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review 2018-06-23 17:24
Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories: How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Camel Got His Hump, How the Leopard Got His Spots, The Monkey People
Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories: How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Camel Got His Hump, How the Leopard Got His Spots, Monkey People - Rabbit Ears,Jack Nicholson

Title:  Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories: How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Game Got His Hump, How the Leopard Got His Spots, The Monkey People

Author:  Rabbit Ears

Genre:  Animals / Folktale / Manners / Respect / Africa / Colombia 

Year Published: 2007

Year Read: 2009

Series: Rabbit Ears Treasury

Publisher:  Listening Library (Audio)

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 7+ (Some Rude Behavior)




“Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories” is one of the first audio CDs released from Rabbit Ears Entertainment (or Rabbit Ears Productions as I fondly love to call it) and this audio CD features four stories called “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin,” “How the Camel Got His Hump,” “The Monkey People” and “How the Leopard Got His Spots.” Each story is narrated by a famous celebrity during the 80s and 90s and it will be an instant treat for anyone who is a huge fan of Rabbit Ears stories!

Since I have already reviewed some of these stories on separate reviews, I will just briefly summarize each story:

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin
Told by: Jack Nicholson
Music by: Bobby McFerrin

When a rude rhinoceros eats the Parsee Man’s delicious cake, the Parsee Man starts to take revenge on the rude rhinoceros.

How the Camel Got His Hump
Told by: Jack Nicholson
Music by: Bobby McFerrin

When an arrogant camel refuses to do his share of work, it is up to the Djinn of all Deserts to set the camel straight.


The Monkey People
Told by: Raul Julia
Music by: Lee Ritenour

When an old man comes to a village full of lazy people and shows them monkeys cut out of leaves doing all the chores, the people learn the hard way about the importance of hard work.

How the Leopard Got His Spots
Told by: Danny Glover
Music by: Ladysmith Black Mambazo

When all the animals moved to the forest to hide from the Leopard and the Ethiopian, the Leopard and the Ethiopian must learn to camouflage themselves in order to eat to survive!

Oh my goodness! Imagine my surprise when I first heard about this animal series coming out on audio CD! I was so excited about listening to Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover and Raul Julia narrating these fantastic tales that I remembered from my youth! Each story was extremely interesting to the next story and the narrators and the musicians have both done an excellent job at narrating and providing appropriate music to each story. Out of all four stories featured on this audio CD, my favorites were “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin” and “How the Camel Got His Hump” which were both narrated by Jack Nicholson and both had music by Bobby McFerrin. In both stories “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin” and “How the Camel Got His Hump,” Jack Nicholson narrates both stories in an extremely silky voice that soothes you to the bone as you hear him narrate these stories and anyone who has seen Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” will definitely be surprised at how calm he sounds in narrating these stories! Bobby McFerrin is truly magnificent in providing music for each story as he mainly uses his voice to create music for each story which brings so much creativity to the stories. Another story that I enjoyed on this disc was “How the Leopard Got His Spots” as I loved the way that Danny Glover narrates this story in an African accent which brings creativity to this story and Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s music is truly wonderful as they vocally sing in African tones.

Again, there is no book to go with this audio CD; however the narration and the music provided in this audio CD will help many fans still love this audio CD. 

All in all, “Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories” is a true treat for fans of the fantastic Rabbit Ears series and who love Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover and Raul Julia and I am sure that many children and adults will love this audio CD for many years to come! I would recommend this audio CD to children ages seven and up since the “Just So Stories” might be too complicated for younger children to understand.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2017-05-14 00:03
Shadow by Marcia Brown
Shadow - Blaise Cendrars,Marcia Brown

Genre:  Fantasy / Africa ./ Folktale / Horror

Year Published: 1982


Year Read:  2010


Publisher:   Charles Scribner's Sons




“Shadow” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Marcia Brown and it is about what shadows do around people and what they do when they are not looking. “Shadow” may be a bit scary for smaller children, but it is truly a mesmerizing book that children would enjoy for many years.

