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Product Type: Audio
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2011 Award
Nate the Great Collected Stories: Volume 3
(Listening Library $28 Score:)

Marjorie W. Sharmat's series has long been a staple for young chapter book readers. This 4-disk set includes The Lost List, The Sticky Case, The Fishy Prize, The Boring Beach Bag, The Mushy Valentine, Talks Turkey, and the Hungry Book Club. These are good for car pool quiet time or afternoon rest time. Bringing home some of the recordings give young readers a way into a series that they may then go on to enjoy on their own. 9 and up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
A Crazy Day with Cobras, Magic Tree House
(Listening Library $15 Score:)

In this most recent recording of a Magic Tree House adventure, Jack and Annie are off to ancient India where they must find a magical emerald in order to rescue Penny, a penguin that has been put under a spell and turned to stone. Read by the author, Mary Pope Osborne, this is one of a series that 9-12 year olds love. Bringing home a 2 CD set may be a great way to whet their appetite to both hear and read more of the dozens of Magic Tee House stories. We like that it combines some fantasy with history and adventure that is right on the mark for this age group. They like having some familiar characters that ease them into each new story. Also new this season, Dogs in the Dead of Winter, a Swiss adventure.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Pickin' Grinnin' Great Folk Songs for Kids
(Pete Seeger, et al, Music for Little People $14.95 Score:)

Some of the best folk singers ever appear on this compilation of noteworthy music. Pete Seeger doing I Had a Rooster; Woody Guthrie singing Riding in My Car; Buckwheat Zydeco singing Crawfish Song; Sweet Honey in the Rock singing Little Red Caboose.  Thereís music from Taj Mahal, Raffi, Doc Watson, Bonnie Raitt. All ages.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Award
Dingo Dog and the Billabong Storm
(by Andrew Fusek-Peters/ illus. by Anna Wadham, Child's Play $7.99 Score:)

Dingo Dog is a bully and all the other animals are fed up with his nasty ways. Together they come up with a plan to trick the nasty Dingo and manage to teach him a lesson in this lively retelling of a traditional Australian folktale. A fun way to introduce young listeners to trickster tales that are found in almost all cultures. This folktale is one of a series of paperback books, each packaged with a CD. There is no music or over the top narration. The telling is pretty straightforward, with bell signals to turn the pages. Also in the series, Rabbit Cooks up a Cunning Plan, The Ant and the Big Bad Bully Goat, and Bear and Turtle and the Great Lake Race.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Bear and Turtle and the Great Lake Race
(told by Andrew F. Peters/ illus by Alison Edgson, Childs Play $7.99 Score:)

This trickster tale starts out like the Tortoise and the Hare, only this time it Turtle and Bear. In the race to get across the lake Bear is sure he is going to outrun Turtle, but Turtle outwits him with a lot of help from his brothers and sisters! This Native American folktale is one of a series of paperback books, each packaged with a CD. There is no music or over the top narration. The telling is pretty straightforward, with bell signals to turn the pages. Also in the series, Rabbit Cooks up a Cunning Plan, Dingo Dog and the Billabong Storm, The Ant and the Big Bad Bully Goat.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Rabbit Cooks Up a Cunning Plan
(Told by Andrew F. Peters/ illus. Bruno Robert, Childs Play $7.99 Score:)

All the animals are afraid of the big old hungry Mountain Lion. When he threatens to eat them all, they promise to take turns cooking him special dinners, so that he will have no need to eat them up.  Each of them do this until Rabbit forgets to cook anything. But then, the clever little one cooks up a plan that frees everyone from the dreaded lion. He tells lion that he was attacked by another lion that is bigger and more ferocious. When lion insists on seeing the other lion for himself, rabbit leads him to a deep well where he plunges in after the lion he hears and sees. This North American folktale is one of a series of paperback books, each packaged with a CD. There is no music or over the top narration. The telling is pretty straightforward, with bell signals to turn the pages. Also in the series, Bear and Turtle and the Great Lake Race, Dingo Dog and the Billabong Storm, The Ant and the Big Bad Bully Goat.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Little Man, Book and CD
(by David Freeman Wooley/ illus. by Fred Willingham, Charlesbridge $19.99 Score:)

This is the story of a kid who all the neighbors call "Little Man" and drums are his thing. Diane Warwick narrates this story of a boy who not only wants to play the drums well, he knows he needs lessons and is working hard to earn enough money to buy a bike so he can get those lessons across town. It's a pretty didactic book about having a passion, having a purpose and working toward perfection. That said, it's a satisfying story and  is followed with a drum demonstration by the author, who was a lot like Little Man when he was a boy. The art captures a very real looking cast of characters and a warm and caring neighborhood. If only the real world could give that kind of support to all our young people! 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Award
Jumanji 30th Anniversary Edition Book & CD
(by Chris Van Allsburg, narrated by Robin Williams, Houghton Mifflin $18.99 Score:)

It's hard to believe that 30 years have passed since the story of Jumanji originally appeared. Chis Van Allsburg's Caldecott Award winning fantasy with its black and white drawings and remarkable tale invites young readers on a strange and mysterious adventure, when Peter and his sister Judy discover a board game that comes to life. This is not a CD version of the movie Jamanji, which also stars Robin Williams. It is completely faithful to the words on the printed page, but as you can imagine, Williams brings many voices and his own pace in his telling. With the original hard cover edition and the CD this makes a splendid gift.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2011.

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2010 Award
Ferdinand the Bull and Friends
(North Pacific Music $16.99 Score:)

There are several stories and music on this unusual CD that will inspire the imagination as well as providing an invitation to get up and move to the music. The title story, Ferdinand the Bull is narrated by David Ogden Stiers and accompanied by original music by Mark Fish, played with great verve by cellist Nina Flyer and pianist Chie Nagatani. Itís easy to forget that so much music can come from just two musicians. They are a dynamic duo! Stiersí narration sometimes feels a little muted in the narration, but that will simply call for closer listening. You might want to bring home the classic picture book by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The story of the gentle bull has filled the hearts of generations of children who relate to Ferdinand and his struggle to be himself. Even without the wonderful illustrations the music and words make pictures of another kind, seen in the mindís eye. Our personal favorite on this CD is the humorous collection of rhymes by Ogden Nash about the many creatures in Saint-Saensí Carnival of the Animals. The music just calls kids to become the lion, elephant, Tortoise and all the others as they galump, swim, pounce and more to the marvelous score. These two pieces would have been enough, but they are followed by Ravelís Mother Goose Suite with short excerpts of several stories. To finish off the CD, they added a dollop of Bach with Sheep May Safely Graze. This is a keeper. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Matt Christopher, the Kid Who Only Hit Homers
(Matt Christopher, Listening Library $22 Score:)

Reluctant readers can often be turned into fans when the subject of a book is sports. Matt Christopher is the master of more than 100 sports books and this audio book, just might spark your child's interest in hunting down a few more books by Christopher. This story is told with a full cast of actors who bring the story to life. You might also bring home a paperback copy of the book ($4.95)so that your child can follow alongthe reading.  Or how about another Matt Christopher book to dive into when the listening is done. In this story George goes from being a terrible hitter to being a slugger who hits one homer after another. 2 disks, 1 hr. 40 minutes. Save it for a long road trip or play it in bits and pieces the way old time radio used to leave listeners hanging from one episode to the next. If you have the book around, who knows, your reluctant reader might have to pick it up and find out what happens next by looking at the printed page.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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