Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Cat of Bubastes

Our family is excited every time we review a new audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions. They have easily become one of our favorite companies as their audio dramas are some of the best we've ever heard.

Our schooling is very literature-based. Our family loves read-alouds and will often sit together to read various novels for hours on end. I love reading my kids quality literature and sharing that time with them. Not only does it teach them life lessons, it also introduces them to new vocabulary. Along with that time spent together, we love to incorporate audio books and dramas into our days. Whether we're folding clothes, driving in the van, or just needing some downtime, audio books are perfect. The Cat of Bubastes has easily become the newest "favorite" in our house.

The Cat of Bubastes is a theater-quality production based on the novel with the same name, written by G.A.Henty. We've listened to many different audio books and dramas, and none has ever compared to the quality of those by Heirloom Audio Productions. If you close your eyes, you feel as if you're there in the story. Think of it as watching a movie, but with no picture. The music, the actors, the sound effects--they all make the story come to life. You hear the stone door opening and closing, the birds tweeting, an angry mob shouting, swords clanking, horses neighing, fire crackling, a crocodile grunting and you feel as if you are there in Ancient Egypt as one of the characters of the story. It is that realistic. The narrator, Brian Blessed, has a rich, powerful voice that makes the drama exciting to listen to. We were immediately pulled into the story.

The story takes place during the times of Ancient Egypt. It follows the life of Amuba, a prince whose father was killed in battle and had been taken captive by the Egyptians. He and his servant are bought by, Ameres, a high priest in the land. Ameres treats them both well and befriends them. Amuba and his son, Chebron, quickly become friends. Together, they learn to trust each other and they experience many obstacles. They learn of a murder plot, save an Israelite woman from a hungry crocodile, accidentally kill their "sacred" cat, and flee and then fight for their lives. They learn of the one true God and trust in Him. Along with the non-stop action and exciting adventures, there are plenty of morals and Biblical truths taught along the way.

The Cat of Bubastes single package costs $29.97 (+ shipping and handling). Along with the 2-CD set, you will receive 3 bonuses:

  1. The Cat of Bubastes eStudy Guide (digital download) -- This complete guide is used to enhance your learning and complement your study. Each section, which correlates to the tracks on the CDs, is  filled with review questions (Listening Well), ideas to get you thinking deeper (Thinking Further), and vocabulary words (Defining Words). There is more information about G.A. Henty and Moses; multiple Bible studies that coordinate with the story, many pictures from the times, and much more historical information. 
  2. Printable Copy of Bible Verse (digital download) -- "Oh Jehovah, there is none like Thee, neither is there any god besides Thee." I Chronicles 17:21. This inspirational verse can be printed and framed to remind you of God's omnipotence.  
  3. The Cat of Bubastes Soundtrack (MP3 download) -- Our family loves soundtracks. This beautiful music was written by Emmy-winning composer John Campbell (creator of the original score for C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, Adventures in Odyssey, and more). We've enjoyed listening to this moving music while doing school, cleaning house, and folding laundry.
There is also an option of a family four-pack. For $99.97 (+ shipping and handling), you get 4 copies of the 2-CD set and the bonuses listed above, along with additional bonuses: Live the Adventure E-Newsletter; G.A. Henty's original The Cat of Bubastes e-book with colorful graphics; professionally designed, printable promotional poster; and a behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the cast and crew.

 Here's what my kids had to say about the story:

"It was cool. I didn't want it to end!"

"It was kinda funny when the guy fell on his own knife and was killed."

"It was awesome!"

"I didn't expect the arrow to deflect off a branch and kill the cat."

"I thought Perrrrrmotep was funny."

The 2+ hour audio production is ideal for ages 6-adult, but our entire family enjoyed listening to it. My kids love learning about Ancient Egypt and seeing how it correlates to the events in the Bible. (Even Moses makes an appearance in The Cat of Bubastes.) We used the study guide questions to review the story and tackle difficult topics. The kids and I especially enjoyed the sections teaching about Egyptian slavery, language, diet, hieroglyphics, mummification, and pyramids. There's even information about the importance of dung beetles and crocodiles, and a recipe for ta'amia.  The kids laughed as we talked about King Snefru, because names were so different in Ancient Egypt. Of course, the little ones didn't quite understand everything, but it's never too early to introduce quality literature. This will be a story that we reference throughout the years. The Cat of Bubastes is a wonderful resource to have. 

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You can read more reviews of this production on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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