Tag Archives: Africa

Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories: How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Game Got His Hump, How the Leopard Got His Spots, The Monkey People


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Blog 2 Info

Title:  Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories: How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Game Got His Hump, How the Leopard Got His Spots, The Monkey People

Author:  Rabbit Ears

Genre:  Animals / Folktale / Manners / Respect / Africa / Colombia
Year Published: 2007

Year Read: 2009

Series: Rabbit Ears Treasury

Publisher:  Listening Library (Audio)

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 7+ (Some Rude Behavior)

Blog 1 Introduction logo

Rhino

“Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories” is one of the first audio CDs released from Rabbit Ears Entertainment (or Rabbit Ears Productions as I fondly love to call it) and this audio CD features four stories called “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin,” “How the Camel Got His Hump,” “The Monkey People” and “How the Leopard Got His Spots.” Each story is narrated by a famous celebrity during the 80s and 90s and it will be an instant treat for anyone who is a huge fan of Rabbit Ears stories!

Blog 3 Summary
Since I have already reviewed some of these stories on separate reviews, I will just briefly summarize each story:

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin
Told by: Jack Nicholson
Music by: Bobby McFerrin

When a rude rhinoceros eats the Parsee Man’s delicious cake, the Parsee Man starts to take revenge on the rude rhinoceros.

How the Camel Got His Hump
Told by: Jack Nicholson
Music by: Bobby McFerrin

When an arrogant camel refuses to do his share of work, it is up to the Djinn of all Deserts to set the camel straight.

Monkey

The Monkey People
Told by: Raul Julia
Music by: Lee Ritenour

When an old man comes to a village full of lazy people and shows them monkeys cut out of leaves doing all the chores, the people learn the hard way about the importance of hard work.

How the Leopard Got His Spots
Told by: Danny Glover
Music by: Ladysmith Black Mambazo

When all the animals moved to the forest to hide from the Leopard and the Ethiopian, the Leopard and the Ethiopian must learn to camouflage themselves in order to eat to survive!

Blog 4 Pros
Oh my goodness! Imagine my surprise when I first heard about this animal series coming out on audio CD! I was so excited about listening to Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover and Raul Julia narrating these fantastic tales that I remembered from my youth! Each story was extremely interesting to the next story and the narrators and the musicians have both done an excellent job at narrating and providing appropriate music to each story. Out of all four stories featured on this audio CD, my favorites were “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin” and “How the Camel Got His Hump” which were both narrated by Jack Nicholson and both had music by Bobby McFerrin. In both stories “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin” and “How the Camel Got His Hump,” Jack Nicholson narrates both stories in an extremely silky voice that soothes you to the bone as you hear him narrate these stories and anyone who has seen Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” will definitely be surprised at how calm he sounds in narrating these stories! Bobby McFerrin is truly magnificent in providing music for each story as he mainly uses his voice to create music for each story which brings so much creativity to the stories. Another story that I enjoyed on this disc was “How the Leopard Got His Spots” as I loved the way that Danny Glover narrates this story in an African accent which brings creativity to this story and Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s music is truly wonderful as they vocally sing in African tones.

Blog 5 Cons
Again, there is no book to go with this audio CD; however the narration and the music provided in this audio CD will help many fans still love this audio CD. 

Blog 6 Overall
All in all, “Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories” is a true treat for fans of the fantastic Rabbit Ears series and who love Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover and Raul Julia and I am sure that many children and adults will love this audio CD for many years to come! I would recommend this audio CD to children ages seven and up since the “Just So Stories” might be too complicated for younger children to understand.

5 stars
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Story Discussions #6: Koi and the Kola Nuts (1991)


Koi and the Kola Nuts (1991)

Hey everybody! Welcome to “Story Discussions,” where we talk about various Rabbit Ears stories each week and you can talk about what you liked or hated about the Rabbit Ears story we will discuss for that week.

 
This week’s Rabbit Ears story we will be discussing this week is:

 
Koi and the Kola Nuts (1991)
Narrated by: Whoopi Goldberg
Music by: Herbie Hancock
Illustrated by: Reynold Ruffins

 

I have always loved reading African folktales and “Koi and the Kola Nuts” was one of my favorite stories ever being told!  I loved the fact that this story is trying to teach children about the importance of showing respect to other people, such as Koi in this story is trying to earn the respect that he deserves when his own village didn’t even respect his prescence after his father dies and he has to end up doing so many difficult tasks to prove to a new village that he came across that he deserves their respect.  Whoopi Goldberg’s narration is truly uplifting and I loved the way that she brings so much emotion and drama to this story. Herbie Hancock’s African influenced music greatly complements the story’s exotic nature and Reynold Ruffins’ illustrations are gorgeous to look at as everything looks so colorful and they really capture the beauty of Africa!

