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Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies

Selected and read by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
Original Music Composed and Performed by Ian Fraser


The best-selling mother-daughter team selected 90 favorite rhyming poems for young people in this new collection. The works, read by actress-singer-author Julie Andrews and author-editor-arts educator Emma Walton Hamilton, are grouped into several themed categories contained on two CDs, along with bonus material including paintings from the print version of this audio book.

The first CD contains the following categories: All Things Bright and Beautiful (nature poems), Accentuate the Positive (ideas on optimism), Growing Up (childhood experiences), Bedtime Blessing (sleepy time stories), and Talk to the Animals (look at wildlife). The second CD features poems falling into these groups: Sea Fever (ocean life), Laughing Song (humorous poems), Leisure (pleasurable activities), and The Wonderful World (various uplifting works).

Selected poets range from classic writers such as William Wordsworth and Emily Dickinson, to modern writers such as Jack Prelutsky. Original poems by Andrews, Hamilton, and other family members are included in the mix. Most of the poems contain simple messages, using basic words and uncomplicated metaphors. With the exception of the Laughing Song selections, the poetry remains serious in subject, though unerringly upbeat.

Andrews provides personal introductions to each of the categories with anecdotes about her family life and notes about what an individual poem has meant to her. Although she reads some poems and Hamilton reads others, occasionally they read together.  In the case of "An Attempt at Unrhymed Verse," they both read this comical poem separately in their own unique styles.

The actual collection of poems may delight some children with its innocent view of the world, but the overly dramatic delivery of the works, soporific piano interludes, and cloyingly sweet introductions seem better suited to youngsters from previous generations. Today’s high-tech, computer savvy children who rock out to video games and watch action movies on high-definition television sets might find that these "lullabies" lure them to sleep much too quickly.

The Book

Hachette Book Group
October 6, 2009
Audio Book / 2 CDs / Unabridged / Appx 1 hr, 56 mins
978-1-60024-758-3 / 160024758X
Fiction / Poetry / ages 9-12
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NOTE: Featuring a Bonus PDF of Paintings by James McMullan

The Reviewer

Leslie Halpern
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Leslie Halpern is the author of Reel Romance: The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies, Dreams on Film, A Writer's Guide to Fearless Interviews, and the co-author of Connections: A Collection of Poems. Coming Soon: Passionate About Their Work: Celebrities, Artists, and Experts Discuss Creativity.
© 2009