The stories are rich and exciting, and sometimes slightly violent, as traditional folktales tend to be. Each one is filled with some combination of fantastic beasts, cunning creatures, good deeds being rewarded, snake charmers, princesses, magic spells, and riddles. Hearing the adventures read aloud by such outstanding performers as Samuel L. Johnson, Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman or Whoopi Goldberg, to name only a few, definitely dramatizes the storytelling even more than the print version would do. And the music and singing add a whole other dimension.
Hearing the stories read aloud is essential to this ultimate value and enjoyment of this book, and to Nelson Mandela's hope that the voice of the storyteller never die. However, although the exquisite illustrations of the printed version are shared on the disc, they may not be available to everyone, and they really should not be missed. Perhaps the best option would be for readers to put both the audio and the print versions on their shelves.
A pdf. presents original artwork that accompanied the printed version of the book. African artists, most from South Africa, created colorful expressive illustrations for each of the 16 stories.