Spyri’s classic tale of an orphaned girl sent to live with her gruff, hermit-like grandfather in the Swiss Alps gets some spring in its step via British actress Gallagher’s bright interpretation. Sweet, inquisitive Heidi doesn’t take long to begin chipping away at her grandfather’s grumpy exterior and melting his heart. She also makes fast friends with Peter the goatherd and his family, all of which helps her adjust—and grow to adore—her new rural life. But an unexpected summons back to the city she left behind threatens to ruin everything. Fans already know the happy ending, which never seems to grow stale. Like so many of the best audiobook narrators, Gallagher excels at distinguishing her roster of character voices, young, old, male, female. Classical music selections sprinkled in and around the track changes and breaks in the text include “Scandinavian Festival” by Grieg, “Slavonic Dances” by Dvorak and a selection of Norwegian violin pieces—all helping to set a bucolic scene. Ages 8-up.
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