Favourite Beatrix Potter Tales: Read by stars of the movie Miss Potter Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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About the Author
Beatrix Potter (1866-1943). Her passion for the natural world lay behind the creation of her famous little books. A particular source of inspiration was the Lake District where she lived for the last thirty years of her life as a farmer and conservationist.
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There have been a few Beatrix Potter readings in the past. Caedmon recorded Claire Bloom's readings of Potter in the 1960s and 1970s, and there have been isolated tales read by Wendy Craig for EMI's Listen for Pleasure label. Only two companies have done complete recordings of her stories, Tellastory and Cover to Cover. Of these two, the Cover to Cover readings are so heavenly and divine. The cast of actors are perfectly matched to the tales and they delivered the stories responsively with a unique old-fashioned crispness and precision.
How does this new CD of readings measure up? They are nice, lovely and relaxing. I know that they occasionally lack the crisp delivery of past readings. The pacing of the readings is such that the words run into each other. However, Zellweger and company read with the appropriate delicacy and still respond to the moods of the tales.
Zellweger as Beatrix Potter kicks things off with her reading of Peter Rabbit. Although I detect a slight twinge of drawl and drawn-out vowel sounds, she successfully conceals her American origins when reading this story. She is suitably crisp and precise in the fast action scenes where Mr McGregor chases Peter about the garden.
Next up is Ewan McGregor's reading of Jemima Puddle-duck. His delivery and his timbre reminds me of the grave seriousness that coloured the Timothy West reading of the story. His reading suits the material very well.
The other two readings turn out to be better. The readings are ore alert and well-characterises. Emily Watson's reading of the Two Bad Mice is surprisingly good. She starts quietly when introducing the doll's-house and the dolls, later relishing the antics of the naughty mice when they raid it.
The best reading is saved for last: Lloyd Owen's reading of Mr Jeremy Fisher. His reading is the best of all. It is dramatic and well-paced reading and he matches the changing moods of the story. He switches between the idyllic moods and the dramatic moods, such as the trout that swallows Jeremy Fisher.
I know that I am partial to the well-produced 1980s readings, but this disc is still a pleasant collection of readings of Potter's tales.
Having all the main actors from the film actually reading some of the tales are nothing less than inspired!
Me and my baby (now close to 10 months)listen to this at night (after our own stories are read, and lights are out)as a nice back-setting to drift off to noddyland...
And sometimes in the day too...
It really is a lovely cd-and hopefully baby will be bi-lingual too...
I for one will give this as a christmas present to some friends with young children-these classic tales are a perfect example that children still enjoys a good story as contrast to the quick fixes in most contemporary cartoons, anytime!
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