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Author & Illustrator: Thacher Hurd   Narrator: John Beach

Available Discounts

    ISBN: 9781591123224
    Release Date: 03/30/2001
    Grades: K - 3
    Reading Level: 2.4
    Length:  10 Min 24 Sec

    Mystery on the Docks 1 PB/1 CD
    ISBN: 9781591123224
    Mystery on the Docks CD
    ISBN: 9781591123217


    "...The Italian music which accompanies the story, is a great enhancement, breathing life into the short picture book...a great readalong for individuals or small groups." School Library Journal


    Review by: AudioFile Magazine - December 1, 2002
    "Hurd's whimsical tale of a short-order cook and the kidnapping of his favorite opera singer comes vividly to life in this fine example of a masterfully crafted production. Narration, music, and sound effects blend seamlessly and provide a delightful listening experience. John Beach is earnest as Ralph, menacing as the crook Big Al, and exotic as Eduardo. He lingers over the repeated phrase--"Or was it?"--inviting participation and heightening the suspense. The accompanying music is as dark and haunting as the story's opening words, and the posters on the diner's walls mandate CARMEN as the operatic accompaniment. Creaking piers, clanging gangplanks, and exploding flares are all perfectly placed."
    Review by: School Library Journal - October 1, 2001
    "This delightful adventure by author/illustrator Thatcher Hurd (Harper-Collins, 1983) comes alive with the sound effects of its waterfront setting, such as the throbbing of a ship's engine as it pulls up to a dock. The hero, an opera loving rat named Ralph, is a short order cook at the diner on Pier 46. When two customers run out without paying, Ralph follows them and finds himself thrown in a cargo hold with Eduardo Bombasto, his favorite opera singer, who is being held for ransom by the villainous rodents from the diner. Narrator John Beach effortlessly handles the voices of all the characters, including the mobster-like Big Al and the humorous thick accent of Eduardo. In the climax of the story, Eduardo sings out a loud and melodious "hallpp!" to get the attention of authorities. Ralph invites him to the diner fora celebration where he sings songs to his opera idol. The Italian music which accompanies the story is a great enhancement, breathing life into the short picture book. One side of the cassette has page-turning signals and the other side does, not. This is a great read along for individuals or small groups."
    Review by: Booklist Magazine - January 1, 2001
    "In this read-along version of Thacher Hurd's popular picture book (1983), opera-loving Ralph comes to the rescue of his favorite singer, who has been kidnapped by a gang of rat villains. Although reader John Beach's Italian accent is somewhat inconsistent and not particularly believable, he capably reflects the humorous dialogue in this "fast paced melodrama." Sound effects help young listeners (who are sure to appreciate Ralph's courage and cleverness as he successfully battles Big Al and his gang) visualize the exciting chase and capture."


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