 
So, what did you liked or hated about Whoopi Goldberg’s “Koi and the Kola Nuts?”

 
Please feel free to answer below!

Koi and the Kola Nuts by Brian Gleeson


Koi and the Kola Nuts (1991)

 

Blog 2 Info

Genre: Folktale / Africa / Respect / Royalty / Animals

Year Published: 1991

Year Read: 1999

Series: We All Have Tales

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books
Blog 1 Introduction logo
I have grown up with this story ever since I was a child and I still love it to this very day! “Koi and the Kola Nuts” is an African folktale from the folks at Rabbit Ears and it is about how a young and proud chief’s son named Koi tries to journey to a land where it treats the son of a chief with respect while meeting several friends along the way. With Whoopi Goldberg’s amazing narration, Herbie Hancock’s brilliant African styled music and Reynold Ruffins’ colorful illustrations, “Koi and the Kola Nuts” is a truly wonderful folktale that everyone will love for many years to come!
Blog 4 Pros

This story was simply amazing! Whoopi Goldberg has done an excellent job at narrating this story as she brings a royal tone to the story, especially in voicing Chief Faliliki. I also loved the way that Whoopi Goldberg voiced Koi as being a young boy who is proud yet kind-hearted at the same time as it really made me relate more to Koi’s situation to find a village that treats him better. I also loved the way that Whoopi Goldberg brings humor to the story, especially during the scene where the villagers chant out this verse when Koi comes to town:


“He’s no son of a chief.
He’s merely a thief.
There’s nothing worse,
Than an ozu with a curse.
Let’s have a great big feast,
Or a little one at least.”

And when Whoopi Goldberg was literally laughing while saying this verse, it really made me love this scene even more! Herbie Hancock’s music was beautifully mesmerizing as it has African sounds embedded throughout the music and it really made me fully appreciate the beauty of African music while at the same time, providing the story a calming feel. Probably the highlight of Herbie Hancock’s music was during the scene with the alligator where the music turns dark and deep and it greatly complemented with the frightening appearance of the alligator and moving smoothly with the underwater scene the alligator was in. Reynold Ruffins’ illustrations are extremely colorful and beautiful, especially of all the different animals that Koi encounters. My favorite image from this story has to be where Koi meets the alligator and when the alligator licks its jaws to indicate his point of eating the Rainmaker’s dog, his tongue is pink and ridged which gives him a somewhat frightening expression.

Koi

Blog 5 Cons
Parents should know that there is a theme of cannibalism in this story as Koi is threatened many times throughout this story that he will be eaten by the villagers unless he can complete the tasks set out for him. This might be extremely upsetting for younger children and parents might want to wait a few years before they show this story to their children.

Blog 6 Overall

Overall, “Koi and the Kola Nuts” is a brilliant story that both children and adults who are huge fans of African folktales will easily love for many years. I would recommend this story to children ages six and up since the cannibalism theme might frighten smaller children.

5 stars

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

How the Leopard Got His Spots by Rudyard Kipling


How the Leopard Got His Spots Book Cover

Blog 2 InfoGenre: Africa / Changes / Friendship

Year Published: 1989

Year Read: 1994

Series: Storybook Classics

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo“How the Leopard Got His Spots” is the fourth of the “Just So Stories” to be introduced in the Rabbit Ears Storybook Classics Series. The story features narration from Danny Glover, African music from Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Lori Lohstoeter’s colorful and beautiful illustrations.

Blog 4 ProsDanny Glover narrates the story with an African accent, making this story filled with an African culture feeling to the story. Also, Danny Glover’s narration is full of energy as he seems to be ecstatic about narrating this “Just So” story. Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s African influenced music is mostly filled with the vocal talents of each member and in perfect harmony, they create a soothing and energetic vocal sounding music that greatly enhances the African roots of the story. Lori Lohstoeter’s illustrations are beautiful and colorful as the illustrator masterfully illustrates each animal with vibrant colors, especially when they changed their colors. The illustrations that are the true highlights of this story are the images of the Leopard drawn as an extremely beautiful creature as he is mostly yellow at first and is more beautiful when his skin is full of purple and reddish spots. Also, the Ethiopian is drawn as a calm and chubby man and when he changes his colors, he becomes more vibrant as he gets darker.

