Book & Cassette Live Oak Media 2002
CS ISBN 0874998905 $16.95 One cassettes
[Editor's Note: The following is a combined review with THE JOURNEY, SAVING SWEETNESS, and THE STRAY DOG.]--One of the joys of fall is the release of a wonderful crop of new audiobooks. All four of these selections from Live Oak Media are extremely well done--clear sound, appropriate music that enhances the telling but never becomes the focus, and perfectly cast narrators. In SAVING SWEETNESS, Tom Bodett provides just the right long, slow drawl for this Old West sheriff--not too bright but with a good heart. Bodett's fairly flat narration promotes visions of vast open desert and a slow, easygoing lifestyle. William Dufris, narrating Simont's THE STRAY DOG, also reads at a slow pace, allowing young readers time to take in the illustrations. In a story with little text, Dufris manages to convey the varied emotions the family goes through as they find, lose, then recover a charming stray dog; Dufris imbues the story with warmth and joy to accompany the exuberant illustrations. THE CHICKEN SISTERS, another silly story by Laura Numeroff, is brought to life with the slow, easy pace and wonderfully diverse voices of Barbara Rosenblat. Over soft clucking sounds in the background, Rosenblat gives each character a distinct, identifying voice. Over half the pages of THE JOURNEY have no text. Classical music pieces, perfectly suited to Hannah's moods and environment, enhance the story. Narrator Daisy Egan delightfully juxtaposes spunky Hannah's two very different worlds--her breathless excitement amid the crazy, lonely bustle of the city and her homesickness for the peaceful, supportive community of home. A wonderful choice for a one-on-one book or an independent reader, with many layers to consider for older readers. W.L.S. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine [Published: DEC 02/ JAN 03]
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