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Find more Notable Children's Recordings
The Big Bug Book. Recorded Books. 45min. Book & cassette, $24.20.
Thirteen of the world’s largest insects come alive as narrator Nelson Runger introduces the listener to the fascinating realm of insects. This work makes even these creepy-crawlers seem appealing and intriguing.
Classical Child at the Opera. Metro Music. 47min. $9.95. CD, $15.95.
Fourteen robust arias and duets sung in English were selected for their appeal to children; includes operas by Bizet, Offenbach, Verdi, Mozart, Delibes, Rossini, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Humperdink. The musical quality and catchy tunes on this collection will make even opera-phobics pause to listen.
Colonial Fair. Coastline Music. 56min. $10.00. CD, $15.00.
Lively, traditional colonial-era folksongs, stories, and riddles played on authentic instruments portray a sense of bustling commerce and productive activity. Songs’ origins and lyrics are provided on the album cover jacket, recreating an early American era.
The Dark is Rising. Listening Library. 9hr. 6 cassettes, $38.
Will Stanton turns 11 on an ominous winter’s day; he finds himself right in the center of the ancient battle between the forces of light and darkness. British actor Jennings’ reading is a perfect match for Susan Cooper’s tense, involving fantasy.
The Golden Compass. Listening Library. 11hr. 8 cassettes, $50.
Author Philip Pullman is the narrator who, along with a cast of fine British actors, brings to life this popular fantasy about a young girl’s quest; listeners are kept on the edge of their seats until the exciting conclusion.
Harriet the Spy. Listening Library. 7hr. 4 cassettes, $30.
Narrator Anne Bobby wonderfully captures the spirit of Harriet, a want-to-be author who keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors. Harriet’s adventures and her classmates’ revenge are a delight to hear.
Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad. Recorded Books. 6hr. 5 cassettes, $46.
“On my underground railroad I never run my train off the track and I never lost a passenger,” said the woman who led more than 300 slaves to freedom. They called her “Moses.” Peter Francis James’ riveting reading rings true and will involve middle- through upper-grade listeners.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Listening Library. 9hr. 6 cassettes, $38. CD, $49.95.
Jim Dale leads the listener through Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This suspense-filled sequel is as exciting a romp as the first. Who let a deadly monster out of a forbidden hiding place? Suspicion falls on Harry and some of his friends.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Listening Library. 8hr. 6 cassettes, $38.
Jim Dale captures the spirit of the well-known characters in J. K. Rowling’s wildly successful fantasy. This tale of mystery and adventure portrays Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts.
Holes. Listening Library. 4hr. 3 cassettes, $24.
Kerry Beyer’s perfectly appointed reading brings out the offbeat humor and dramatic power of Louis Sachar’s 1999 Newbery Award–winning story of the incredible but wonderful coincidence of an ancient family curse and a prison-camp friendship.
Hoot Owl Blues: Tales and Tunes to Conjure Up a Mood. Jeslyn Wheeless. 56min. $8.99. CD, $12.99.
The stories and folk songs performed by Wheeless, accompanied on guitar by her son, include Southern, African American, and English tales. Told in an authentic Appalachian voice that captures the flavor of the regional oral tradition.
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key. Listening Library. 3hr. 2 cassettes, $18.
Jack Gantos has captured the chaotic world of an ADHD child, Joey Pigza. As Gantos reads his own story, the reader becomes totally involved in the tragicomic misadventures of this special child.
Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln. Weston Woods Studios. 20min. Book and cassette, $12.95.
The life of President Abraham Lincoln and the story of the historic Gettysburg Address are lovingly remembered through this rich combination of Rex Robbins’ powerful voice and superb musical compositions.
Love from Your Friend, Hannah. Listening Library. 4hr. 4 cassettes, $30.
Hannah’s letters (and replies) to her best friend, grandparents, pen pal, and even Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt give listeners insight into the Depression and a young girl’s heart. Laura Hamilton as Hannah and a fine cast of supporting readers give authentic voice to the characters.