Blog 5 ConsThe only problem I found with this story is that Danny Glover’s narration is a bit difficult to understand. Danny Glover sounds as if he has a sore throat when narrating this story as his voice tends to give out on him at certain times such as, when he was describing the animals in the High Veldt and you can barely hear the words “Eland” and “Hartebeest” since his voice gets soft at these words.

Blog 6 Overall“How the Leopard Got His Spots” is another classic from the “Just So Stories” collection and is truly a memorizing story about going through changes in life. This story is probably the most energetic and attractive of the four “Just So Stories” introduced on Rabbit Ears and is surely to delight children ages eight and up.

Blog 7 Awardshttp://etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1989  Parents’ Choice– Honor Award – Silver

http://etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1990  Grammy Award Nomination – Best Recording for Children

http://etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1990 Action for Children’s Television (ACT) Award

5 stars

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales Volume 3: The Bremen Town Musicians and Koi and the Kola Nuts


Blog 2 Info

Genre: Fairy Tales / Folktales

Year Published: 2007

Year Read: 2012

Series: Rabbit Ears Treasury: World Tales #3

Publisher:  Listening Library (Audio)

Blog 1 Introduction logo

Now how many of these “Rabbit Ears Treasury” audio CDs will I have to listen to just to be satisfied?  All of them of course! So, imagine my surprise when I finally picked up another “Rabbit Ears Treasury” audio CD, which is called “Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales Volume 3: The Bremen Town Musicians” and “Koi and the Kola Nuts” and I definitely enjoyed both stories on this CD!  “Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales Volume 3” is definitely an audio CD that you will enjoy for many years to come!

Blog 3 Summary
I have pretty much already summarized both of these stories through their book counterparts, so I will just briefly summarize each story:

The Bremen Town Musicians
Told by: Bob Hoskins
Music by: Eugene Friesen

The Bremen Town Musicians

When a donkey is threatened with death because he had grown too old to work on the farm, he decides to run away to the town of Bremen and along the way, he meets a cat, a dog and a rooster who were also in the same predicament as he was.  Further down, the four friends meet up with a band of robbers and they prove to be a match for the unsuspecting robbers!

Koi and the Kola Nuts
Told by: Whoopi Goldberg
Music by: Herbie Hancock

Koi and the Kola Nuts

When the youngest son of the former chief, Koi, only receives a Kola Nut tree after his father’s death, he decides to go to a village that would treat him with respect.  Unfortunately, Koi ends up in a village that wants to eat him and he must complete three impossible tasks in order to avoid being thrown into the cooking pot!

Blog 4 Pros
Wow! The “Rabbit Ears Treasury” series just keeps getting better and better!  These two tales are excellent to listen to and my favorite of the two stories is “Koi and the Kola Nuts” since Whoopi Goldberg does a brilliant job at narrating this ancient African folktale.  I loved the way that Herbie Hancock’s music just flows so well with this story as it contains an African beat that truly defines the African feel of this story and Whoopi Goldberg’s narration is smooth and regal as she narrates the story of a young prince who wants to be treated in a respectful manner, while meeting some great animal friends along the way.  In the other story “The Bremen Town Musicians,” Bob Hoskins has done an excellent job at narrating the classic Brothers Grimm tale as his narration is both hilarious and engaging to listen to.  Eugene Friesen’s music is both creative and hilarious to listen to as I find myself enjoying putting together the different instruments that go with each animal (the rooster has a voice that sounds like bagpipes and the cat has a voice that sounds like a violin) and Eugene Friesen’s music beautifully complements with these elements of each animal.

Blog 5 Cons

As with most of the audio CDs of the “Rabbit Ears Treasury” series, there is no book to accompany it and for readers who remembered reading the “Rabbit Ears” series during the 80s and 90s might be a bit disappointed with this.  This can be a problem especially if you wanted to show your children or your friends the stories so that way they could better understand the story, especially with “Koi and the Kola Nuts” that has many African terms that many small children might not understand very well with only an audio CD to go by.

Blog 6 Overall
Overall, “Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales Volume 3: The Bremen Town Musicians and Koi and the Kola Nuts” is definitely one collection of classic stories that both adults and children will enjoy for many years to come!

So go out and buy this fantastic series of popular children’s stories! I am sure that you will not be disappointed by these brilliant CDs!

5 stars

 

 

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog