professornana (professornana) wrote,

the oral tradition/the aural tradition

I have been listening to a TON of audio of late. Part of the reason is the new column I am writing for VOYA on audiobooks. And the other reason is for the joint ALSC/YALSA Odyssey Award for distinction in audio. So, while I will blog about the audiobooks here, I will blog them as books and not comment on the audio aspects. (rules, you know)

CUPID by Julius Lester is firmly rooted in the story of Cupid and Psyche. Having said that, Lester's take on this ancient myth sets it on its side and nudges it over the cliff where, in freefall, it takes on steam (and even becomes a tad steamy) and rolls with laughter. What Lester has accomplished is a completely new take, one that might just motivate students to ask for more mythology. He does not ignore the major players and the basic plot. He infuses the tale, though, with elements directly from the oral tradition. My favorite (well, one of them) is when the narrator wants to digress and the story will not permit such a digression. Lester's voice is loud and clear in this witty and smart variation on a familiar theme. If you read WHAT A TRULY COOL WORLD, one of Lester's picture books, you have had a glimpse of what he is able to do on a much grander scale here.
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