Mary Poppins. Listening Library. 4hr. 3 cassettes, $24.
British actress Sophie Thompson perfectly captures the crusty personality of the English nanny who takes her charges on many magical adventures in P. L. Travers’ classic fantasy.
The Merman. Listening Library. 1hr. 2 cassettes, $18.
June Whitfield’s lyrical reading of Dick King-Smith’s fantasy tale of a young girl’s friendship with a merman enhances the story and makes their special friendship involving and uplifting.
Meteor! Spoken Arts. 13min. Paperback book & cassette, $16.95.
Patricia Polacco’s magical retelling of a meteor landing and a small town’s oversized reaction to this family event booms, blasts, and marches through this earthshaking production.
My Louisiana Sky. Listening Library. 4hr. 3 cassettes, $24.
Two-time Tony Award–winner Judith Ivey gives a delightful reading about twelve-year-old Tiger Ann Parker, who struggles with mixed feelings about her grandmother, her mentally impaired parents, and her changing world in this coming-of-age story set in 1950s Louisiana.
On the Good Ship Lollipop. Music for Little People. 45min. $9.98. CD, $15.98.
Old-time and traditional songs soar with joyous new harmonies as the “a cappella fellas” swing round the “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and down to the “Teddy Bears’ Picnic.”
A PIZZA the Size of the SUN. Listening Library. 54min. $11. CD, $15.
Jack Prelutsky has set his irresistible poetry to music in this rollicking collection of poems and songs sure to delight the young and young-at-heart.
Ramona’s World. Listening Library. 3hr. 2 cassettes, $18.
Ramona decides that fourth grade is going to be the best year of her life until spelling almost spoils the whole thing. Channing does a superlative job of capturing the personalities of Cleary’s well-known characters.
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Weston Woods Studios. 30min. Book & cassette, $24.95.
Michael York’s impeccable narration and Jerry Pinkney’s stunning illustrations allow the listener to rediscover the magical world of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the fearless young mongoose who defeats two enormous cobras to save a young boy’s life.
Sparrows in the Scullery. Recorded Books. 5hr. 4 cassettes, $37.
The life of 10-year-old Colley Trevelyan takes a sudden and drastic change when he is mysteriously captured from his own bed and taken to the dreadful Broggin Home for Boys in London. Crossley’s natural British accent adds an authentic flair to this suspense story.
Strega Nona. Recorded Books. 15min. cassette, $11.
John McDonough gives a lively performance of the story about Strega Nona, the Italian witch who leaves Big Anthony alone with her magical cooking pot. Trouble ensues.
Thank You, Mr. Falker. Spoken Arts. 18min. Book & cassette, $27.95.
The author’s rich reading involves the listener in a sympathetic portrayal of one child’s difficulty in learning to read. Listeners follow along with the accompanying book and share the triumph of success when the author reveals she was that child.
This Land Is Your Land. Weston Woods Studios. 12min. Book & cassette, $24.95.
The entire family can enjoy Kathy Jakobsen’s illustrations while listening to Arlo Guthrie sing his father’s classic folk song. Nora Guthrie’s biographical information adds a personal touch.
The Wheel on the School. Listening Library. 6hr. 4 cassettes, $30.
The search by Dutch schoolchildren for a wooden wheel leads to adventures both harrowing and heartwarming in this 1955 Newbery Medal winner. Flosnik’s fine reading captures the essence of the many fascinating characters that make this story memorable.
World Playground: A Musical Adventure for Kids. Putumayo World Music. 40min. $10.98. CD, $15.98.
An international selection of noted performers presents a multicultural collection of songs representing countries around the world. Liner notes explaining its origin and unique musical style accompany each distinctive song.
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin. Weston Woods Studios. 9min. $24.95.
This award-winning book is an instrumental delight of words, sounds, and pictures. The 10 instruments of the book come alive as the narrator introduces them one by one.
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