First, here’s the cover:
Next, some information about the Busy Bees Publishing team who created March of the Ants and other musical audio books. There are currently five other titles for purchase.
And now for my review of March of the Ants:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Anna’s narration went perfectly with the music. Her sing-song voice and accent made a pleasing combination I think children will enjoy along with their parents. Sid is a small ant compared to the others, marching along with the group. The music sounds like a march, getting more urgent as the situation worsens. A rainstorm threatens to drown the ants who have nowhere to hide. Can the tiniest ant save them all? You’ll have to listen to find out.
I will say the book’s messages are great for children:
1. Sometimes small is the best size of all.
2. Keep trying to succeed in every good deed.
I love music, I love rhyme, and I love when they work well together. There were also other voices and sound effects mixed in. I can’t imagine doing all that in one take, but I didn’t hear a single glitch. The only thing I missed were pictures other than the cover. Although most children’s imaginations should supply the scenes, some good illustrations would take this book over the top. I have no idea how much trouble that would be, but it’s my only recommendation for improvement.
Even without illustrations, I highly recommend this book as a fun way for parents and children to interact. If I still had young ones, we would probably march along with the music and act out the ants trying to hide, pushing the rock, and scurrying to safety. This isn’t a quiet or bedtime story, but it could sure help to expend some excess energy before then. I rate March of the Ants 4 stars: loads of fun for kids on the run.
I’m back. Internet guy came, internet is back up. Hopefully it will stay that way. I gotta thank Sher for saving me! She did a great job reviewing the book. I hope I can add a little something useful.
March of the Ants – 4 out of 5 stars
When I started listening to this book, I immediately remembered a set of children’s audio books we had when I was younger. I wish I could remember the name of the series, but they taught “golden rule” type lessons and were narrated to music like these. The big difference was that these audio books came with physical books to go along with them. Like Sheryl, I missed having illustrations as well. When I sat down with my son to listen, I tried patting his hands to the marching beat and standing up and marching, but it only satisfied his short attention span for about 30 seconds. He was up and dancing for a short while, but then took off to play with cars. Mind you, he is only 15 months old. The books are recommended for ages 3-10. Though he is young, I still think that an illustration would help kids focus on the story better. Also, for young readers, a book with the narration written on the illustrated pages for following along may help with word recognition.
Anyway, aside from the detail of wanting an illustration, I love the idea of narrated books. They fill a different need. On the site, they recommend listening in the car. I think it would be a great alternative to movies on portable dvd players—different brain stimulation. I’m sure there are many other uses, but that is the one that stood out to me. I was able to listen to March of the Ants as well as another book of theirs called The Big Apple. The latter was a longer book, about 10 min., but with the music and sound effects, it really didn’t seem that long.
The March of the Ants story, itself, was fun to listen to. The narration was very upbeat and musical and rhythmic sounding which really made the whole presentation cohesive. My only complaint about the presentation in general was the balance of sound. I thought, several times that the music was just a little too loud in comparison with the narration. It made me think of someone trying to tell me something important over the music in a club. The rest was great! I loved all the voice actors, and I loved that the characters that spoke had their own voices rather than the narrator affecting her voice to sound like different characters. The voice actors all had talent, and the music was engaging and kept the story moving which made it seem shorter. I like the length of this story. The audio lasted almost 4 minutes, so about the same length as your average song.
Having listened to more than one of the stories found on this site, I feel like I got a handle on the feel they are going for and the quality produced. The stories teach simple morals. I feel like books are getting away from that a lot lately. Sometimes picture books have morals hidden in the words where young children don’t often find them. I liked that these stories were easy to interpret, like a parable. At such a young age, our kids need to hear it straight.
This book is still free on the website. Feel free to check it out for yourself and see what you think.
Here’s some information about the individual members of the creative team.
Last but not least, here’s the download link. You can also click the picture below.