This CD presents a storyteller's version of Rudyard Kipling's The
Jungle Book. In this one-hour CD, narrator Jim Weiss tells the exciting tale of Mowgli, a young boy raised by wolves. At first, I wondered what a storyteller's version might be like and how The
Jungle Book could be told in one hour. I usually prefer the unabridged version of anything, so I was a little skeptical. However, after reading about Jim and Randy Weiss and their goals, I was impressed. Great Hall Productions aims to bring stories (from classic literature and history) to life for children. The stories are told on a child's level, with care not to alter the authors' intent. This in turn helps children enjoy literature and creates a hunger for more.
The Jungle Book begins with a few words about Rudyard Kipling. I appreciated this and thought it an excellent addition to the CD; it is important for children to know about the author behind the tale. Jim Weiss encourages his listeners to find out more about Mowgli's adventures by reading The Jungle Book for themselves.
As mentioned, this is an abridged version. It is not the entire book on CD. It is Jim Weiss's version. He tells the story well and is a captivating storyteller. My children have listened to the CD over and over again and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, Weiss's dramatic telling has led to some very theatrical acting around my home as my 8-year-old tries to impersonate him.
This CD is intended for ages 7 and up. It would be very helpful for resistant readers, as it has the potential to create a desire to know more, which may lead a child to read the actual book! It is also purely fun family entertainment--a great addition to road trips and much better than many TV shows!
The only con here is that my children will miss a few surprises when they read The
Jungle Book in its entirety--kind of like watching a movie before reading the book. However, the exposure to good storytelling and good stories has many benefits; awakening a desire to read and learn is extremely valuable.
I plan to purchase a number of audio selections from Great Hall Productions and feel they will be a worthy addition to our home and school. I believe many children will enjoy Jim Weiss's version of The
Jungle Book and will be inspired to read the book afterward.