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In conclusion: I am glad I bought this $3'ish book for my kid to listen to. He is 3.5 years old and has consistently enjoyed the audio-book of "the little engine that could" and "Goldilocks and the three bears". So I got him this book. We are enjoying the multiple stories. I did bookmark each chapter so I can remember which story is which chapter. Some stories are better than others, which is why my review is detailed below. My favorite story performances on this list is a toss up between Beauty and the Beast and The Princess and the Pea. Enjoy!
1. Beauty and the Beast,: 5 stars. Not the exact same as Disney cartoon version. No Village Hunk. Beauty isn't misunderstood in town, but she does have 2 mean selfish sisters (one burps allot) and her father does get captured due to the rose clipping fiasco.
2. Aladdin: 5 stars. Bit complicated of a story for 4 year old though. A 5 or 6 year old would get it easily. Everyone -and I mean EVERYONE-gets married. The characters are all silly and fun. Not Disney cartoon interpretation at ALL.
1. Sinbad the Sailor: 5 stars. 9 minutes long. Sound effects and music well placed. Confusing story. 5-6 year olds would understand the story a bit better. Giant farting Troll...what 5 year old boy wouldn't like this story….Multiple voices were used, but the number of characters would get confusing to little ones. "Blessed by the gods" isn't something I personally want my dear one hearing at such a young age...BUT the story is engaging and interesting. Sinbad adventures as a "delivery boy" for delivering silk. Luck seems to be the only thing that keeps him from dyeing, not wit, or friends, just luck.
4. Cinderella: 4 stars. Some sound effects. Voices are all distinct and the story moves fast. Great emotion and follows the classical well known story. All kids will understand it.
5. Billy Goats Gruff : 5 Stars. Liked the way the narrator moved the story along by speaking instantly after a sound effect or narrator line. Almost like the book itself has thought bubbles that ended up being voices and the narrator told the story around the thought bubbles.
6. Snow White: 4 Stars. 20 minutes long. Not exactly the same Disney Cartoon story. Only a few sound effects, but the different voices and expressive emotion was superb! Classic story with scary stepmother Queen Claudia who the story says "...believed she ate snow white's heart, therefore discovered the huntsman betrayed her.". No Prince rescue. Dwarfs rescue her 3 times!
7. The Emperor's New Clothes: 5 stars. 13 minutes. Background sound effects and voices worked well here, but at times when there are voices in the background it was a bit distracting. Energy is upbeat and easy to listen to. Points in the story would be hard for a 3 year old to understand because of the advanced words used. Impeccable vs Fancy...etc. That being said, how else will they learn words unless they hear them in context?
8. Sleeping Beauty: 5 stars. 16 minutes long. Some sound effects. Probably a bit long for a 4 year old. 7 flower fairies and 1 nasty fairy. Obviously a more modern interpretation. Voices are SO WELL done that I was intrigued. "footnote-like" comments the narrator makes are smirk worthy from an adult.
9. The Princess and the Pea: 5 stars. 15 minutes. Some sound effects. 4+ year old will get the story. It is non-conventional, but stays true to the original story. Voices are custom and narrator is awesome. The king is sexist and some comments are tastefully humorous. The interviews with the different princesses is adorable.
10. Jack and the Beanstalk: 5 Stars. Very few sound effects. 12 minutes. Cartoony voices are interesting and engaging. Story moves fast, which is good for the younger crowd 3-5years old. Ending isn't what I expected because I never recalled the giant having a wife.
11. Rapunzel: 5 Stars. 9 minutes. Music and sound effects in the background. Each character has a different accent and or voice. Wonderfully done! Great for younger crowd too 3-5 years old. Fairly true to the original story.
(Brenda & Robin Markwell)
12. Puss in Boots: 1 Star. Boring....no emotion and narrator has a dream state echo to her. Even I (a patent and understanding adult) skipped it after the first 2 minutes.
13. The Pied Piper of Hamelin: 3 Stars. Starts with a boring poem. No sound effects or music after narrator starts. Story and enthusiasm is better than their other narrated pieces.
14. The Frog Prince: 2 Stars. 6 minutes. Recording quality is ok, not great. To cover it they played music in the background the entire time. Narrator sounds horse throughout.
15. The Elves and the Shoemaker : 1 Star. 4 minutes long. Recording quality terrible. Echo dream like narrative-purposeful?!- throughout the entire narrative.
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