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Enchanted Wood (Audio Cassette)
Member Name: nwheatstone
Enchanted Wood (Audio Cassette)
Date: 21/07/01, updated on 21/07/01 (2518 review reads)
Advantages: Breathes new life into story, classic childrens literature
Disadvantages: unecessary name changes
Having read all the Faraway Tree stories when I was small I could not wait to read them to my four year old daughter. We have now read them all and she has thorughly enjoyed them. However, she is also a fan of audiobooks and as she enjoyed the story so much I bought this as an addition to her chapter a night. However, I now find myself redundant!
The plot is thus:
Three children go to live in the countryside and stumble upon the Enchanted Wood and the Faraway Tree at the heart of it. Many interesting characters (Angry pixie, Dame Washalot, Moonface. Silky the fairy and my favourite Saucepan Man, to name but a few) live in the tree but the really magical thing is that different lands come to the top of the tree every few days. These range from the scary, such as Dame Slap's school, to the brilliant, i.e., the Land of Take What You Want. Various mishaps happen to the children and their friends during their many adventures, but there is always the required happy ending, with a moral to the story to boot.
Why the Audio version?
What makes the audio book stand out is Kate Winslet's reading. This fine actress from Sense and Sensibility, Heavenly Creatures and Hideous Kinky shows that her talents do not just lie on the silver screen. She really brings the story to life creating a voice for the magical world the children inhabit. I defy any adult or child not to be drawn completely into the tale thanks to this wonderful reading. The first night we put this on, I found my daughter awake five hours later. She had been so enthralled by the story that she had been putting tape after tape in just to see what happened next. The reading bought the plot alive in a way I, no thespian, ever could.
The story is a great also for kids imaginations as it allows endless possibilities for new lands, creating new games for you and your child to play. My daughter tells me in great detail now about which lands she would like t
o see at the top of the tree and we have great fun deciding what would be there and what might happen. Also, in having a moral to each tale, as I have already mentioned, it teaches that very old fashioned thing - good manners.
Any bad points:
Now we are in the 21st century some of Enid's more old fashioned ideas have been changed. Obviously some are necessary but I felt it a shame that the children's names had been changed (Bessie to Beth; Fanny to Frannie; Dame Slap to Dame Snap) as this caused some confusion between the three books and this tape.
I would say it was suitable from age four to eight or nine.
The tape is unabridged and runs at over five hours on four tapes.
It is published by Chorion, and includes a souvenir booklet.
There is an offer whereby you can send off for some free character stickers (v. popular in this household)
More info from www.blyton.com
One final thing: Kate..PLEASE follow this up with recordings of The Faraway Tree and Folk of the Faraway Tree.
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