It’s challenging to get the subtle feeling just right on a storytelling CD, especially on a recording for children. Many of the visual cues that live storytelling relies on are, of course, missing in a recording. Those cues help establish intimacy and connection with the children listening. On the storytelling CD "The Growing Season," storyteller Jennifer Zunikoff gets it right. Her voice reaches across the speakers and embraces the listener. Her voice feels secure, warm and welcoming without ever patronizing the listener.
While these stories are for children, Jennifer still uses strong story crafting, especially in the “My Seder Story” told from the perspective of a young boy. Smaller stories nest within each other to create the overall story. Young children will initially hear a series of stories but, as with any good retelling and replaying, the understanding of the story will grow as the child grows. Well done, Jennifer.
Purchasers need to know that these stories are culturally Jewish with a generous sprinkling of Hebrew words and phrases. The album description on her website says it is a collection of, “. . . Jewish children’s stories for Tu B’Shvat, Purim, and Passover.”
“Time for noshing. . .” calls out one of the characters on this CD, inviting the children to come to the table for a snack. We think the character is not only calling the children in the story but we imagine it is surely the artist reaching out and inviting her young listeners to dig into great stories that are at once an easy “snack” of children’s tales while still passing on culture with a well-prepared table spread with learning and education.
You can find “The Growing Season” at Amazon.com. Learn more about Jennifer’s storytelling at her website at: jenniferstories.com.