Tag Archives: american heroes and legends

Mose the Fireman by Eric Metaxas


Mose the Fireman Book Cover

Blog 2 Info

Genre:  Adventure / New York / Firefighters / Tall Tale
Year Published: 1993
Year Read:  2009

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Series: American Heroes and Legends

Blog 1 Introduction logo“Mose the Fireman” is a brilliant story from Rabbit Ears Productions about how New York’s greatest fireman, Moses “Mose” Humphrey single  handily saves New York city from fires everywhere. Michael Keaton’s New York accented narration along with Walter Becker and John Beasley’s jazzy music and Everett Peck’s scratchy yet hilarious illustrations make “Mose the Fireman” a worthy video for children to watch for many years.

Blog 3 SummaryMoses Humphrey was born in 1809, the same year that Abraham Lincoln was born and one winter, there was an enormous fire in New York and it spread all over the city. While the firemen were putting out the fire, there was suddenly a huge explosion from one of the buildings as the top half of one of the buildings was blasted to pieces and the pieces of the top half of the building fell into the East River. The firemen thought that everyone who was trapped in the building was given up for dead until one of the fireman from engine number  forty heard a cry in a busted hog head. When the firemen went to inspect the hog head, they found a small red-headed baby inside the hog head and the firemen of engine number forty decided to adopt the child and they named him Moses, but everyone called him Mose.

Blog 4 ProsMichael Keaton’s narration is brilliant and creative as he uses a New York accent to narrate the story, giving the story a spirited feel of the city of New York. Also, Michael Keaton sounds extremely rough yet smooth when he is narrating this story, making the characters, mainly Mose, somewhat tough guys while they save the town at the same time. Walter Becker and John Beasley’s music is jazzy and truly captures the spirit of New York. The music is also frenetic during the action scenes, making the scenes stand out very well as there is some tension added towards the music and yet the music is still jazzy enough to make people dance through the dramatic scenes rather than wait  in anticipation about what is going to happen next in the scene. Everett Peck’s illustrations are scratchy yet hilarious at the same time, giving a rough feel to the story. The illustration that is the true highlight of the story is the illustration of Mose himself as he has a squared chin and is extremely muscular and yet has a friendly  smile on his face throughout the video, making him somewhat a tough character who loves to help people wherever he goes.

Blog 6 Overall

“Mose the Fireman” is a great story for children who love to read stories about the world of firefighting and who also love to read about various tall tales in America . I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since some of Michael Keaton’s narration might be a bit too hard for smaller children to understand.

017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond1994 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award (audio)

017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond1994 Parenting Magazine Video Magic Award (Top 10 Videos of 1994)
5 stars

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Story Discussions #5: Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion (1992)


Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion (1992)

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:

Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion (1992)

Narrated by: Danny Glover
Music by: Dr. John
Illustrated by: Bill Mayer

Out of the two versions of “Brer Rabbit” that I have seen Rabbit Ears Productions done, “Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion” is easily my most favorite version of this tale!  I loved the way that Danny Glover narrated this story as it was full of excitement and intensity and I think the highlight of Danny Glover’s narration was when he voiced Boss Lion and made him sound so menacing.  Dr. John’s music was really unique for this story as the blues sounding melodies made this story a treat to listen to and Bill Mayer’s exaggerated artwork of the characters really added a lot of humor to this tale!
So, what did you liked or hated about Danny Glover’s  narration on “Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion?”
Please feel free to answer below!

 

Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion by Brad Kessler


Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion (1992)

Blog 2 Info

Genre:  Animals / Folktale / African American / Trickery
Year Published: 1992
Year Read:  1994

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logoBrer Rabbit has remained to be one the most popular folktales in American history. Of all the stories about Brer Rabbit’s escapades that I have heard, “Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion” remains to be one of my most favorite escapades of Brer Rabbit. Rabbit Ears’ version of how Brer Rabbit outsmarts Boss Lion is probably one of the most memorable versions since Danny Glover’s narration and Dr. John’s music greatly enhance this story.

