Picks and Pans Review: Thumbelina

updated 12/18/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/18/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Read by Kelly McGillis

Children captivated by leisurely stories will most enjoy this wistful production, illustrated by David Johnson, arranged by Mark Isham and read by McGillis in a medley of quirky voices.

Hans Christian Andersen's sweet story tells of a thimble-size beauty who is shanghaied from a walnut-shell cradle by a toad and carried to a murky pond. There she escapes the clutches of a June bug, takes sanctuary with a field mouse, narrowly avoids betrothal to a grumpy mole and finds her life happy ever after with the tiny king of the flower angels.

McGillis's toad is a ratchety amphibian, her field mouse a helium-high matchmaker, her mole an affected frump. Mixing electronics, strings and woodwinds, the sound track continues nearly 20 minutes beyond the narration in audio versions.

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