Marcia Brown has wonderfully given a vivid description of what shadows do and what they are like and put the description of shadows in a poetic format and Marcia Brown does a great job at making shadows seem so mysterious as they constantly follow people around in ghostly figures. Marcia Brown’s illustrations are truly eerie yet creative as the people in the book are drawn as black shadows while the shadows themselves are drawn as white ghostly figures following the shadowed characters, however, there are some shadows that are dark figures such as the shadow coming out of the ash from the fire. The images perfectly blend color and black and white to bring out a more effective look at the world of shadows such as putting shadowed figures against colorful mountainsides or forests.


Parents should know that there are some scary images in this book which involves images of the shadows taking frightening shapes such as one shadow wearing a very frightening mask and another large shadow that has ash for eyes and is walking on four wobbly legs. Many small children would also be frighten about the idea that shadows can come to life when they least expect it and it might cause many small children to not go to sleep at night because they might be afraid of their shadows coming to life to get them. Parents need to explain to their children that shadows do not come alive and they are apart of people.

“Shadow” is a brilliant book that takes on the views of the mysterious world of shadows and it will have many children mesmerized for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the images are truly frightening and smaller children might be frightened at the idea that shadows come to life in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2016-11-17 04:12
Zella, Zack and Zodiac by Bill Peet
Zella, Zack and Zodiac - Bill Peet


Genre:  Family / Animals / Adoption / Drama / Africa

Year Published:1986

Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company



I have read many of Bill Peet’s works in the past, but I had never read a story from Bill Peet that dealt with family issues such as adopting a child and handle the issue with such care. “Zella, Zack and Zodiac” has proven to be one of Bill Peet’s most heartwarming books that I had ever read!

The story starts off with a baby ostrich chick named Zack who had just hatched out of his egg and it was then that he discovered that his mother had left him when she heard a lion’s roar in the distance and had taken the other chicks with her. Suddenly at that moment, a zebra herd came zooming by and Zack tried to yell up at them to help him, but none of the zebras took any notice of Zack. However, one zebra managed to hear Zack and came to his aid. The zebra was named Zella and she decided to raise Zack as if he was her own child and the two had so many dangerous and heartwarming adventures on the savanna together. But unfortunately, as Zack the ostrich chick got much older, he started to ignore Zella and Zella started to worry about whether or not Zack remembered how she raised him for all those years and if he still considers her his mother. Luckily, it turned out that Zack remembered Zella and how she raised him and he ended up greeting her after a few years apart from her. It turns out that Zella is pregnant and she is expecting a baby soon and she planned to call her child Zodiac. When Zodiac was finally born, Zella was overjoyed, but then she realized that there was something different about Zodiac…

What is so unique about Zodiac and are Zella and Zack still together?

Read this book to find out!

In all the times that I had read Bill Peet’s books, I never would have thought that I would stumble upon a Bill Peet book that would detail the importance of family while also discussing about adopting a child who is different from you. Bill Peet has done a splendid job at portraying the relationship between Zella the Zebra and Zack the Ostrich as they truly care for each other, despite their different appearances and I loved the way that Zella went to great lengths to protect Zack from any danger in the savanna as it shows how much of a good adopted mother she is towards Zack. I also loved the fact that Bill Peet made this book much more heartwarming than most of his works as it focuses on a zebra mother’s love for both her adopted child and her real child and it made the book extremely touching to read through. Bill Peet’s artwork is as beautiful as ever as we get to see the savanna in all its glory and I loved seeing the images of Zack riding on Zella’s back as they run across the savanna as it makes it a truly iconic image for this book!

Overall, “Zella, Zack and Zodiac” is a truly heartwarming book about the importance of family and how two unlikely species managed to become a truly close and effective family. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book, unless the scenes of the various predators going after Zella, Zack and Zodiac might scare some children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2016-09-03 01:19
A Story, a Story by Gail E. Haley
Story, a Story - Gail E. Haley

Genre: Africa / Folktale / Trickery / Storytelling

Year Published: 1970

Year Read:  1993

Publisher: Atheneum




I have actually first watched “A Story, A Story” on a Weston Woods video (which was a children’s series I have grown up with for a many years) and I have enjoyed it ever since. “A Story A Story” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Gail E. Haley and it details the adventures of Ananse, the Spider Man and his attempts at obtaining the stories from Nyame, the Sky God. “A Story, A Story” is a clever book that fans of African folktales will definitely love!

