Green Golly & her Golden Flute sounds like quite the silly name for a book, right? It’s a silly name, but a fun read for parents and their children. And it’s just as fun for teachers of younger readers. The new book by Keith Torgan and Barbara Siesel is an enjoyable story that while it bears obvious similarity to the classic fairytale, Rapunzel, it also manages to maintain its own identity with its own fun and funny additions that are sure to get both children and adults alike laughing. Readers will enjoy the illustrations by artist Suzanne Langelier-Lebeda as much as the funny updates to the classic story. And the story’s bonus CD makes it even more enjoyable. Not only does it tell the story orally, but it also serves as an equally wonderful introduction to the world of classical music. This makes the pair’s new book even better for parents, teachers, and children.
Green Golly & her Golden Flute is a joy for readers of all ages. It is quite the obvious update to the classic story of Rapunzel. But Keith Torgan and Barbara Siesel have partnered with illustrator Suzanne Langelier-Lebeda to make a story that while being an update is its own fun story. It’s a far less dark story than the original tale on which it is based. Torgan and Siesel will have readers laughing uproariously as they write of Golly that she was “the kind of girl who could always make a pocketbook from a pig’s ear, lemonade from a lemon, or fertilizer from a small pile of doo-doo.” And the inclusion of a little Asian rodent friend named “Mousey Tongue” is a nice touch, too. Young readers won’t get this joke. But parents definitely will. Torgan and Siesel even toss in a little modern touch to the story that is sure to have parents and teachers laughing. It’s a touch very similar to old cartoons such as the famed Fractured Fairytales shorts from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Readers will have to find out what that funny modern touch is for themselves when they purchase the book.
The story itself contained in the pages of Green Golly & her Golden Flute is a joy for readers of all ages. It’s not all that readers will enjoy about this new book, though. The original illustrations drawn by artist Suzanne Langelier-Lebeda have a genuine cartoon feel to them. Just as hand drawn animation in cartoons gives said features more of an identity over CG created films and TV shows, so does the art in a book. And Mrs. Langelier-Lebeda’s artwork definitely gives this book its own identity among any other children’s book in much the same fashion. The manner in which the narrator is drawn into each page of the story helps to point out his position as a third party of sorts. Instead of just being another invisible voice, readers get to see what he looks like. It makes him a character all his own. In turn, it makes the story that much more accessible and enjoyable to readers.
The story and animation included in Green Golly & her Golden Flute make this book enjoyable in itself. Readers will also appreciate the book’s audio companion just as much as the book. Parents and teachers will especially appreciate the audio companion because of its ability to even better present the story’s funny similarity to the classic Fractured Fairytales shorts from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The narration and acting on the part of both Torgan and Siesel will have any reader laughing and smiling from start to finish. On a completely separate level, the audio companion is an excellent addition to the book as it makes an excellent introduction to the world of classical music for young listeners. In an age when young listeners are being exposed to a seemingly endless stream of hollow, soulless pop and rock acts that sound far too similar to one another, any salvo in the battle in support of classical music is deeply appreciated. Listeners are introduced to the music of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Bizet, and others as she learns how to play her flute. Listeners even get to hear the full songs featured in Green Golly’s lessons as a postlude of sorts. This is a positive because any listeners whose interest might be piqued by the original classical compositions presented will get to hear them in their entirety, rather than just as small snippets. This makes the book’s accompanying CD that much more of a bonus for readers of all ages. And together with everything included in the book, the package as a whole proves to be a wonderful experience for the whole family. The entire package can be ordered online direct from the Green Golly Project website at http://www.greengolly.com/flute/index.html. Parents can get even more information on the Green Golly Project at http://www.greengolly.com and http://www.facebook.com/GreenGolly.
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