Sunday, November 20, 2016

Walking and Listening to "Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters"

Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway
Dreamscape Audio, 2016

The story of Momotaro or Peach Boy is one that the kids at my school are very familiar with. Many have read the book, even more went to a recent production of it put on by the local children's theater. This story of Momotaro is quite different than what they are used to, in a good way that is. The kids are thoroughly enjoying this version and it doesn't stay on the shelf for long.

Xander seems like your average ordinary 6th grade boy, who does normal 6th grade kid stuff. But weird things suddenly start happening  to him. His drawings, which he sometimes does in class to stay awake, suddenly change, a new character pops up in his video game and his father gives him a comic that he claims his son has drawn. Xander doesn't really have time to figure out what is going on because a massive earthquake and tsunami hit, taking away his father. Xander's grandmother reveals a secret that she has been keeping. He is a Momotaro or warrior. Not believing her at first, especially since he's not the strongest or most athletic kid in town, he learns that he must go and fight the oni to bring his father back. Not the easiest of tasks for a kid who has no training or knowledge of what a Momotaro should do.

I enjoyed Chris Patton's narration of this book. He kept the story moving along, did a nice job differentiating the character's voice. The oni came across as the bad mama jamers that they were and Xander's fear and hesitation of a situation expressed well. I did have a slight annoyance with the pronunciation of Kauai, but this I am sure wouldn't bother the everyday listener.

When I tweeted this picture out, the author immediately recognized the beach. It turns out she had lived here for a 18 months!

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