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2010 Award
Ferdinand the Bull and Friends
( North Pacific Music $16.99 Score: )

There are several stories and music on this unusual CD that will inspire the imagination as well as providing an invitation to get up and move to the music. The title story, Ferdinand the Bull is narrated by David Ogden Stiers and accompanied by original music by Mark Fish, played with great verve by cellist Nina Flyer and pianist Chie Nagatani. Itís easy to forget that so much music can come from just two musicians. They are a dynamic duo! Stiersí narration sometimes feels a little muted in the narration, but that will simply call for closer listening. You might want to bring home the classic picture book by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The story of the gentle bull has filled the hearts of generations of children who relate to Ferdinand and his struggle to be himself. Even without the wonderful illustrations the music and words make pictures of another kind, seen in the mindís eye. Our personal favorite on this CD is the humorous collection of rhymes by Ogden Nash about the many creatures in Saint-Saensí Carnival of the Animals. The music just calls kids to become the lion, elephant, Tortoise and all the others as they galump, swim, pounce and more to the marvelous score. These two pieces would have been enough, but they are followed by Ravelís Mother Goose Suite with short excerpts of several stories. To finish off the CD, they added a dollop of Bach with Sheep May Safely Graze. This is a keeper. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Review Published: Click here to purchase the product on

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