From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-Gruesome monsters and mysterious journeys, daring heroes and hazardous adventures-all the ingredients required by young listeners in search of a noble quest-are found in this gripping audio performance. Mary Pope Osborne distills the beauty and power of the Homeric epic's tales into simple, powerful language in two tales (Hyperion, 2002) that allow young voyagers to journey along with Odysseus as he returns home from the Trojan Wars. Osborne reveals her deep affection for Greek mythology in a relaxed, conversational spoken introduction to the recorded production that places the stories into the context of Ancient Greek history. She shares her belief that the deeds of strong female characters and heroic Odysseus hold relevance for today's children who must also deal with fears and anxieties, and who may take courage from these splendid role models. James Simmons, a Shakespearian actor, perfectly conveys the mood of the fateful events with his resonate British accent and lucid, expressive phrasing. No sound effects or additional actors are needed, as Simmons delivers an astonishing breadth of emotion and mood through expression ranging from suspenseful whisper to monstrous roar. The audio production includes Simmons' reading of Osborne's research notes, guide to the gods and goddesses, and background information on Homer and his epic poems. The fine quality of both Osborne's classical retelling and Simmons' dramatic performance encourage listeners to anticipate further collaboration on the four additional titles planned in the series.Mary Burkey, Grandview Heights City Schools, OH
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Mary Pope Osborne is the author of the bestselling Magic Tree House series. She has also written many acclaimed retellings of myths, folktales, and works of historical fiction.
James Simmons has worked extensively on stage and television and can be seen in the film version of Henry V.