The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde (Chris Beatrice, illustrator)

Once upon a time I had an idea to post reviews of books I like to read my children. Alas, like so many of my ideas it never quite took off. But in this case it did pay off in at least one way.  It seems Dan Goeller stumbled upon that review and thought I might be interested in his project.

Goeller, a composer, was part of a new rendition of the Oscar Wilde classic The Selfish Giant but this one a musical as well as literary effort:

Oscar Wilde’s classic fairy tale springs to life in this imaginative adaptation for symphony orchestra and narrator.  Composer Dan Goeller’s captivating music captures the humor and poignancy of Wilde’s story. For example, one can hear the sweet singing of the birds in the flutes or the sound of the growling Giant in the tuba. Both children and adults will delight in the superb narration of celebrated English actor Martin Jarvis. The symphonic score is perfectly complemented by the illustrations of award-winning artist Chris Beatrice.  His skillful use of light and color adds an enchanting quality to his stunning visual portraits of Wilde’s imaginative world. This perfect union of art and music is sure to inspire children of all ages for generations to come.

After having a chance to look and listen to the story, I have to say it is well done. A joy to listen to and read.  For more and a video example see below.

The artwork is whimsical and childlike but with enough mystery to match the lovely story. I particularly like the giant – large and rather unattractive but whose personality and features change as the story progresses.

The music is beautiful but  doesn’t overpower the story and the narration is well done.  All together it is a nice package: art, literature and music. A great way to introduce your kids to all three. My kids enjoyed it and I am sure yours will too.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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