Friday, July 1, 2011

"The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter

Source: Denver Public Library Podcast (mp3)
Length: 6 min, 40 sec
Reader: Miss Lydia

The story: I'll admit it. Now that I'm older, I identify more with Mr. McGregor than with Peter Rabbit. My backyard garden has been assaulted by rabbits and chipmunks, most of whom eat only a few bites of a nice red tomato, then leave the rest of it mashed and ruined. I've tried fences, nets, and spraying with chili pepper infused water, but to no avail. I guess I'll have to start chasing them around with a rake.

For younger, non-gardening listeners, though, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" has all the wonderful details that have made it a classic of bedtime stories. The description of Peter sneaking into the garden has all the suspense of being where you're not supposed to go as a child. When Mr. McGregor inevitably shows up to chase Peter, there's enough danger to be exciting, but not so much that it's scary. Every child should know this story by heart.

Rating: 8 / 10

The reader: Miss Lydia has the gift of storytelling, and here she has great material to work with. She modulates her volume, pitch and pace to keep up with the changes in situations in which Peter finds himself.  Lydia has a pleasing middle American voice that lends its warmth to Potter's words. This is the perfect recording to play for short trips in the car or while following along with the book's illustrations.

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