . . . Mr. Seidler has a way of looking at things as if for the first time; his style is concise, almost cryptic, and his poetic vision holds the narrative of this beautiful book together.”
    - Harvard Post
  • “ Innocence and adversity—real fantasy, this: a moving and elegant little work.”
    - London Observer
  • “ The Dulcimer Boy combines the most satisfying elements of classic children’s literature: adventure, wickedness, goodness, and deep unvoiced emotion . . . As in all fine stories, the current of the narrative pulls the reader along on the surface while the under-currents of meaning are felt beneath it, tugging at his emotions. For my money, Tor Seidler writes as beautifully as the dulcimer boy sings.”
    - Faith McNulty, The New Yorker
  • “This is an overwhelming book! The author . . . has captured the emotions, the sensitivity, and created curiosity in the tale so that it is impossible to put the book down! All ages will love it, beginning probably from eight or nine years old to one hundred and ten years of age.”
    - Nashville Banner
  • “ The Dulcimer Boy will be devoured with anticipation and delight.”
    - Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • “Here is the work of a master storyteller. He leads us deftly through cases of hidden identity, near misses with death, tricks of fate and wry twists of fortune. We are drawn page by page along to a conclusion that satisfies our curiosity and sense of justice. Charles Dickens restored, but with a new and sensitive talent”
    - Phoenix Sun
  • “The plot is delicately structured, the portrayal of characters understated but powerful, the denouement completely satisfying . . . the kind of book you will want to share with family and friends.”
    - St. Louis Post Dispatch
  • “The Dulcimer Boy is a haunting tale written with great delicacy and poignancy . . . The poetic style, the exciting story, the vivid characters, the magical quality of the brothers’ devotion to one another and to music are close to unforgettable.”
    - Buffalo Courier Express
  • “Fantasy, humor, and suspenseful plotting are inextricably bound in this exceptional story.”
    - Baltimore News American
  • “This haunting story, set in New England at the turn of the century . . . is more than a touch Dickensian in that it tells of youngsters cast into misfortune, cruelly treated, and assisted by a mysterious benefactor. Nevertheless, it is also highly original and is strikingly successful in evoking richness of scene and emotion through language which is spare and underplayed. The Dulcimer Boy would appeal to a very wide age range."
    - London Times