This is the story about Ananse the Spider Man and the sky god named Nyame, who owns all the stories and keeps them in his golden box next to his royal stool. One day, Ananse decided to visit the Sky God and asked him if he could buy his stories and Nyame told Ananse that in order to get his stories, he must capture Mmboro the hornet who-stings-like-fire, Osebo the leopard of-the-terrible-teeth, and Mmoatia the fairy whom-men-never-see. So, Ananse sets out and tries to capture the three beings that Nyame wanted from him.

I have always loved reading different folktales from around the world and African folktales are my favorites! Gail E. Haley has done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this ancient African folktale about Ananse the Spider Man. Gail E. Haley’s illustrations are truly creative and beautiful as the illustrations are woodcut and it gives the story a more traditional and creative vibe to the characters. My favorite illustrations were of Mmoatia the fairy-whom-no-man-sees as she is small and she wears a green grass skirt and a colorful red and white blouse shirt that truly made her look majestic. Gail E. Haley’s writing is cleverly creative as she incorporates various African sound effects like “yiridi, yiridi, yiridi” when Ananse was running through the jungle to make the characters’ movements have more meaning. I also loved the different ways that Ananse tricks each creature in the forest, especially the scene where Ananse uses a gum baby doll to trick Mmoatia the fairy as it was a reminiscent of the traditional “Brer Rabbit” tales with Brer Rabbit being tricked by the tar baby.


Overall, “A Story, A Story” is a truly incredible tale for anyone who loves “Ananse” stories and also loves folktales that deal with tricksters. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the African phrases might confuse smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2016-09-03 00:27
Anansi and the Talking Melon by Eric A. Kimmel
Anansi and the Talking Melon - Eric A. Kimmel,Janet Stevens

Genre:  Animals / Folktale / Africa / Trickery

Year Published: 1994

Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Holiday House

Series: Anansi #2




Now, I have been reading the “Anansi” series ever since I was little and I was always so amazed at the gorgeous artwork and the hilarious writing in each book! So, when I stumbled upon another “Anansi” story that was written by Eric A. Kimmel along with illustrations by Janet Stevens, I was pleasantly surprised by how this story turned out to be as entertaining as the previous “Anansi” stories!

The story starts off with Anansi looking down on Elephant’s melon patch from the trees and he wanted to have a melon. But since Anansi was always too lazy to do any work, he decided to wait until Elephant went off on break to eat a melon. So after Elephant left the melon patch, Anansi took a thorn from a tree and started digging a hole inside the melon to jump inside and eat the melon from the inside out. Once Anansi was done eating inside the melon, he tried to get out from inside the melon, but he become too fat to get out and he had to wait until he got thin again. Elephant then comes back to the melon patch and picks up the melon that Anansi was inside of and Anansi decided to play a little trick on Elephant by pretending to be the melon and successfully convinces Elephant that the melon is really talking. Elephant is so excited about this development that he decided to tell his friends and the king about the talking melon.

Will the King be impressed by the talking melon or will he realize that it is Anansi playing this trick?

Read this book to find out!

Wow! I must admit that I was quite surprised that I have not read this book yet since I have been reading the “Anansi” series ever since I was a child! Eric A. Kimmel has once again done an excellent job at writing this story as the story is highly creative and hilarious at the same time and I really loved the scenes where Anansi tricks the other animals into thinking that the melon is actually talking to them. I like the fact that in this story, Anansi does not actually steal anything like he did in the previous book “Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock” since it makes him into a less amoral character (although he still did dig inside one of the Elephant’s melons without Elephant’s permission) and the fact that he is just playing tricks on Elephant and the other animals just for the fun of it, makes him less malicious in nature. Janet Stevens’ artwork is as usual gorgeous to look at and I loved the way that Janet Stevens is able to convey the emotions on the characters’ faces, especially whenever the melon seems to insult each animal character and you get to see the animals’ angry expressions really close up.


Overall, “Anansi and the Talking Melon” is a truly hilarious book that is another great addition to Eric A. Kimmel and Janet Stevens’ “Anansi” series! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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