Trade Ed. Listening Library 2005
CD ISBN 0307280748 $30.00 Four CDs
DD ISBN $21.00
Library Ed. Listening Library 2005
CS ISBN 0307283801 $30.00 Three cassettes
CD ISBN 030728381X $38.00 Four CDs
The fairy tale quality of Philip Pullman's latest is enhanced by Graeme Malcolm's gentle, almost singsong, narration. A scarecrow, brought to life by a freak lightning strike, and an orphan boy, Jack, embark on a quest to reclaim Spring Valley from the corrupt Buffaloni family. They drift from disaster to disaster, dogged by an oily lawyer working for the Buffalonis, but the overall tone remains silly enough that none of it ever feels truly threatening. Malcolm has plenty of opportunities to exercise a variety of accents (although why people with Italian surnames all sound British is an unresolved mystery). The fantastic Grand Congress of Birds allows Malcolm the chance for more vocal acrobatics. Younger listeners will be intrigued by the talking birds and the subtle central conflict of industry versus conservation. J.M.D. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 06]
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