Ancient Egypt has fascinated our family since Miss E was young. When she was about four, she was playing with heiroglyph stickers and learning about Egypt. When Heirloom Audio Productions announced their release of The Cat of Bubastes, I got really excited knowing how much fascination Egypt held. We were thrilled to get to be on the review of this one!
Heirloom Audio always does a magnificent job of creating a theater quality production to listen to in the comfort of your own home or the convenience of any place you can take a CD or an MP3 file. Their production crew is able to create such a wonderful program that it makes the listener feel as though they are right in the middle of the action, the discussions, and the life of the characters. Each production Heirloom creates seems to be better than the last.
Heirloom Audio’s tagline is “The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty”. They are adapting Henty novels to audio productions that can be listened to and the productions focus on Christian values and aspects of history that are becoming lost in history books these days. Henty was a writer that lived from 1832-1902. He was a war correspondent and as such, traveled extensively, thus getting much of his knowledge of culture and lands. He wrote about many famous people and times in history but he told a much different story than many of the history books tell. Heirloom Audio has taken his writings and used them as the story lines for Christian audio adventures,taking to heart the quote by Frederick Douglas that states “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
As a part of this review we received:
- a physical CD copy of the audio production
- an MP3 file of the audio production
- a PDF file of the study guide
- a digital copy of the soundtrack
- a digital copy of The Cat of Busbastes ebook by G.A. Henty
- a PDF of the cast poster
- a digital file of a behind-the-scenes documentary video
- a PDF of an inspirational verse
These items all are part of the family four-pack purchase bonuses.
The Cat of Bubastes takes place several thousand years ago in Egypt. Many of the Rebu tribe have been captured in war and are transported as slaves to Egypt. Once in Thebes, Amuba and Jethro are placed as slaves in the house of Ameres, the high priest of Osiris. Amuba becomes friends with his master, Chebron, one of Ameres’ sons. As they learn together, they wonder about the ability of the gods and where truth comes from. In meeting an Israelite, they learn about the one true God the Israelites had worshipped in the past. Between the uncovering of a murder plot in the temple to the accidental killing of the sacred Cat of Bubastes, Amuba, Chebron, and Jethro are thrust into danger and adventure. The men experience the wonder, providence, and protection of the one true God.
Enjoy The Story:
The CD is what we use most. It becomes almost permanently housed in Miss E’s room so she can listen to it over and over. (Well, until the next one comes out. . .) It is a 2 CD set and is done with very high quality sound. The production is approximately 2 hours long. It features the voices of Brian Blessed, Peter Moreton, Akintunde Esuruoso, Toby Baddeley, Anthony Daniels, Emily Woodward, and many others. With a score by award-winning John Campbell, the enjoyment of the story is non-stop from beginning to end. It is an easy listen and you hardly know that 2 hours has gone by when the story finally concludes.
We have used the MP3 files to place the audio production on our Kindles. This allows us to listen to the program while not at home. These have the same high quality as the CDs and are easily portable.
I have also placed the ebook of the original Henty novel on my Kindle. I have been able to read the book while waiting during dance classes or violin lessons. The ebook version is the original Henty novel but it has been redesigned for an ebook and has a few images added to help enhance the story. While it was slow to get started, I realized that there was a lot of information in the first part that really enhanced the story later on. Reading the ebook is something that is really quite important with this particular novel, I believe. Since the audio production is an adaptation, there is a lot of information that they are unable to include. I have learned a lot about Egypt, the society and culture, and the religion that just was unable to be added to the audio production. I highly recommend reading the original Henty novel.
The behind-the-scenes video is approximately 20 minutes long and is able to be watched on the computer. This was a fascinating video as it discussed the many roles required to create these productions. The focus on interactions and how each role is important was quite interesting. It was refreshing to see the focus on God, from prayer before each work session, to the statement that this is all being done “within God’s will.” One of my favorite quotes from the video is “Each one of these stories we do has changed me . . . Each one imparts something in you. Our prayer is that as people listen, it imparts something of substance . . that it challenges you or changes you.” (John Fornof)
The study guide is a huge part of this package. The study guide contains tons of information and questions to help you get more out of the story. Each track has its own section of the study guide that contains questions to help the reader focus on the story and comprehending it as well as questions that force the listener to think more deeply about the content and reasoning. There are also words to define that the listener might not know. Often, there is also an information box on the page that shares more about the culture, animals, traditions, and more of ancient Egypt. Each page of the study guide has not only the disc and track number but it also contains the time markings for that track if you are listening to it on MP3, which shows and elapsed time, rather than track numbers sometimes. The study additionally contains three Bible studies: God Meant It For Good, The Knowledge of God, and Idolatry and Tyranny. There is also some additional information on the cat of Bubastes.
I placed the study guide on my Kindle and we accessed it there. We used it to guide our out loud discussions about the story. The study guide definitely enriches the experience of Heirloom Audio Productions.
Heirloom Audio has done it again and The Cat of Bubastes is a wonderful learning experience. It is fun and entertaining, while teaching a lot.
One thing with The Cat of Bubastes was that if you don’t know the story, it is hard to follow the first time you listen. Miss E remarked that she felt like she had missed a disc and actually took it out to check that it was the first disc and that it was starting on track 1. It would be good to get the background knowledge of the battle that begins the novel if possible before listening to the CDs.
And, as I mentioned when discussing the ebook, there is a lot of information about Egypt and its culture and beliefs that just cannot be included in the audio production, whether due to the difficulty of writing it into a conversational style or the time factor. You really don’t want to miss that information.
We enjoy Heirloom Audio Productions and get so much learning from each of their programs that I can’t help but share about them. We are grateful for the opportunity each time we are selected to be a part of a review for Heirloom. They truly are tremendous learning opportunities that are coupled with Christian values and beliefs.
See what other families from the Homeschool Review Crew (yes – new name, same Crew!) thought about The Cat of Bubastes by clicking the banner below.