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We get enough submissions and offers these days that we, unfortunately, have to refuse most and don't always review even those we accept. One wishes that there were some scientific way of weeding out the worthwhile material ahead of time, but if there is we haven't discovered it yet. So, when the folks at Tell Me a Story contacted us about their new cd, I have to admit I mostly just took it because it would give us something to entertain the kids on a car ride. I honestly didn't expect more than a time-filler. Well, this collection of stories is very much more than that.

In the first place, the production values are excellent. The background music is good and the voice actors are uniformly excellent. But more than that, the selection of stories offers some really pleasant surprises. The tales were almost all new to me, at least, and if a couple were predictable, they were predictable in the most satisfying way--the unfolding stories leading naturally into a lesson with both narrative and moral clarity. But there's one story in particular that won me over: Searching for Fear. Gregory is a raccoon who doesn't know the meaning of fear, being fearless himself, and sets out in search of it. Personally, I was caught unawares when this seemingly simple tale turned into a profound metaphor about political power and the responsibility of governors. Get the disc for your kids, but make sure you're paying attention too.


Grade: (B+)


See also:

Children's Books
Amy Friedman Links:

    -Tell Me A Story (Amy Friedman and Jillian Gilliland)
    -Myths and Tales (Tell Me a Story)

Book-related and General Links: