That's why I was excited to have the opportunity to review the Story Harbour: Vol. 1, performed by Zette Harbour. This CD contains 50 minutes of folklore about life from all over the world. The six stories are not only entertaining, they're also tales that describe basic human desires and the consequences and rewards of each.
Track 1: Anansi & StoriesI'm going to tell you something about me that I'm slightly embarrassed about: I am terrible at reading aloud. First, my eyes are much faster than my mouth and I'm slightly dyslexic - I end up scrambling up the words on the page and often need to start over. It drives the kids nuts! The other day, after my third screw-up, Little Guy closed the book and told me he's wait for Brubber to get home to read it. Yeah, it's that bad. And, even on a good day, I mess things up. I try to give the characters voices to make the stories more fun. Ha! Either I end up giving them all the same silly voice, or I get mixed up over which voice is whose and none of the characters ever has the same voice twice in a story. (Good thing there are lots of pictures so Little Guy doesn't get confused over who is talking!)
Track 2: Master Of All Masters
Track 3: The Little Old Woman Who Lived In A Vinegar Bottle
Track 4: The Crane Wife
Track 5: The Sound Of The Money
Track 6: The Innkeeper's Clever Daughter
Zette Harbour isn't just good at telling stories, she's a brilliant performer who can paint a beautiful picture in your mind with only her spoken words. Her story-telling style grabs your attention from the first word and has you listening with rapt attention. She gives the perfect voices to her characters and even includes accents based on where in the world the story originated. She adds excitement to her stories by speeding up and slowing down her speech, her tones rise and fall with the emotions in the stories. I could listen to Story Harbour, Vol. 1 repeatedly through the day and not get tired of it - I'm serious!
Now, it all well and good that I like this CD, but what about the kids? They both love it as much as I do! My oldest has always been fond of folklore and was excited to hear it playing when he came home from school last week. He was being "cool" and nonchalant about it, though. Rather than dropping his bag and heading outside to "hang", he sat in the kitchen and listened until the CD was over.
And then there's Little Guy. He's just turned three and doesn't have a lot of patience for many things. The first time I played Story Harbour, I was doing it for myself for this review. He was busy playing with cars, puzzles and guys all at the same time. After the first story, Anansi & Stories, I realized that it had gotten quiet - no more cars smashing into one another, no frustrated whining about a puzzle piece not fitting right, and I hadn't been hit in the head with a flying elephant for some time. Nope - Little Guy was sitting on his little chair with his hands folded in his lap, intently listening to the stories! It was especially surprising because some of the vocabulary is beyond his understanding. I guess he was doing what I did with Grimm's - just doing his best to understand. We've been listening to one story a night before bed lately. As he's falling asleep, we talk about the story. I'm really liking this new ritual!
Would you like a chance to share this wonderful CD with a little one in your life? Heck, you don't need a child around to enjoy this CD - enter if you love a good story!