Two more entries in Knopf's series of book-cassette packages of well-known stories read by famous performersThese are apparently spinoffs of video versions, not seen; and in spite of star. quality author and performers, both the books and the audio cassettes suffer the usual problems of transfer from other media. The illustrations are splashy but undetailed, suitable for animation, perhaps, but static and cumbersome as book art. In The Ugly Duckling, colors are garish, barnyard fowl fierce and cartoonish, and the swans resemble bathroom wallpaper. The soft pencil effect in The Steadfast Tin Soldier is pallid, the compositions awkward and ineffective. The translations seem to rely heavily on the fine Keigwin edition, with the usual dilution in the name of comprehensibility--at least the stories are almost intact. Jeremy Irons reads Soldier with skill, subtlety, and grace, but his understated performance, interrupted by interminable pauses and martial music, does not hold up well on its own. Of Cher's rendition of Duckling, the less said the better. She reads like a competent second-grader who has learned the mechanics of expression without understanding the content. Disappointing.