Book & Cassette Weston Woods Studios 2000
CS ISBN $12.95 One cassettes
[Editor's note: The following is a combined review with JOHNNY APPLESEED.]--Listen and savor the stories of two remarkable people, one a pillar of American folklore and one not so well known but equally beloved. In Reeve Lindbergh’s poem, the hero is Johnny Appleseed, and in Barbara Cooney’s MISS RUMPHIUS, the heroine is Alice Rumphius. During their lives each of these people has done just what Miss Rumphius’s grandfather had admonished her to do--namely “do something to make the world more beautiful.” In Lindbergh’s poem we witness the travels and traits of Johnny Appleseed through the eyes of Hannah Dustin, whose path crossed with his poignantly during their lives. Mary McDonnell shares the wonders of this quiet, proud American in a calm, modulated voice. She leaves time for the listener to consider Johnny’s accomplishments and to appreciate the myriad of details in Kathy Jacobsen’s artwork. (The activities in each changing season, Johnny’s labors, and the growth of the American nation are richly portrayed in the borders and full-page spreads.) The musical accompaniment provides a jaunty, period flavor. The music of MISS RUMPHIUS mirrors the activities in the life of Alice Rumphius, from her youth in a busy seafaring town to the heights and far reaches of her travels and to her home by the sea. Claire Danes empathizes with this sturdy character and shares her pride of accomplishment as well as her puzzlement at how to fulfill her grandfather’s wish. There is joy for both Miss Rumphius and the listener when the lupines bloom. Cooney’s cool palate of lupine blues, purples, and pinks washing the countryside, illuminating Miss Rumphius’s travels, and sliding in and out of fog is breathtaking. Apples? Lupines? What will you do to make the world more beautiful? A.R. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 01]
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