Careful What You Wish For

Careful What You Wish For (audio cassette) by Carol Birch. Frostfire, 1993.

One of the first stories I ever heard Carol Birch tell, years ago, was Judith Gorog's "Those Three Wishes". Here it is again., refined by the years of telling, setting the tone for this tape of wish tales. And oh, what good advice, to be careful what we wish fur. Not everyone in these .stories is careful, and the results, in some cases, are, in some cases, deadely.. The other stories on the tape are Peter Kagan and the Wind, The Fisherman and his Wife, Careful Wishing, and Wee Meg Barnileg. Birch has nicely balanced this selection of stories, ranging from old folktales, reworked, to a totally contemporary tale. It is a selection which will appeal to a wide range of ages and, like the best tapes, be enjoyed over and over by adults and children alike. Many people have been touched by Carol's work through the years; by her work as a teller throughout North America and around the world, by her work as director of award-winning tapes, and by her writings. The luckiest people are those who have enjoyed her live perfomances, since in those the listener completely enters into the " three part harmony" of story, as Carol describes it.

Careful What You Wish For continues Birch’s tradition of excellence in her audio work. It is clear, listening to her, that she is a lover of words, a taster of words. She puts everything she has into making the listener taste, feel, and experience the story. In Peter Kagan, we hear her strong, moving singing voice, as well as her speaking voice, and the combination of the two makes for a powerful telling of that haunting selkie tale. The best moments on the tape are those in which the stories are allowed to flow naturally while still making the most of individual words. Every listener should have at least one Carol Birch tape. I recommend this one for children and adults.

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