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Julie Andrews and Her Daughter Pen New Children's Book

Join the Princess Diaries star and Emma Walton Hamilton on a magical journey in The Enchanted Symphony, a tale inspired by a Barcelona opera house that hosted a hall full of houseplants for a very special concert during the pandemic.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published September 27, 2023
Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton on BuzzFeed's "AM To DM" on October 15, 2019 in New York City
Image: Slaven Vlasic | Getty Images

Princess Diaries and Mary Poppins star Julie Andrews is back at it again with another whimsical and wonderful children’s book. Written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, The Enchanted Symphony is an inspiring picture book about the power of art, nature and community.

Illustrated by Elly MacKay, the colorful tome centers around a lively village beset by a mysterious fog. The town turns dull and silent; melancholy neighbors stop visiting each other and even going outside. Until one day, when a boy’s simple melody strikes a chord, reminding everyone of what matters most—even in the darkest of times.

Suitable for readers ages 4-8, Andrews and Hamilton drew their inspiration for the book from an opera house in Barcelona that was closed down during the pandemic but was brought back to life after a man had a quartet from the symphony play for a concert hall full of 2,000 houseplants.

“There’s a little video of it, isn’t there?” Andrews told Scary Mommy in an interview. “And you swear that the plants are maybe just trembling a little bit. And it’s possible that the plants are very much aided by or they love to hear music, if you are careful enough and watch enough,” she said.

Andrews and Hamilton noted that while the beautiful video and image captured what they were “most passionate about in the world, which is the arts and nature,” they didn’t want the book to center on COVID and rather came up with the idea of a mysterious fog that blankets the village being the reason the plants would gather in the opera house.

The mother-daughter duo intended the book to “Not so much as a metaphor for COVID, although it could certainly be that, but more as a metaphor for or any of the distractions in life that can pull us away from remembering the things that we value most,” Hamilton said.

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The Enchanted Symphony represents the 30th children’s book the pair has published in the past 27 years. Beloved favorites like Dumpy the Dump Truck and The Very Fairy Princess series, offer ways for children to fall in love with reading at a young age.

The Enchanted Symphony is currently available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Looking for more exciting stories for your little one? Check out The Best Children’s Books of 2023 So Far, According to Amazon Editors.

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