A few years ago when we were going on a long road trip, we borrowed this tape from the library. (Yes, it was so long ago that we still had a cassette player in the car!) I’m not always a fan of audio books. Many times a perfectly good story can become annoying with the wrong reader. (The guy who read the Percy Jackson books totally grated on my nerves. If I hadn’t already read and loved those books, I doubt I could have listened to a single cd.)
We were pleasantly surprised when we listened to THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD. None of us were familiar with the book. But the British author, Lynne Reid Banks, did a wonderful job of bringing her story to life. Her voicing, especially for the Indian and the cowboy, Boone, matched the personality of the characters so perfectly. In fact, when we watched the movie some time later, the guy playing the Indian seemed like such a wimp compared to the voice and personality the author had given him.
The story blends magic and history with an exploration of family, friendship and growing older. Not only do we watch the Indian and cowboy try to forge a friendship, despite their stereotypes of one another, we also see how the friendship between Omri and Patrick is challenged as they fight over how to take care of the Indian and cowboy they have brought to life. Banks subtly weaves in some very grown up themes of racism, responsibility, love and honor, but she never loses sight of the fun in the story of magically bringing a toy to life.
Because it was so good, we ended up downloading our own copy of the audio book. I’ve listened to this story now three times with my kids and every time I find new things to enjoy. Even if you’ve read the printed book before, I would absolutely recommend listening to Lynne Reid Banks read her classic story to you. It’ll make your next four-hour drive in the car much more enjoyable 🙂
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