Blog 4 Pros

Danny Glover’s narration is a hoot as he energetically tells the story of how Brer Rabbit outsmarted the big, bad lion. His voice goes from high-pitch as he voices Brer Rabbit and Brer Pig, to a deeply threatening tone when he voices Boss Lion. My favorite part of Danny Glover’s narration was when he voices Brer Pig’s discomfort about feeding Boss Lion by sounding so high-pitched and whiny that it makes this situation funny, even though the audience knows he is going to be eaten. Dr. John’s gritty blues music greatly matches with the chaotic tone of the story as the folks of Brer Village struggled to deal with Boss Lion. Dr. John uses somewhat chilling saxophone music to perform the intense scenes with Boss Lion. Bill Mayer’s illustrations are pure genius as it is both humorous and intense at the same time. His images of Boss Lion are beautifully detailed as Boss Lion is seen with pimples all across his face and his excessive drooling and sharp teeth greatly emphasizes the ugliness of Boss Lion. Also, the image of Brer Rabbit is greatly appreciated as he wears blue jean overalls to portray his tough exterior.

Blog 5 Cons

Parents should know that the image of Boss Lion may scare younger children, as I described in the pros section. Also, even though this story is great, it has many dark themes such as Boss Lion eating up the folks of Brer Village and threatening to eat Brer Rabbit a great number of times. But, that is not as bad as certain movies where the main protagonist would usually get killed during the movie and Brer Rabbit does make it out of this situation alive. However, I do feel sorry for the other folks of Brer Village, such as, Brer Pig and Brer Goose, getting eaten by the vicious Boss Lion.

Blog 6 Overall

“Brer Rabbit and Boss Lion” is a great video for everyone because of its occasional dark humor, such as, Boss Lion eating Brer Pig before he used the milkshake Brer Pig brought him for shampoo.  Also, families would enjoy the way that Brer Rabbit outsmarted Boss Lion in his own game and came back to the village as a hero.  This video / book is an instant treat for both children and adults, but parents may want to make sure that their children can handle the intense scenes of Boss Lion.

Blog 7 Awards

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.png1992 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards – Platinum Award Winner

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.png1993 Grammy Awards – Nomination for Best Album for Children Spoken Word

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.png1993 American Library Association – Notable Children’s Recording

5 stars

 

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

John Henry by Brad Kessler


John Henry (1992)

Blog 2 Info

Genre: Tall Tale / African-American / Railroads / Humor

Year Published: 1992

Year Read: 1992

Series: American Heroes and Legends

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo

“John Henry” is a Grammy- nominated video by the folks from the famous Rabbit Ears Productions. In this tale, America’s greatest tall tale hero, John Henry, faces his biggest challenge against the steam drill, which will decide the fate of all the hard working people in the future. Denzel Washington’s energetic narration, along with B.B. King’s soulful and jazzy music and Barry Jackson’s exuberant illustrations, all combine to make “John Henry” an instant treat for children young and old.

Blog 4 Pros
Denzel Washington’s narration is energetic, especially when he sounds like he is in awe when he narrates John Henry’s spectacular spectacles, such as being born with a hammer in his hand. The scene that I thought was Denzel Washington’s greatest performance was the scene where John Henry is telling the stranger off about the steam drill as he goes into detail about how a man has a big heart while a steam drill only has a cold and steel heart. B.B. King’s music is simply soulful and jazzy, giving this story a soulful edge to the famous tall tale. I especially love the song that B.B. King sings about John Henry being a natural man and carrying a hammer in his hand and I love how that song is repeated throughout the story, so that it can remind the audience about what type of person John Henry is. Barry Jackson’s illustration are colorful and creative, especially of the image of John Henry himself as John Henry mainly wear a white t-shirt and blue jeans and is always looking happy and confident about himself, which sends a great message about the importance of being confident in the activities that you do. I also love the image of the stranger as he is wearing a yellow suit and even has a gold tooth in his mouth, which indicates that he is a city slicker.

John Henry

Blog 6 Overall
“John Henry” is probably one of Rabbit Ears finest stories ever created as it talks about the importance of self-confidence and determination in doing the activities that pleases you. I would recommend this video to children ages five and up since I do not find anything inappropriate in this video.


Just a little heads up, this is the review for the video version of this tale, but because the video version is exactly the same as the book version of this tale, this review accounts for both the book and the video.

