Review by Cassy Cochrane, Sydney’s Child
"Jenni Cargill-Strong combines song and story on this global compilation of mythological folk tales. Originally released in 1996, Cargill has re-mixed and re-released this award winning album for 2006. (Goldenheart, track 5, was voted one of the top 5 stories by America’s Storyteller Net in 2005.) But all the stories and songs here make for good listening. From Japan to Scotland, Australia to Indonesia, Jenni interactively relays tales of creatures and people. These are empowering fables that will capture children’s imagination and teach them one or two of life’s lessons along the way. Each of these folk tales is timed out perfectly, not too long or too short, so kids won’t lose interest or concentration, and the stories are interspersed with songs and music.
An eclectic range of folk instruments is featured on the album; the haunting tin whistle, lyre, Chinese flute, as well as banjo, ukulele and chalumeau- (a seventeenth century precursor to the clarinet.) It’s great to hear the raw acoustic sounds of these traditional instruments. The songs featured here are ‘participation songs’ encouraging children to join in with sound effects such as thigh slaps and burps, and the Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian folksongs come with lyrics and translations printed inside the CD cover, encouraging children to memorise them.
The oral tradition has its roots in all cultures, and Aboriginal dreamtime stories feature here too, along with stories from the Celtic and Asian oral traditions. There’s something here for every Australian! These tales cover a range of themes and moods, and Jenni is an enthusiastic speaker with a delicate and passionate singing voice. Jenni’s stories are empathetic to her characters and will encourage children to think of others, and to value their families and friends. Keep an ear out- Jenni will be touring the schools this year.
The art of the bard or storyteller is very much alive and well with this sparkling collection of tales and songs.”
4 out of 5 stars
Cassy Cochrane, Sydney’s Child.