It is so important to me that my kids will cultivate a love and appreciation of the arts. Not only is it healthy for the mind as well as the soul, but I am also hoping it will keep my kids grounded and more interested in things of substance, rather than celebrities and pop culture as they grow older. It’s not easy to get kids into classical music without visuals but Green Golly & her Golden Flute is a book & CD set that can get kids into classical music and provide an introduction to classic masterpieces. It’s a wonderful gift for any child who loves the story of Rapunzel.
I recently received a copy of the book and CD set and listened along with my two oldest kids (ages 6.5 and 4.5) to the hour-long story, while following it in the book. The story of Green Golly is based on Rapunzel with some changes in the plot that give it a funny and heartwarming twist. Green Golly lives a lonely life in a secluded tower but has a golden flute which keeps her occupied. She plays a variety of classical masterpieces such as Rimsky Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”, and “Habañera” from Bizet’s opera, Carmen, which most people are familiar with and if not – here’s a good opportunity for the entire family to enjoy together! These selections are interwoven into the story and cleverly fit in with the plot.
The story is read by Keith Torgan, who does the voices for all of the characters (except for Green Golly). He is a gifted storyteller and his comical timing is impeccable. His accents of the different characters are spot-on and hilarious. Keith also plays the guitar as part of the performance. The character of Green Golly and the music of the flute is played by Barbara Siesel, a Juilliard-trained flutist, who brings charm and sweet innocence to both her role of Green Golly and as the flutist. The flute is indeed the star of the performance but the real “scene-stealer” is Keith, with his endearing characters. Additional music is by Jessica Krash, who plays the piano.
The illustrations in the book complement the CD perfectly. It’s almost as if the illustrator, award-winner Suzanne Langlier-Lebeda, was doing the artwork at the same time the story was written. In fact, Barbara and Keith had spent a week living in Suzanne’s home and performing the story and music to her and collaborating with her on the artwork.
Both the CD and book, which are appropriate for kids ages 4-10, can also work as stand-alone items; my daughter loves reading the book before bedtime and the kids have listened to the CD on a long car ride. It is wholesome, funny and entertaining and can make a fantastic (and affordable!) gift that will delight any child.
You can purchase the book & CD set for $19.99 (plus shipping) here.
Photos of Keith Torgan & Barbara Siesel by Bruce Shiplee
I was not compensated for this post. I received a sample.