By Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by Gregory Christie
Read by JD Jackson
Although I read the print book earlier, I recently reviewed the audio version of Freedom in Congo Square for AudioFile Magazine.
You can read my review of Freedom in Congo Square at AudioFile Magazine.
The following are some additional thoughts:
Freedom in Congo Square is a multiple award winning book, and the audio production with sound effects and music is flawless. However, the digital audiobook suffers without the accompanying picture book. For full disclosure, I should mention that I've hosted the illustrator, Gregory Christie at my library and I am a huge fan, but the fact that he's a joyous and interesting person who wows children, is beside my main point. In the picture book version (for which he earned a Caldecott Honor), he captures the moods of each day so perfectly, and his transition from the torture of day-to-day chores to the joy of a music-filled Sunday afternoon at New Orleans' Congo Square captures a joy and resiliency of spirit missing in the audio version. Although the narrator, JD Perkins, does a stellar reading, the accompanying music for the Sunday afternoon of freedom is rhythmic drumming with no hint of the tambourines, flutes, fiddles, and triangles mentioned in the foreword.
By all means, listen to the audiobook version, but have the picture book on hand as well!
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