Thursday, May 24th, 2007
Book and CD Review: Peter and the Wolf
Alternate title: Sometimes You Can’t Argue with Toddler Logic
In a portion of the story, the evil wolf spots a fleeing duck, gives chase and swallows the duck whole. He then begins pacing around a tree where a cat is hiding among the branches.
"Now he’s after you," a fluttering bird warns the cat.
"Come down and play with me," the wolf says.
Ominous orchestral music grows louder and louder.
At this point, my wife asks my almost-3-year-old daughter, "So, if that cat were to come down the tree, would the wolf play with him, or would he eat the cat? Before you answer, remember that the wolf just ate the duck in one gulp. So, would he eat the cat or play with the cat?"
My Little Miss responded, "He would play with him."
"Really? Why do you think that?"
"Well, because the wolf said he would, and he’s full from eating the duck."
The CD is packaged with a book richly illustrated by Peter Malone. Both versions contain the same words, but the audio does not contain cues for when to turn a page.
My daughter doesn’t yet understand the concept of using a book in concert with audioâ€”they are standalone products to her. However, we’ve found the audio to be a great introduction to classical music instrument recognition and for a week the book reached the top of her most-requested charts.
If you are unfamiliar with the truly classic Peter and the Wolf music, listen to a snippet of the background in this video on Youtube. It has a different narrator and such, but you’ll get the idea.
This is the first media we’ve introduced to Little Miss that contains a villain who genuinely intends to harm other characters, but she wasn’t phased.
The story is abridged, with the audio running 23 minutes, and is greatly simplified. Core plot changes provide a happier ending. Peter catches the wolf alive and the wolf promises never to return. Oh, and the wolf coughs up the duck.