Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review: Plain Tales

My kids love audiobooks.  I love audiobooks.  So I was thrilled to get the opportunity to review a couple of CDs put out by a little company in Iowa -- Plain Tales.

The CD Johnny Appleseed and Other American Legends, is what we dug into first.  Thomas was going to be doing Tall Tales for Cub Scouts, so we listened to the Johnny Appleseed portion of this CD before his meeting.  We loved it.

The other two stories on this CD include Sacagawea and John Muir.  Like most children's biographies, there were certainly some elements put into the stories that we have no way of knowing if they are true or not.  But those aspects were plausible.  My kids enjoyed the stories, and they are something I'd be happy to let them listen to again.  The entire CD is 67 minutes, so each story is a nice length... long enough to convey a lot of information, but not so long that my kids lost interest.  My boys (ages 6 through nearly 13) all enjoyed this, but the 4 year old was not terribly interested.  I think if we had listened in the car, she would have been fine.

The second CD -- The Tales of Raccoon, Bear and Coyote -- is clearly fictional, but the stories do convey a good sense of what these animals are like.  My younger three (4, 6 and 9) particularly liked this volume.  The older two thought it was okay.  This CD is a bit shorter (48 minutes) which was a very nice length for the younger kids.

At $12.95 each, these seem to be a good value.  They have other titles, too, including Tall Tales, Fairy Tales and Dragon stories, and albums featuring the stories of Beatrix Potter, of Rudyard Kipling, and those of Hans Christian Andersen.

I have already put more of these on my wishlist at Amazon.  Great stuff!

I wonder if they have a store in Des Moines... hmmmm....

Disclaimer:  I did receive these two CDs for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.
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