Ouch. Poorly produced audio CDs just make me cringe. Especially when it's from a Christian ministry. I just know they're trying to do a great job - but they aren't succeeding. Either the script is poor, the audio recording isn't done well, or something.
I guess I'm kind of an audio "snob." I can't stand to listen to AM radio stations, either. The extra fuzz and buzz just makes me cringe - some more.
If you're anything like most American moms, you've bought or borrowed scads of audio CDs for your children to listen to while in the car or folding laundry or just to enjoy as a family.
I know I'm not the only one who's engaged my children's imagination by reading to them aloud, and by borrowing or buying audio CD's for them. And since I discovered that my youngest daughter's weakest learning style was audio, I've made an extra effort to help her out in this department. When she was much younger, we purposefully listened to lots of audio stories and radio theater during breakfast, where she was sitting relatively still yet busy enough eating her meal...so she'd sit still long enough to be able to listen to a short story. Over the years, her auditory learning has greatly improved!
We've listened to Bible narratives and dramas on cassette or CD, Adventures in Odyssey episodes, Focus on the Family Radio Theater stories like "The Hiding Place", "The Chronicles of Narnia", etc.
We've avoided poorly done audios, because there are enough out there on the market that are professionally done.
The hardest thing to find made professionally, though, has been true Bible narratives of the biblical record.
I haven't been all that impressed with most of the Bible "stories" we've heard. Some of them are downright poor.
I heard that I might have the opportunity to listen to and review "The World's Greatest Stories" by George Sarris.
Hmm. Was this worth my time? My girls were at the upper end of the age range for this review product (designed for ages 4-12).
I decided to go check out the website, first. After listening to a sample of what George Sarris had to offer, I was hooked! No chipmunk-sounding voices, no weird background sounds/music. It sounded very professional!
I signed up immediately, without even showing this website to the girls. I just knew that they would love what they'd get to listen to at home!
Here's what arrived: Volume 1: The Prophets, in NIV format, and a sampler CD. The King James Version is also available.
Why the choice between NIV and KJV?
Well, instead of some written script that George Sarris has written himself or borrowed from someone else, he reads exactly through the biblical account, directly from the Bible.
Some people might insert a yawn here.
Obviously, you haven't listened to George Sarris recite the biblical record of a historical account!
No yawning allowed!
The package came in the mail, but the girls didn't see it arrive. At our evening family Bible time together, I put "The Prophets" into the CD player. At first, the girls looked at me strangely when they heard an audio CD begin to "talk." We usually read from the Bible and read through a Bible devotional most nights.
One of the girls picked up the CD, and they both stared at the cover. I could tell that they'd already made a judgment about this CD just by looking at the cover.
But you can't always judge a book (or audio CD) by its cover, right?
Not more than a minute later, they were sitting forward on the couch, listening intently. So were Elmer and I. This was good stuff. Really good.
George Sarris is a very gifted man. I've seen numerous live dramatic interpretations of biblical accounts, and some have been excellent, but this was powerful. Wow.
We listened to "The Blazing Furnace". When it finished, we stared at each other in amazement. Never before had we heard one man use a variety of voices, inflections, volume levels, and sound effects before in such an amazing way!
The girls asked if we could listen to another selection on the audio CD. It was getting late, so we decided to listen to the next selection the following night, which we did.
Again, we were taken back by the power of God's Word told in a passionate way.
It wasn't a bunch of strange vegetables singing goofy songs.
It wasn't a group of kids attempting to figure out life and somehow weave God's truths into the "story."
This was simply God's Words being clarified by a man very gifted for a godly purpose.
Here's a sample of something similar to what we listened to, although I think the audio CD we listened to is much better, because instead of relying on some visual clues he provides for the audience in the video clip, below, the audio CD selections only have audio clues and cues, and they are much better.
We were all very pleasantly surprised at how excellent these audio selections are delivered to the intended audience! Even though our girls are both in junior high, I think I'll consider buying some additional audio CDs from The World's Greatest Stories. Not only will we enjoy listening to some more of these, they will be excellent to use in working with younger children (teaching Sunday School/VBS/Awana), or for my own grandchildren some day to listen to them.
Unless you decide that you don't particularly care for Mr. Sarris's style of reading through the Scriptures, I know that you will enjoy these! Each 60-minute audio CD costs only $7.95, and if a person orders 6 items, the shipping is free. Nice!
I'm super impressed with The World's Greatest Stories, and so were many of the TOS Crew families who reviewed this product with me. Read what they have to say about The World's Greatest Stories!
I received one CD copy of Volume 1: The Prophets in exchange for my honest review of this product. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!