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

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #119: September 29, 2016

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around September 29th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Last year I focused solely on review posts for the posts I wanted to share. It was fun remembering some of the review products I had forgotten about. This year I will be focusing on recipes I have shared in the past.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)

Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above if you would like your post to qualify for the Featured Post. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. I love reading the current posts, if you want to share them. However, I am not able to feature them, because the spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted September 26th, 2014
Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen #95: Crockpot Chili

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Kym from Homeschool Coffee Break shared

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: September 28, 2016 (w/linky) : Box Day!

I love happy mail days. I also love knowing what is in the box. And more than that, it thrills me that the children are so excited about our new curriculum that they want to run outside to get it. Alas, it was too heavy and mommy ended up being the one bringing it into the house.

Of course, they love the packaging paper too.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

Tots and Me

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Littles Learning Link Up: September 27, 2016

 Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (usually toward the beginning of the month)
  • A guest post featuring crafts, activities, tips, snack ideas or other early childhood topics. (usually toward the end of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my preschoolers and/or early elementary children (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child(ren).

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

What have we been up to?

Well, we have been busy trying to finish My Father's World Adventures. We received our curriculum for the rest of this school year last week. We are so excited to start ECC (Exploring Countries and Cultures) from My Father's World. In fact, I will be sharing our fun Box Day pictures in this week's Wordless Wednesday post (which goes live tonight)! Of course, in order to start that, we need to finish Adventures. Last week didn't go quite as planned, as Thursday and Friday became unexpected field trip days. So we are squeezing in the remainder of Adv this week. Then we will take a week off. 

We have almost finished learning about all the states. Last week we learned about Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Oklahoma. And we started talking about some of the important inventions that were invented here in America.

We read these fun books:

We learned about McCormick's Reaper, The Sewing Machine, the Telephone, and Thomas Edison's inventions. 

We also learned that Jesus is The Word. 

In Kindergarten, we moved on to P: Penguins. Here are the books the children chose from our huge selection. I take out lots of books on our topics, but there is no way to get through all of them. One thing I have been doing lately is, I choose the books for our Adventures lessons, and the leader of the day chooses a Kindergarten book.

Now, I mentioned we took a couple of days off for unexpected field trips. I received an email from the leader of our homeschool co-op with information for a fun day at a nearby state park. We got to learn to tag Monarch butterflies. Even though we have learned so much about monarchs, I learned quite a bit at this event. Here is a little sneak peek:

You can see more pictures of our fun adventure on my Field Trip Friday post

Then I was made aware that a nearby town was hosting a Civil War Reenactment this year. Friday was the "school day" where local schools gathered and went from station to station learning about the civil war. This was perfect, seeing as we finished our unit on the civil war during the first week of school. I haven't had a chance to post about about that trip yet, so here are a few pictures. More pictures will be shared on this week's Field Trip Friday post.

Let's take a look at that review schedule:

I did want to quickly remind you what reviews are coming up here on Tots and Me...Growing Up Together. My last review for September is Heirloom Audio Production's newest release, The Cat of Bubastes. I will be posting that in a couple of days. Let's just say, it didn't disappoint.

In October I will be sharing my reviews of several of Carole P. Roman's If you Were Me and Lived in. . . books, Everyday Education's Working It Out: Growing Spiritually With the Poetry of George Herbert, Middlebury Interactive Languages, and CrossTimber.

Believe it or not, our Homeschool Review Crew year is getting close to an end. We just learned about our newest review product today. Then we take a break for the holidays. I know I am hoping to be on the Crew again next year.

A few somethings I would like to share with you:

Well, it is officially Autumn, so I wanted to make sure to remind you of some of the fun fall round ups I have posted in the past.

First, there was the Apple Fun Round Up.

And then there was the Pumpkin Fun Round Up.

And this month, I shared the Fall Leaves All Around Round Up.

And finally, don't miss this month's Guest Post: Teaching U.S. Geography Through Picture Books.

I am still lining up guest posts. If you would be interested writing a guest post for Littles Learning Link Up one of these months, please leave a comment or contact me via my contact info on my About Me page. I will need to have your email address so I can contact you. I am looking for posts that have to do with young children: crafts, activities, foods/snacks, tips, or other ideas. I am open to suggestions.

Now onto:
Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 22 wonderful posts linked up! 
I will be picking one randomly selected post to share, plus the top clicked-on post.

Please don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's Randomly Selected Post is:

Nancy from Mimi and the Grands shared Books About Autumn: Lesson Plans for Ages 3-7.

Now for this week's top clicked-on post:

Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on one of my relevant boards, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Monday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- September 27, 2016

Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaways
Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

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