Monday, February 18, 2013

Audiobook Jukebox Review: Rise of the Guardians

  Audiobook Jukebox 

Rise of the Guardians: An Audiobook Review

Title: Rise of the Guardians: Movie Novelization
Author: Stacia Deutsch
Narrator: Keith Nobbs
Unabridged Length: 2 h, 33 m
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Middle Reader, Fantasy

From the Publisher:

Join forces with the Guardians to defeat Pitch in this retelling of the animated feature Rise of the Guardians.

When Pitch, the boogeyman, decides that children should believe in him and not the Guardians, he adds a little fear to their dreams, turning them into nightmares. If children around the world are afraid, there will be no more room for hope. The Guardians must band together to stop him. But in order to do so they need a little help from an unlikely source: Jack Frost. Jack loves to have fun, but he’s not usually one for heroics. Will Jack find the hero within him before Pitch can carry out his master plan?
Join Jack Frost and the entire gang of Guardians—North, Bunnymund, Tooth, and Sandman—as they band together to vanquish the boogeyman and his nightmarish threats and to preserve the very spirit of childhood. This junior novelization includes eight pages of color images from the movie.

My Review:

I will begin my review of this audiobook by saying that I had not yet seen the movie prior to listening to its audiobook adaptation.  I was pleasantly and immediately immersed into the fantasy world of the Guardians.  Listening to narrator, Keith Nobbs read this tale, made me feel as though it was being read by a full cast of narrators.  Knobbs does such a fabulous job of bringing each character to life, that the listener truly feels as though there is a different person for each character's dialogue, as well as for the narrator of the story.  Knobbs transforms his voice into North by using a perfect Russian accent, speaks for Bunny in a believable and humorous Australian accent, and transform his voice, yet again into an eerie, English accent to portray Pitch, the Boogeyman.  Additionally, Knobbs uses other voices to bring the various children characters to life.  Honestly, the listener of this movie adaptation will have no need to actually watch the movie, because the narration of the audiobook allows the listener to create his/her own unique movie in his/her own mind - the ultimate goal of reading and listening to a tale be told.  

Although the genre lists this audiobook as a young adult and middle grade fantasy, I believe that parents of younger children may want to choose this as a family audiobook to listen to on a trip in the car or even as bedtime family entertainment.  Teachers may also find this audiobook to be a great resource to play, not only as a classroom read aloud selection for entertainment and enjoyment but also to assist in helping teach children to truly visualize the story and bring it to life.  Knobbs narration is also excellent modeling for how reading fluently should sound - he truly brings all characters and situations to life by using his voice and narration style.  

An additional note that I'd like to mention:  I did watch the movie after listening to the audiobook and found them to be extremely similar.  Kids who have already watched the movie will be in for a treat when choosing Rise of the Guardians as an audiobook selection.  Audiobooks like this could turn reluctant readers into avid readers/listeners. 

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