Blog 7 Awards

https://i2.wp.com/etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1993 CINE Golden Eagle Award

https://i2.wp.com/etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1993 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival Special Animation Jury Award

https://i2.wp.com/etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1993 Parents’ Choice Gold Award (video)

https://i2.wp.com/etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1993 Parents Magazine Parents Prize

https://i2.wp.com/etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1993 Parenting Magazine Best Videos of the Year

https://i2.wp.com/etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1994 Parents’ Choice Gold Award (audio)

https://i2.wp.com/etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1995 Grammy Award Nomination – Best Spoken Word Album for Children

 

5 stars

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

App Review: The Velveteen Rabbit and John Henry


Here are medgirl2001’s thoughts on the Velveteen Rabbit and John Henry!

medgirl2001's blog

Today, I’d like to talk about two more apps from Ruckus Media in their Rabbit Ears Entertainment series, The Velveteen Rabbit and John Henry. Both are universal apps for the iPad and iPhone. The format of the two apps is similar. Each offers three choices upon opening the app – “Watch the Video,” “Read the Book,” and “Read and Record.”

“Read the Book” is what it sounds like – the stories are offered along with lovely illustrations. Pages are turned with a familiar page swipe. Unlike some other children’s book apps for the iPad and iPhone, there are no interactive elements or sounds when this mode is chosen. There are occasional subtle animation effects as new text slides into place over an illustration. The formatting and sizing of the images is excellent, especially on the iPad. The end result is an experience much like reading a traditional children’s book…

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Rabbit Ears


Here’s alibrarymama’s review on Rabbit Ears Treasury!

alibrarymama

The boy and I had just finished listening to the harrowing tale told in Gregor and the Marks of Secret, so harrowing that I wasn’t up to listening to the next one right away. Meanwhile, the third Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place had just come into the library, and we were first in line for it. We certainly didn’t want to start a new longer work with that coming any day, so I checked out a couple of these short Rabbit Ears CDs.

Mose the Fireman and StormalongRabbit Ears: American Tall Tales Volume 3: “Mose the Fireman” and “Stormalong.”
Rabbit Ears: World Tales Volume 4: “The White Cat” and “The Fool and the Flying Ship”

The Rabbit Ears stories are all CDs with two stories of about a half hour each, narrated by famous actors. In this case, Michael Keaton reads “Mose the Fireman”, John Candy “Stormalong”, Emma Thompson “The White Cat” and…

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Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin by Eric Metaxas


Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin Book Cover

Blog 2 Info

Genre: Native American / Birthday / Folktale / Sacrifice

Year Published: 1992

Year Read: 1993

Series:  American Heroes and Legends

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo

“Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin” is a wonderful tale from the genius minds of Rabbit Ears about a young Native American princess named Scargo who learns about the power of sacrificing the things you love to save the people you love.  Geena Davis’ tender narration along with Michael Hedges’ Native American inspired music and Karen Barbour’s beautiful illustrations makes “Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin” an instant classic for the young and old.

Blog 3 Summary

A drought came to the land and the ponds were dried up which made the Nabscuet tribe upset because they needed the fish to survive on.  So, Chief Segam called for a meeting and they decided to dig up a lake to withstand the drought, therefore, when the rains come, the hole will be filled up and a new lake would be created.  Everyone in the tribe helped out with the lake, except for Princess Scargo who could not work because she was a princess of a great chief.  Unfortunately, even though everyone tried to work on the lake, the fish continued to die.

Finally, the rains came and filled up the hole to that created a lake and everyone celebrated.  Unfortunately, it would be a long time before the fish returned to the lake and Princess Scargo was sad because she wanted to help out the tribe so badly.  As Princess Scargo went to the forest to stare at the fish in her birthday pumpkin, she got an idea and realized what she must do…

Blog 4 Pros

Geena Davis does a fantastic job at narrating this story of a heroic Native American girl who must sacrifice her most precious gift to save her people.  Geena Davis’ narration is extremely tender, making this story extremely pleasant to listen to.  Michael Hedges’ music is truly inspiring as he captures the true essence of Native American music as the music is deeply mesmerizing and magical.  Karen Barbour’s illustrations are beautiful and colorful, especially of the images of the birthday pumpkin with the images of all the animals in the forest being drawn on the outside and when the scenes came where they showed the inside of the pumpkin being filled with fish, the images were mesmerizing and beautiful at the same time.

Blog 6 Overall

“Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin” is a wonderful tale about the power of sacrificing the things you love to save the people you love and many children will enjoy this classic tale for many years to come.  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there are some difficult words in this book that smaller children might have a hard time understanding, such as the names of the tribes.  Parents might want to help children understand the names of the tribes of the Indians by reading the names to them first.

5 stars

 

 

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog