NEW YORK – The latest picture book collaboration between Julie Andrews and daughter Emma Walton Hamilton was inspired by an unusual musical performance in Spain.
Abrams Children's Books announced Monday that “The Enchanted Symphony” will be published Sept. 12. Andrews and Walton Hamilton thought of the book during the first year of the pandemic, when they learned of “Concert for the Biocene,” in which a string quartet played in front of thousands — of plants, one for each seat at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu.
“The Enchanted Symphony” is a “hopeful fairy tale,” according to Abrams. It's set in a village “beset by a mysterious fog,” but revived by a “boy's simple melody.”
“While the fog in our book evokes our pandemic experience, it also symbolizes something larger: the creeping and countless distractions that prevent us from appreciating what truly matters most in life," Andrews and Walton Hamilton said in a statement.
“For us, it’s family, community, nature, and the arts that provide true beauty and meaning,” they said.
Andrews and her daughter have worked together on numerous other books, including the “The Very Fairy Princess” series and “The First Notes: The Story of Do, Re, Mi,” based on the famous song from “The Sound of Music.” They also plan a followup to “The Enchanted Symphony.”