Retail pak Barefoot Audio Books 2001
CD ISBN 1841484210 $19.99 Two CDs
[Editor's Note: The following is a combined review with SHAKESPEARE'S STORYBOOK, PRINCESS STORIES, and THE FABRICS OF FAIRYTALE.]--One of the delights of telling stories to children is seeing the excitement in their faces as they pick out familiar themes and characters, while waiting for the next twist in the plot. Likewise, they can enjoy the little tingles of fear when the villain appears because he or she is familiar from another story. Barefoot Books has created a delightful series of stories on CD, including stories from cultures all over the world, many of which are little known, or variations of the better-known folktales. PRINCESS STORIES is gently narrated by Margaret Wolfson in a well-modulated voice. She gives individual characters within each story their own voices, and becomes harsh or soft as the story demands. Patrick Ryan narrates SHAKESPEARE'S STORYBOOK with impeccable enunciation. He has less differentiation between the various characters, and his pacing is unpredictable, but overall he does well. GIANTS, GHOSTS & GOBLINS is an interesting collection--some charming stories, some too gruesome for younger children--all narrated in a down-to-earth country twang by Jerry Nelson. Although his male voices are more realistic than his female ones, he manages to convey, through tone and inflection, that all will end well. My favorite of the group, for both its stories and its narration, is THE FABRICS OF FAIRYTALE, charmingly narrated by Tanya Batt with a lovely, litlting brogue. Batt's narration melds sweetness, intelligence, and wisdom into the characters and uses just the right pacing to keep the stories flowing smoothly. In addition to the excellent narration, Barefoot Books provides a synopsis of each story, in order, so the listener can pick and choose by place or content, a benefit of the CD format. And the musical interludes at the beginning and end set the appropriate mood for each group of stories. W.L.S. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/JUL 02]
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