From a Dad and Professional Sound Engineeer
Mu Mu CD 1 went down a storm after I picked up my daughter up from nursery yesterday. Here is her feedback:
“I really like it because there are songs AND stories!”. She was also somewhat fascinated by the cover and the fact that “the man is upside down”. I thought it was great, fabulous product, great content and packaging/presentation. And, of course, your voice Lara, was perfect, just the right balance, a lovely warm and light touch with a positive delivery. Thank you so much. It’s CD 2 tomorrow as we are busy this evening. I have a feeling I’ll be getting repeated requests for Mu Mu on all our car journeys etc.
DRAMA AND THEATRE TEACHER / Grandfather
This is brilliant. I initially bought this for my granddaughter but after only one listen through I am going to use it for my Drama School too as it's going to provide hours of material for the young ones to work on. I've done one trial with them already and they can't wait for more. The kids wanted to sing along from the word go and had great fun re-enacting the stories. It's always difficult to find material that really engages the younger ones but this audiobook has everything you could want with its amusing, creative stories and a collection of beautifully performed songs. I would recommend this for not just your children and grandchildren but primary English, Drama and Dance teachers too for use in active music, movement and story based workshops.
My two boys (aged 4&7) LOVE this! There are some great high energy songs to get the jumping around the living room, as well as keeping them amused on long journeys in the car - the record is 5 times in a row from Bristol to Oxfordshire. It's great to get them interested in something other than Disney tunes, with a bit of heart and humour (plus the extra bonus of a tooth-brushing song which I don't feel stupid singing in the bathroom!). Hoping for more stories in the series.
BOOKCLUB MEMBER and ENGLISH TEACHER
What made the experience of listening to ‘Adventures In Mu Mu Land’ the most enjoyable? The changes in tone between songs and stories create a true adventure, linking the emotive power of sound to children's developing proficiency in language and self -expression. What other book might you compare Adventures In Mu Mu Land to, and why? For its instinctive ability to engage with the inquisitive young mind, particularly through the sounds and rhythm of language, it is reminiscent of the Ahlbergs. However, this audio adventure is surely a forerunner in an emerging genre that marries the traditional values of children's literature, with the benefits of music. Which scene did you most enjoy? It was the endearing characterisation that really made the stories for me. Notably, Confucius the dragon, and the wizard with the over-sized cloak- each supplying their own brand of indisputable wisdom. If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be? A traditional touch of magic and wit, with Honey, Pickle and friends. Any additional comments? As a teacher of English, I was enthused by both the lively stimulus for the imagination, and for the cognitive development of the child.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why? Yes - I would recommend this to all my friends who have young children - to provide them with a wonderful introduction to language and music. Fabulous fun listening to stories - with lots of opportunities to move and dance along to the songs too! What did you like best about this story? It's got all the classic ingredients required to engage young listeners - and yet it's fresh and new, with brilliant songs and sound effects throughout. Highly original stories. Which scene was your favourite? We loved the argumentative ladybirds and Confucius the Dragon. If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be? Step through the magic portal into a world or adventures and songs. Any additional comments? A true audio experience.
PROFESSIONAL LITERARY REVIEW - Audiofile Magazine
Author-composer Lara West does an irresistible job narrating these musical stories, which are specifically designed as audiobooks. During a sleepover, Honey leads her shy friend, Pickle, through a magical portal to Mu Mu Land. West creates engaging little-girl voices as they describe their adventures when they meet Confucius the dragon; Prince Lu; and a clown who's lost his red nose. Exuberant songs are presented throughout each short tale. Most fun is the catchy song about brushing one's teeth. The music cleverly fades as the girls fall asleep. This is an ideal way to make young ones eager for bedtime.
REVIEWS – FROM ‘MUMS NET’ – BY A PARENT OF 4 AND 6 YEAR OLDS.
I've just left my two boys (aged 4&6) in bed, listening to this and singing along with the songs about brushing your teeth, flying through the sky and being best friends forever. The stories revolve around two girls named Honey and Pickle who, during sleepovers at Honey's house, come across a magical portal which whisks them off to Mu Mu Land. There they have a series of adventures with easy-to-follow plotlines so as not to confuse the littlest listeners. There's plenty of gentle humour too, which is aimed perfectly at pre-school/ reception children. I've bought the CD and you get three adventures for your money - as well as the song list played right through at the end (in case you just want to get to the really sweet lullaby as a wind-down at the end of the day). I didn't think it would appeal to boys as much as girls due to the female main characters, but the songs were so catchy and the stories so imaginative, they were hooked from the first playing. We've been through it quite a few times in the car. It's the first audio book I've bought the boys and due to the short scenic nature of the tales, plus the music (which covers a huge variety of styles), it really holds their attention in a way a purely spoken audio book may not (until they're a bit older). It's cute, original and Disney-free!
REVIEWS – FROM ‘MUMS NET’ – FUN, IMAGINATIVE AND ENGAGING – 5 STARS
Purchased this audio book for my youngest daughter (4), and she instantly loved it. In particular she found the characters Pickle and Honey both funny and lovable. The story has elements of repetition, which suits a younger audience, enabling them to sing along with the music throughout. The toothbrush song is a great way of making my daughter brush her teeth without any fuss.
