I wish you could have seen my kids’ faces when they opened the package from Heirloom Audio Productions and saw The Cat of Bubastes. You would have thought it was Christmas! Actually, I don’t wish you could have seen them, because that would have meant you were in our trailer, and there’s just no more room for any more people in our trailer. Okay, maybe a couple, but that’s it!
Here’s why this is so exciting:
The Cat of Bubastes is the first Henty book we read when we were studying ancient Egypt a decade ago. Actually, we listened to it on Librivox. There are some really excellent readers on Librivox, and there are some…faithful volunteers. Our reader was one of those faithful volunteers that really grew on us. The story line is excellent and exciting, and it was a delightful experience, but, again, our reader was a faithful volunteer. And the whole listening process took us over a month. (I don’t have a problem with that at all, by the way.)
With an Heirloom audio adventure, you get the same story line dramatically recreated by professionals which you can listen to in under three hours. It’s time-saving and voice-saving, and your kids will not be bored.
Am I saying the audio productions should replace the books? Not at all! But I know that in my house, there is so much to read, that sometimes it’s nice just to listen…and sometimes it’s nice to listen for three hours instead of 30 hours.
I also know that it was an Heirloom audio production that turned my 10-year-old son on to historical fiction, and it was The Cat of Bubastes which made my first four girls into Henty fans. Put them together and you’ve got a mini masterpiece.
(Doesn’t that cat look evil? I’m not telling you the story-line, but it isn’t about a sweet, loveable kitty like our Tuppence…when she’s not in her black-eyed attack mode.)
As a homeschooler and a parent, I look at almost everything from an educational perspective. (Let’s assess how to make those spitballs more aerodynamic, kids!) There are three areas of education as I see it in the Henty books:
With an audio production, number three is missing. However, in the case of an Heirloom production, it is replaced by:
One thing that is a burr in my first world saddle as a Christian in the western world is the poor quality of so many Christian productions. They don’t generally measure up to what the secular world produces, but people praise them anyway because of the message. This is not the case with Heirloom!
The music composed by John Campbell is brilliantly written and beautifully performed. The dramatic production is of the same caliber as Narnia, Hobbit, Star Wars. In fact, some of the actors who lend their voices to The Cat of Bubastes can be seen in the credits of those and other major flicks. I’m not going to drop names (which you can see here), but suffice it to say this is very well done and you will not be disappointed or embarrassed to share it with others.
The audio CD comes with digital bonuses that can enhance the enjoyment and educational experience. It includes the following:
- Study guide
- Sound track of the music
- Digital copy of the dramatic production (Heads up, roadschoolers!)
- The Cat of Bubastes E-book (Be still my literary heart!)
- Poster with an inspirational verse
- Poster with the cast–like a promotional movie poster (Are you getting some fun ideas here? Popcorn, tickets, friends or cousins…?)
- Unlimited access to the Live the Adventure newsletter (well done and down to earth)
- A behind-the-scenes how-we-did-it video (great for the aspiring filmographer…or audiographer)
I want to focus on the study guide…and since I want to, I’m going to. I love not having an editor! Wink wink.
The study guide is intended to help younger children comprehend the story better or older students to do some deeper digging. It includes the following sections:
- Listening Well (comprehension questions which let you know if you need to do a re-listen)
- Thinking Further (questions that require thinking deeper, drawing conclusions, or doing a little research)
- Defining Word (vocabulary)
- Further Reading (uh, further reading)
- Bible study (three brief studies)
While the production is wonderful without the study, the guide enhances it all the more. We use it sometimes, but not always.
Again, I’m not going to share the plot with you. You can explore that yourself, or read what other reviewers have to say by clicking on the banner below:
What you do need to know is that this is set in the time of ancient Egypt during the time when the Israelites were living in Goshen. It offers an excellent picture of what life was like during the time of Moses in Egypt.
Why is this important? It helps children understand that the Bible is not a separate little aspect of life. It is a true and accurate depiction of real life–real people in real times. By incorporating children into the story, Henty helps children picture themselves in that time period and truly relate.
Enough from me. Let’s listen to the executive producer, Bill Heid, on the importance of sharing Christian history with our children:
At Heirloom Audio Productions, we are passionate about bringing Christian history to life. We are truly thankful for all God has done for us and refuse to take our precious history for granted.
The Bible also admonishes us to constantly “remember” and to teach our children to do the same. That’s why it’s so important to know where we’ve come from and who we are as Christians. If we forget our history and allow ourselves to become culturally conditioned by the world, we will lose our greatest possession.
So while we do everything we can to make our stories fun and exciting… there’s a lot at stake here… nothing less than the heart and soul of civilization itself.
It also means we feel God requires us to go the extra mile, taking our Audio Adventures to a new level of excellence. Our mission, simply stated, is to engage our listeners’ imagination by taking them back in time and immersing them in a great Christian story.
We sincerely hope that you will join us in this mission by helping us spread the word about our efforts and in so doing, ignite a passion for history and Christian character in the next generation.
Bill Heid, Executive Producer, Heirloom Audio
With a mission like that, I’m completely sold on this company.
This is not just for us homeschoolers. It would make an excellent gift for any family. It’s a great “movie night” alternative (although there are some exciting sections that will not let your kids get to sleep), an excellent option for roadtrips, and a fantastic part of your morning time or lunch break.