Notable Children's Recordings - 2018

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The Notable Children’s Recordings list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways.
Big Buncha Buddies. Needlenose Productions, CD. Ages 4-8.
Keith Munslow, Bridget Brewer, and their band explore a wide variety of musical styles on this recording; their songs are delightfully silly, clever, and catchy.
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1). By Philip Pullman. Listening Library, CD. Ages 12 and up.
Michael Sheen's expert depictions of Philip Pullman’s nuanced characters and richly textured world create a mesmerizing, fantastical experience. (2018 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
A Boy Called Christmas. By Matt Haig. Listening Library, CD. Ages 6-12.
Stephen Fry’s captivating narration chronicles Nikolas’s transformative journey from boy to Father Christmas. (2018 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: A Fiendish Arrangement. By Alexandra Bracken. Recorded Books, DA. Ages 10-14.
Kirby Heyborne’s vast range of voices makes each character vivid in this darkly humorous tale of making deals with a demon.
Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package. By Kate DiCamillo. Listening Library, CD. Ages 6-9.
Lorna Raver brings to life each quirky character from Deckawoo Drive with comedic flair in this lighthearted tale of a mysterious delivery.
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives, and Dreams Brought to Life. By Ashley Bryan. Recorded Books, CD and book. Ages 8 and up.
Poems about the lives and dreams of eleven slaves are performed in a straightforward yet resonant style by Patricia Floyd, Kevin Free, and Jenny Sterlin.
Greetings from Witness Protection! By Jake Burt. Listening Library, CD. Ages 10-14.
Tara Sands’s sarcastic teenage voice and a supporting cast build suspense in this unconventional family-in-hiding story.
The Hate U Give. By Angie Thomas. HarperAudio, CD. Ages 14 and up.
Bahni Turpin’s gritty performance and deft code-switching make visceral and immediate the clash of Starr Carter’s two worlds after she witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend. (2018 Odyssey Award Audiobook)
Jake the Fake Keeps It Real. By Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach. Listening Library, CD. Ages 8-12.
Sullivan Jones paints a hilarious picture of middle-school jokester Jake the Fake with style and pizzazz.
Jump for Joy! Aurora Elephant, CD. Ages 3-6.
Caspar Babypants mixes original songs with a fresh take on classics in this energetic recording.
Lead Belly, Baby! Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, CD. All ages.
American folk and blues legend Lead Belly lives on in this collection of new interpretations by contemporary musicians, led by Dan Zanes. An informational booklet provides context to the lively music.
Leo: A Ghost Story. By Mac Barnett. Weston Woods, CD and book. Ages 4-8.
A richly textured soundscape composed by Scotty Huff, coupled with an adroit reading by Nicol Zanzarella, gives depth to this tale of a ghost making a (real) friend.
Long Way Down. By Jason Reynolds. Simon & Schuster Audio, DA. Ages 13 and up.
Jason Reynolds’s riveting performance of his novel in verse follows a grieving Will’s elevator descent as he decides whether to seek revenge for the death of his brother. (2018 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
Mother Bruce. By Ryan T. Higgins. Weston Woods, CD and book. Ages 3-6.
Robertson Dean, the perfect grumpy-bear Bruce, and Ernest Troost’s skilled musical accompaniment capture the wry humor of this delightful tale.
Patina. By Jason Reynolds. Simon & Schuster Audio, DA. Ages 8-12. 
Heather Alicia Simms’s spirited Patina learns teamwork on and off the track in this realistic family story. 
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine. By Mark Twain and Philip Stead. Listening Library, CD. Ages 6-12.
In a quirky and seamless listen, Keegan-Michael Key narrates this “lost” story from Mark Twain, while Philip Stead and Mark Bramhall voice the conversation that frames the story.
Rise Shine #Woke. School Time Music, CD. All ages.
Alphabet Rockers' combination of empowering lyrics, inspirational clips, and varied hooks and beats offers fun, engaging songs for young activists and their families.
The Secret of Nightingale Wood. By Lucy Strange. Scholastic Audio, DA. Ages 10-14.
Narrator/author Lucy Strange brings a quiet lyricism and intimacy to her haunting, dream-like story of grief and mental illness, set in the aftermath of WWI.
See You in the Cosmos. By Jack Cheng. Listening Library, CD. Ages 10-14.
Listeners are along for the ride as Kivlighan de Montebello and fellow narrators record the adventures of a precocious 11-year-old on an extraordinary road trip.
The Stars Beneath Our Feet. By David Barclay Moore. Listening Library, CD. Ages 10-14. 
Nile Bullock’s youthful narration of Lolly, grieving for his older brother, is emotional, honest, and invites the listener into life in the Harlem projects.
Swing Set. Leaping Lizards Music, CD. All ages.
Jazzy Ash and friends present a celebration of African-American musical culture, including toe-tapping songs, call-and-response rhymes, and playground chants.
Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue. By Robert Burleigh. Live Oak Media, CD and book. Ages 6-10.
Mournful whale song and an organic musical score composed by Chris Kubie accompany George Guidall’s telling of the uplifting story of a dramatic rescue at sea.
Trombone Shorty. By Troy Andrews. Live Oak Media, CD and book. Ages 6-12.
Dion Graham’s narration layers perfectly with the music, text, and illustrations to create this joyful tale of the author’s New Orleans jazz upbringing. (2018 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World. By Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. Listening Library, CD. Ages 9-14.
Abigail Revasch and Tara Sands’s spunky performances draw listeners into this hilarious, action-packed tale about Doreen Green, a.k.a. Squirrel Girl, her new B.F.F., evil-doers, and chittering squirrels.
The War I Finally Won. By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Listening Library, CD. Ages 10-14.
Jayne Entwistle’s accomplished narration connects the listener to Ada’s journey as she struggles with growing up in England during World War II.
Wedgie & Gizmo. By Suzanne Selfors. HarperAudio, DA. Ages 6-12.
Johnny Heller’s diabolical Gizmo, an evil genius guinea pig, and Maxwell Glick’s hysterical Wedgie, an energetic Corgi, face off as they adjust to their humans’ new living arrangement as a blended family.
The Wizards of Once. By Cressida Cowell. Hachette Audio, CD. Ages 8-12.
David Tennant’s spellbinding performance and unexpected sound effects bring a large cast of magical and non-magical characters to life. (2018 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
2018 Notable Children’s Recordings Committee
Allison Knight, Chair, Dayton Metro Library, Dayton, Ohio
Laura Bos, Mount Prospect Public Library, Mount Prospect, Illinois
Annamarie Carlson, Westerville Public Library, Westerville, Ohio
Sue Conolly, Center for Teaching Through Children’s Books, Arlington Heights, Illinois
Rebecca Cowley, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York
Hanna Lee, Batesville Public Library, Batesville, Mississippi
Michelle Ng, San Mateo County Libraries, Belmont, California
Cynthia Vanderbrink, Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Toledo, Ohio
Sara White, Seminole County Public Library, Casselberry, Florida