Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Juanita the Spanish Lobster from Maestro Classics {GIVEAWAY}

I'm so excited this week, because I will be running THREE giveaways! I've already shared one with you, and today's is another treat.

I am always looking for ways to introduce my kids to classical music. I have a nice collection of CDs that I play on a regular basis with classical pieces from Mozart, Grieg, and many others. A week or two ago, I clicked on a link that had caught my eye, and it led me to the most wonderful website: Maestro

You cannot even begin to imagine my delight to discover a company that produces educational materials centered around classical music - for young children! They offer a series of classical CDs, each one dedicated to a particular orchestral story. Inside each CD set you will find a short story (length varies depending on the particular story), a section about the story, another section about the music, and one or two bonus soundtracks. It also comes with an activity booklet.

You can also sign up for their Kids Club and receive monthly puzzles, games, and other activities in your email. January's email was focused on Swan Lake, and came with a video, music excerpt, link to their curriculum guide, and a coloring page. Yes, I said curriculum guide. Their awesome site also includes a section with education materials perfect for homeschoolers, teachers, and parents. Yay!

Intrigued, I purchased their album, Juanita the Spanish Lobster, and downloaded the MP3 version because, a) I prefer to be able to download it on my children's school computer, and b) I was too impatient to wait for the actual CD. The best description of this story is found on their website: 

"Juanita is an imposing Spanish lady lobster. Not content to knit seaweed with the other lobsters in the grotto, Juanita prefers to dance a fierce flamenco and sing about her troubles. She loathes her boring underwater life and longs for more excitement. Thinking she can find more fun on the land, she leaps into a fisherman’s lobster trap one day. Her admirer, a lovesick little lobster named Caradoc (as in the Arthurian knight) saves her from certain doom. In the end, a newly contented Juanita learns to love the grotto, and she sings about her marvelous life with all of the other sea creatures."

Not only did I love it, but more importantly, my kids loved it! They have been listening to it over and over. We sat and listened to the story, then learned about who created it and how, then listened to it again, then learned about the different music styles used in the story. It was just fantastic. The MP3 download came with a pdf version of the activity booklet, which was perfect because with two children, I was able to print up the same pages so that they could each have a copy to work on. It is filled not just with activities, but also with a History of Flamenco and Amazing Facts About Lobsters.

Now for the best part: They offer a Spanish version of this particular CD! Juanita la langosta española has been completely translated into Spanish by the very talented, Yanitzia Canetti, whose translations of children's literature I have admired for its smooth sophistication and the way in which it captures the essence of the story. 

The music on the Maestro Classics CDs are performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Simon. The narrator of Juanita the Spanish Lobster is Dr. Konrad Czynski (a.k.a. Yadu), professor of Humanities at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. (He has, in fact narrated several of the other CDs including Peter & the Wolf, Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice.)

But the narrator of Juanita la langosta española is Rosi Amador, lead singer of Sol y Canto. Rosi has narrated a number of childrens books, including recent releases by Barefoot Books (which I mentioned yesterday).

Below is a short video of Maestro Classics' co-creator, Bonnie Ward Simon, talking about Juanita la langosta española:


Maestro Classics is kindly offering a copy of their Juanita la langosta española CD to one MommyMaestra reader.

To enter to win, simply leave a comment below.

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Monday, January 23rd. The winners will be chosen using and contacted via email - so be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment! 

And to increase your chances of winning, you can:

1) Visit Maestro Classics' website, then come back and leave a comment telling me which CD you'd like to hear most.

2) Follow Maestro Classics on Facebook

3) Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: Win a a copy of Maestro Classics' Juanita la langosta española from @LatinMami #Spanish #classicalmusic #giveaway

Don't forget to let me know by posting a separate comment for each entry!

By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Official Sweepstakes Rules. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.

¡Buena suerte!


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