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Audio read-along books for children based on the ancient South Asian Panchatantra and Jataka stories, precursors to Aesop's fables. The narration by renowned South Asian actors in English is highly entertaining. The books are illustrated with cuddly characters in vibrant colors. Children can sing along with the jungle music. Several songs are presented in a world music format, concluding with a key take home message. A glossary of key words and pronunciations, special background information and a learning guide accompanies each title. Produced by Sky Music (India), a corporation led by educators and musicians trained in special education and world music.
In this story, Kapi, King of the monkeys, is called by elder statesman Vaayu to build a bridge to a neighbouring tree. This will allow his fellow monkeys to escape from the arrows of the king's men. As the vine fell short of what was needed to cross over, Kapi allowed the other monkeys to use his body to fill the gap in the bridge. This is a tale of nobility and true leadership.
One full colour soft bound 22-page book, one 22-minute audio tape, lyrics to the songs, and a special learning insert. Narrated by Saeed Jaffrey.
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Sky Music is an India-based corporation led by educators and musicians trained in special education and world music. Formed in 1996, Sky Music is a premier entity in South Asia committed to produce audio read-along books for children based on South Asian fables, folktales and mythology. The combined knowledge, training and experience of the following principals of the company makes their collaborative contribution truly remarkable.
C.P. Viswanath, CEO: Viswanath has several years of experience in international marketing with a major corporation and has simultaneously developed a strong interest in education and cultures in different regions of the world. He is also an accomplished South Asian singer and percussionist of the Karnatic classical style and has several international concert tours to his credit.
C.P. Narayan, Director: Narayan is a music composer and singer trained in Indian classical music. A professional Engineer by formal training, he has composed music for several television productions, documentary films and popular advertisements.
Shobha Viswanath, Director: Shobha has graduated with a Masters degrees in Literature from the University of Bombay and subsequently specialised in education taking a Master's degree in Special Education from Eastern Michigan University, USA. She has worked as a Consultant for several schools and has also developed resource materials for the learning disabled in and has directed workshops for teachers and parents on learning disabilities and early childhood learning.
Sriram Parasuram, Director: Sriram graduated with degrees in Engineering and Management and subsequently reverted to his first love, music. He obtained his Doctorate in World Music from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA. He is India's first truly accomplished violinist in the Karnatic, Hindustani and Western classical forms. Sriram has over a thousand concerts and numerous awards, including the President's gold medal to his creditFrom School Library Journal:
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Fables from the Panchatantra, an ancient Indian collection first written in Sanskrit around 200 BC, are presented in traditional oral style, accompanied by music and songs. The stories, like Aesop's, gently teach a lesson. Karadi the Bear tells the stories, sometimes to his rowdy nephews. There are tales that warn us to be careful who we pick as friends, as monkey learns when he befriends a crocodile; a funny tale of false pride featuring Dondhu the singing donkey; a story of leadership; one of being true to one's self; and crow teaches us to think before acting. Several of the stories are familiar, yet presented in a fresh light. The well done narration is performed by South Asian actors. Songs, which occasionally last too long, are included in each package. The read-along books, intended for beginning readers, will be useful in classrooms. The slapdash, comical, colorful illustrations are not outstanding and add little to the story. The tapes could be used with the books or stand alone. There are a few editorial mistakes, such as a missing page-turn signal and a lapse in gender for a character. Despite these very minor errors, libraries with large South Asian communities will want to purchase this collection. For better illustration and stories in this same spirit, see the series Under the Banyan (Nov. 1998), also distributed by Banyan Tree.
Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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