|Dimensions||21 × 15 × .50 cm|
Molly Whuppie (formerly Wonder Tales of Earth and Sea) is an award winning collection of stories and songs performed by Jenni Cargill.The stories are contemporary in theme and rich in imagination. Four magical tales from around the world (including Aboriginal Australia) and one original story-poem are interspersed with Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian songs.
For age 3-10 year olds.
“Mirroring the bright CD cover and the animated Jenni Cargill in person, the 8 tracks of this CD sparkle with vitality. The stories and songs have been selected, arranged, and presented with musician/producer Ian Blake to hold the attention of young children. The duration of tracks, the range of their country of origin, themes and moods, together with the varied presentations all invite children’s strong engagement. To challenge degrees of concentration, the three prose stories – a mild version of Molly Whuppie (14mins), Gowondo (5.5mins) and Yellow Thunder Dragon (8mins), combine with the Jenni’s narrative poem Golden Heart (4mins) to maintain a string of relatively longer stories on the CD. But every story is interspersed with a much shorter song (11/2- 21/2 minutes), enticing more active participation. There are sounds to make (eg slapping thighs, and burps) ; simple bouncy lyrics to learn in three languages besides English (varieties of Chinese , Japanese, and Indonesian – reproduced usefully on the cover for the parent/teacher) ; and, to respond to: diverse instrumental music (8 instruments including of course the chalumeau !) and sound effects – all carefully paced and spaced. The rationale for selection of the stories and songs – apart from Jenni’s own attraction to them – is not made explicit on the CD cover. Whether deliberately or not, the countries of origin of her material though identified as ‘…from around the world’ are strongly weighted towards Asian countries with which Australia has strong trade links, namely Japan, China, and Indonesia. This means that besides being delightful items in their own right, the selections will mesh readily with school curricula where the cultures and languages of these countries are taught. With the exception of children from Chinese backgrounds, these same items do not link specifically with the cultures and languages of most recent migrants and refugees (eg Vietnam, Chile, Somalia, Bosnia). Naturally, they can serve the purpose of valuing cultural diversity as such. An approach in which the cover and the audio-recording presents most of the playful song material – like Tanabata Sama and The tortoise and the Hare (Japan), Long, Long, Long (China), and Dee See Nee Senang (Indonesia) -with bilingual lyrics, is exemplary. I think Jenni has done the background work to ensure that the language is authentic for modelling intonation and such features, given her acknowledgements on the cover. The three non-Asian tracks on the CD are Mollie Whuppie (Scotland), Gowondo (Kombumerri Aboriginal people), and Jenni’s own poem Goldenheart – based on the experience of a personal friend. These all have their own distinctive artfulness and power as they are told on the CD in the context of the other material. The traditional Mollie Whuppie has had much of its raw horror translated into a gentler version for young children, a version which nevertheless will captivate them as the first-up story. Gowondo is introduced with a personal story, emphasising Jenni’s lifelong personal link with Burleigh Heads, both the site of the story and the homeland of the Kombumerri people. The spirit of the Aboriginal dreaming and connections with their land couldn’t be indicated more aptly. And, Goldenheart. This poem is crafted with great sensitivity: the language is very touching and resonant with rich, repetition and strong imagery. Goldenheart’s dad is ‘awesomely, awfully, morbidly sad’. And there is a happy ending uniting head and heart. Although the cover blurb deftly leaves the specific audience ambiguous by reference to ‘children’ without specifying an age level, I would hazard a guess that its appeal will be mainly at the junior/lower primary levels. Still, I enjoyed listening to all tracks, so as always this is only an approximation! It’s a superb addition to the range of CDs produced by Australian storytellers.” Review by Graham Ross
1 in stock (can be backordered)