REVIEWS – FROM ‘MUMS NET’ – ENTERTAINING – 5 STARS
A lovely audio CD that fires the imagination. Loved already, especially for those long car journeys. Cannot wait for the next adventure to be published!
REVIEWS – FROM ‘MUMS NET’ – GREAT FOR CAR JOURNEYS AND BEDTIMES – 5 STARS
Loved this CD. Loads of laughs, stirs the imagination, as well as special moments to lull kids asleep at bedtime with great songs and characters. Would definitely get more Mu Mu Land stories.
REVIEWS – FROM ‘MUMS NET’ – GREAT AUDIOBOOK FOR HOME AND CAR – 5 STARS
Entertaining and educational. The 5 year old loves it. Great for journeys and at home. Fun stories that we all listen to and keeps him entertained on long journeys.
REVIEWS – FROM ‘MUMS NET’ – SUPER AND ENTERTAINING – 5 STARS
A lovely and charming story that draws you and your child in straight from the start! My 6 year old loved it and the songs and the (front cover) illustrations were super! More please!
REVIEWS – FROM ‘MUMS NET’ – CHARMING, REFRESHING AND FUN – 5 STARS
Funky catchy songs, nice change from Disney or nursery rhymes. Charming adventure stories. Great idea to have the songs again at the end, ready for a singalong!
REVIEW – FROM AMAZON.COM - AN UNCLE (Australia)
The kids were enthralled by the story and the songs in this audiobook from the very first the minute. They play it for hours on end every day and say it is the best story they've ever heard. Absolutely brilliant and a must for all young children. Five big stars for this one *****
REVIEW – FROM AN AUDIBLE UK Parent
Where does Adventures In Mu Mu Land rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far? In the BEST category, because these are stories that no child has ever heard before, that are enchanting and engaging and full of music and song too! What was one of the most memorable moments of Adventures In Mu Mu Land? When the boy, Prince Mu, apologises to the Dragon, for being careless with his bow and arrow! A charming, yet moral moment in a gentle tale that is cleverly underpinned with important values. Which character – as performed by Lara J West – was your favourite? This narrator certainly offers a vast array of funny, quirky and engaging voices and it's hard to pick a favourite from the two great heroines - Honey and Pickle - who are, as the song goes: 'A Double Act'. Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting? Yes - it is very engaging and well-paced - but it is also nice for very young children that they can enjoy each short story (18 minutes) just before bedtime. 'The Lullaby' sung by the mother is a real favourite with my daughter. Also it is fantastic that there is an entire 4th Chapter with just the songs - played one after another - to dance and sing along to! Any additional comments? Yes - this is a 'musical' audiobook - a great combination of two fun elements - songs and stories, perfectly combined and balanced. This is so much more than just listening to a story being read. This is the singularly unique difference between this set of adventures and all the other audiobooks out there. A great listening experience.
REVIEW – FROM AMAZON.CO.UK AN AUNTIE (Midlands - England)
What a fabulous story with great songs that children will easily learn and sing over and over again. Wonderfully told with lovely messages, I hope there's a sequel as I think this is magical for all children and wish I'd heard when I was little!! I'd give it 6 stars if I could!!
REVIEW – FROM AMAZON.CO.UK MUSIC TEACHER (Bristol - UK)
As the audiobook revolution gathers pace and listening experiences become ever more sophisticated, this title truly exploits the advantages of never having been in print. Designed from the outset as an audiobook, for the very youngest of listeners (3 – 8), it is at times akin to a fascinating radio play, where the interplay of captivating character voices and clear narrative, sit alongside a suite of engaging and original songs. An innovative, charming, yet action-packed contribution to a new era of listening.
REVIEW – FROM AMAZON.COM BLOGGER / EDUCATION WRITER
The perfect antidote for parents of littlies who may have become a tad tired of hearing 'The Wheels on the Bus' - and other 'classic children's songs' - going round and round and round and round - again and again! – Give your ears a refreshing break and enjoy 9 bright, new and enjoyably original songs, cleverly sewn into three highly imaginative stories. It might be the best hour you've spent with your young ones in a long time!
REVIEW – AUDIBLE DOT COM (US)
What made the experience of listening to ‘Adventures In Mu Mu Land’ the most enjoyable? We really liked all the characters and their voices; eccentric Queen Mu; Hazza the bumbling Wizard; and the heroes – Honey and Pickle – who really made us laugh with their funny little quirks. We also really loved the mix of music, sound effects and story. What other book might you compare ‘Adventures In Mu Mu Land’ to, and why? ‘Mu Mu Land’ is as zany as Alice’s ‘Wonderland’ … as exciting as Peter Pan’s ‘Neverland’ … and packed full of fantastic, original songs. Which scene did you most enjoy? We couldn’t decide on our favourite … as we loved them all … but what we really enjoyed was the transformation from an ordinary sleep-over, through the magic portal, into an adventure in ‘Mu Mu Land’, then back home again … just in time for the lullaby. If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be? Join the ‘Mu Mu Land’ and travel into an enchanting world of magic, stories, laughter and song. Any additional comments? If you love music and exciting stories … check this out!