Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Audio : Audio Book
Shrek! Book & CD set

Shrek! Book & CD set

Spring 2010 Audio Book
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Producer: Macmillan Audio
CD Price: $9.99
Children are likely familiar with the popular Dreamworks' film franchise Shrek. But William Steig's ugly ogre had a loyal following long before the silver screen version.

The original picture book is an irreverent, funny fairy tale, complete with princesses, dragons, knights and witches. The difference is that in Steig's fictional world, the hero is a foul-smelling ogre and the princess he's destined to marry isn't exactly a classic beauty. Shrek! is full of clever wordplay and colorful descriptions. For example, when Shrek's parents make a decision, they "hissed things over," and he sets out on his quest he's seen "slogging along the road." Shrek is happy to be a grouch, hurling insults at everyone he meets. Ironically, his idea of a nightmare is dreaming children in a lovely field of flowers are hugging him. This audio version contains a two-track CD read by acclaimed actor Stanley Tucci, and is accompanied by a paperback of the original picture book; the second track of the CD is designed as a read-along with the book. Steig's illustrations are rendered in vivid greens, yellows and hot pinks, underscoring the cheerful attitude Shrek takes toward his own ugliness.

Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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