Thursday, September 29, 2016

Intriguing Audio Drama with The Cat of Bubastes from Heirloom Audio Productions {A TOS Review}

We recently had the opportunity to review the newest release from Heirloom Audio Productions, another beloved tale titled, The Cat of Bubastes. We have enjoyed every audio drama we have received from Heirloom Audio Productions, and this one is no exception. All of these stories were originally written by the great G.A. Henty over a century ago. To tell you the truth, I had never heard his name before we reviewed Under Drakes Flag. Since then, I have had the chance to review every new release, and have been amazed by these intriguing stories from history. 

The audio dramas we first reviewed, all took place in relatively recent times, at least compared to The Cat of Bubastes. The eras in which these previous stories have taken place range from the 9th century (in Dragon and the Raven) to the 19th century (in With Lee in Virginia). A couple of months ago we reviewed Beric the Briton which took place in the 1st century. There was even the mention of Paul (or Paulus) from the New Testament in that story. However, we are now going even further back in history, to the time around the Exodus in the Bible. In fact, Moses has a cameo in this tale that takes place primarily in ancient Egypt. 

As always we received the 2-CD set of the production along with the downloadable bonus features that are included in the Family Four-Pack. 

Here is a list of all the bonuses we were given access to:
  • The MP3 Set of The Cat of Bubastes
  • The Cat of Bubastes E-Book (this is G.A. Henty's original story with new colorful graphics.)
  • The Official MP3 Soundtrack (by Emmy Award-Winning Composer John Campbell)
  • Printable Cast Poster
  • Study Guide and Discussion Starter
  • Inspirational Verse Poster (this is a larger, printable version of the image pictures above, in the center of the CD case.)
  • Live the Adventure Letter
  • Behind the Scenes Video

This is a tale of people learning of the one, true God, and learning to trust in him. Our main characters are all from pagan lands, from societies that worshiped other gods. But through the power of God, they were brought together and learned about Him. There is also a theme of it being "the duty of all men to give happiness to those around him if it is in his power" and treating others with respect, no matter what their station in life, as you never know what your future hold for you.

The story begins after two of our main characters have been captured, along with others from the country of Rebu, and find themselves being taken as slaves to Egypt. Because Amuba realized the importance of learning Egyptian, he and his protector Jethro, are chosen by the high priest of Osiris, Ameres, to be slaves in his home. Amuba, whose father was the king, now finds himself servant and companion to Chebron, the son of the high priest, while Jethro is the servant to the high priest's daughter Mysa.

Amuba and Chebron (along with Jethro) become close companions as they spend time together on a hunt, saving a young Israelite lady named Ruth, unveiling a murder plot, and accidentally killing the sacred cat. It is through Ruth and her father Simeon that they learn of the one, true God. After her father dies, Ruth is brought into the household of Ameres as Mysa's handmaiden.

As the story moves along, the main Egyptian characters are seen questioning the logic of their being different sacred animals for different areas of Egypt. I have to say, I was intrigued to have the Egyptian beliefs clarified, explaining the difference between the worship of the "gods" and the sacredness of the animals. With the death of Paucis, Mysa's cat who had been chosen as the next sacred cat of Bubastes, we also see that Ameres, the high priest, has also questioned the beliefs for a while.

As with all the "extraordinary adventures of G.A. Henty" this program is filled with adventure, suspense, and action. We were drawn into the story as we listened in the van. The descriptions of the Egyptian buildings were quite detailed, and the sound effects helped draw us into the story as it moved along. As always the acting was superb, with Brian Blessed returning as Mr. George (G.A. Henty) narrating the story.

I admit that I don't recognize near as many of the actor's names as I have in the other adventures. However, I was tickled to learn that the eccentric priest from Bubastes, Permotep, was voiced by Anthony Daniels who played C3P0 in Star Wars. Another returning actor who I recognized quite well was John Rhys-Davies. Even though I didn't recognize the actors, that does not change the fact that the acting was superb.

We usually listen to these dramas in the van on long trips, seeing as they are a couple of hours long. The first time we listened to The Cat of Bubastes, we had to listen to it in parts, as we didn't have a long trip coming until this past weekend. Finally, on the way to and from the hockey game, we were able to listen to the entire story in one day. I do prefer to listen in long, uninterrupted stretches so we don't forget what part of the story we had been up to.

We also usually find time to listen in the living room during a Sunday afternoon rest time, so I can also ask the children questions from the study guide. This time, I took my tablet with us in the van, and pulled up the study guide, and asked the questions while hubby drove down the road. I was amazed at how well the children were able to answer the questions. Even Hannah piped up with a correct answer.

The study guide for The Cat of Bubastes is similar to the study guides of all the previous releases. After a listing of the crew and the cast, there is an introduction to the study guide. There is a bit of biographical information for G.A. Henty and Moses, followed by a little snippet about Heirloom Audio Productions. The next 30 pages are devoted to the actual study guide questions.

Each track on the CDs is a section of the story. On the top of the page you will find the title to the chapter along with which track it is and where to find it on the disc. There is a Listening Well section, with literal questions that the children can answer just from listening to the events in the story. There is also a Thinking Further section that is a bit more difficult and involved. Finally, each page has a Defining Words section.

A feature that was started in Beric the Briton, has returned with The Cat of Bubastes. There are "Expand Your Learning" boxes where you will find further information, notes, a map and even a recipe. You will find these spread throughout the guide, not on every page.

After the study guide question section, you will find a list of addition resources. Then there are 3 Bible Studies: "God Meant it For Good," "The Knowledge of God," and "Idolatry and Tyranny." The guide concludes with historical information to help put the story in perspective.

Well, they have done it again. Heirloom Audio Productions have created a wonderful listening adventure, one I can highly recommend. Whether you are studying ancient Egypt or learning about Moses and the Exodus, this would be a wonderful supplement to your learning. Or, like us, you may just enjoy historical dramas, and would love to add this to your collection. I love having these in our CD library, as they are wonderful for listening to on long journeys. I also know, that down the road, we will be studying ancient times, and I plan on bringing this CD out again. The children will be older, and may even be able to use the Study Guide more. In fact, we just finished learning about the Civil War and I was able to pull out With Lee in Virginia. Listening to it again, while we were learning about the time period, really helped to put things into perspective for the children. 

The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty from Heirloom Audio Productions are wonderful resources for your homeschool. I truly appreciate how they bring history to life!

You can find Heirloom Audio Productions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.

You can click on the banner below to read what my Crew Mates had to say about The Cat of Bubastes.

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

Crew Disclaimer

1 comment:

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