The following is by contributor Jennifer Brown.
Do you know Mike Mulligan? How about the Tortoise and the Hare or Casey at the Bat? These classic children’s stories can now be part of your listening repertoire with the added benefit of introducing your children to classical music through a series called Maestro Classics that I recently had the opportunity to review.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
We love to listen to stories both at home and in the car, so when we got the chance to check out “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” with its own original score to enhance the story it seemed like the perfect mix for my music and machine loving boys.
The narration is fantastic and engaging, but the music brings a deeper element to the story. Our family really enjoyed listening to the story, but even more we enjoyed listening to the story a second time after hearing the About the Music track which gave insight about how certain sounds were created. My (almost) 2 year old excitedly began imitating the sound of the steam (created with a scuba tank) when we learned about its origin. It’s now his signature sound for requesting a replay.
If you are even the least bit interested in introducing your children to classical music, you won’t be disappointed by this engaging and educational combination of stories and song that features the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The length of both the stories and bonus educational tracks is approachable and user friendly for even short commutes.
The About the Author and About the Music tracks are so well presented that your child will feel more like they’re being let in on a secret rather than actually learning a new concept.
I really can’t say enough how much we enjoyed Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. It happens to be a favorite story from my own childhood, and I was thrilled to be able to share it with my children. We have listened to it probably four times in just the past week and haven’t tired of it yet. I really love both listening to and learning how the original score plays such an important part in the telling of this classic tale.
If introducing your children to classical music or even audio stories is something you’re interested in for your family I encourage you to visit Maestro Classics and check out their offerings. While Mike Mulligan is a hands down favorite in our home, there are currently nine titles offered through the series including the ones mentioned previously.
I would, however, encourage parents who aren’t familiar with the stories to familiarize themselves with their plots as some of the parings use less contemporary tales which may have some elements that are frightening for young children (just as if you read the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales).
Otherwise, I think you will find this collection fun and ear friendly for the whole family.
What have you and your kids been listening to lately?