2015 Notable Children's Recordings
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.
Angus and Sadie. Listening Library, CD. 800-733-3000. Ages 5-9
Wendy Carter warmly narrates the story of two border collie pups growing up on a farm in Maine.
Betty Bunny Didn't Do It. Live Oak Media, CD and book. 800-788-1121. Ages 3-6
Katherine Kellgren's expressive voice and comedic timing will have listeners giggling as Betty Bunny learns the importance of being honest.
The Boundless. Brilliance Audio, CD. 800-648-2312. Ages 9-14
With a spirited reading, Nick Podehl takes listeners on an action-packed ride across Canada aboard the Boundless, the longest train in the world.
Brown Girl Dreaming. Listening Library, CD. Ages 9 and up
Infusing the vignettes from her childhood with warmth and candor, Jacqueline Woodson narrates her lyrical verse memoir.
Deep in the Swamp. Live Oak Media, CD and book. Ages 3-8
Through story and song, Tom Chapin explores the creatures and plant life of a swamp.
The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? Weston Woods, CD and book. 800-724-6527. Ages 3-8
Mo Willems and his daughter dramatize another tense but humorous exchange between Pigeon and Duckling.
Egg & Spoon. Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, CD. Ages 12 and up
Michael Page masterfully gives voice to a host of colorful characters, including Baba Yaga, in this epic historical fantasy set in Tsarist Russia.
Exclamation Mark. Weston Woods, CD and book. Ages 5-9
Punctuation finds its voice in the story of a lonely exclamation mark who learns to appreciate his own strengths. Wow!
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia. Listening Library, CD. Ages 12 and up
The reign and fall of the imperial Romanov family are brought to life in this skillful production.
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! Simon & Schuster Audio, CD. 212.698.7126. Ages 10 and up
Reader and author Tim Federle takes listeners backstage with Nate Foster as he prepares for his Broadway debut. (Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Imagination and Basketball. Live Oak Media, CD and book. Ages 6 and up
With attitude and humor, Christopher Myers and Dion Graham narrate a magnificent game of one-upsmanship on the basketball court. (Odyssey Award Audiobook)
Ice Whale. Recorded Books, CD. 877-732-2898. Ages 10 and up
The sights and sounds of the Arctic world fill this artfully narrated story of a Yup'ik family and a bowhead whale whose lives are intertwined for many generations.
If I Ever Get Out of Here. Listening Library, CD. Ages 12 and up
Narrator and author Eric Gansworth infuses humor into the painful seventh-grade year of a bright, Beatles-loving Tuscarora boy.
In a Heartbeat. Laura Doherty, CD. 773.220.3432. Ages 2-6
Children will sing along with Laura Doherty's mix of both upbeat and calming songs featuring a variety of musical styles.
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. Recorded Books, CD and book. Ages 8 and up
Lizan Mitchell portrays the ups and downs of dancer Josephine Baker's life with passion and depth.
The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza. Listening Library, CD. Ages 10-14
Author and narrator Jack Gantos brings Joey Pigza's saga full circle as Joey attempts to put things right for both himself and his baby brother.
The Madman of Piney Woods. Listening Library, CD. Ages 10-14
J.D. Jackson and Kirby Heyborne superbly tell the story of two boys, one the descendant of slaves and the other of Irish immigrants, in this companion book to Elijah of Buxton.
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher. Listening Library, CD. Ages 8-12
The Fletcher family's "misadventures" are delightfully brought to life through the laugh-out-loud narration of Dan Woren.
One Cool Friend. Weston Woods, CD and book. Ages 4-8
Jazzy music and a trio of narrators dramatize the escapades of Proper Elliot, his eccentric father, and their newly acquired penguin.
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy. Listening Library, CD. Ages 8-12
Jayne Entwistle's heartfelt narration highlights both the drama and the pathos in this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's tale, The Snow Queen.
Percy Jackson's Greek Gods. Listening Library, CD. Ages 10 and up
Jesse Bernstein brings out the humor and irreverence in this retelling of the stories of the Greek gods.
Rain Reign. Brilliance Audio, CD. Ages 9-12
Laura Hamilton gives a sensitive and emotionally expressive performance in the story of an 11-year-old girl with autism.
Revolution. Listening Library, CD. Ages 10 and up
A full-cast, vivid audio collage of documentary materials provides the background for two young people's experiences during the "Freedom Summer" of 1964.
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place. Listening Library, CD. Ages 11 and up
Jayne Entwistle creates distinct personalities for each character in this farcical Victorian murder mystery. (Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
A Snicker of Magic. Scholastic Audiobooks, CD. 800-724-6527. Ages 8-12
Felicity Pickle, a natural born poet, rallies the townsfolk to bring the magic back to Midnight Gulch. Cassandra Morris glows as Felicity, enveloping listeners in the spindiddly magic of language, music, family, and ice cream. (Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
Through the Woods: An Appalachian Adventure. Okee Dokee Music, CD and DVD. 503.293.9498. All ages
The Okee Dokee Brothers and a host of folk musicians take listeners on an Appalachian adventure in a toe-tapping album of mountain music.
Under the Freedom Tree. Recorded Books, CD and book. Ages 6 and up
With a well-paced reading featuring all the gravitas that the subject deserves, Myra Lucretia Taylor offers a gem of a recording about an important episode in the Civil War.
Winterfrost. Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, CD. Ages 7-12
Amy McFadden is full of whimsy as she narrates the Christmastime story set in Denmark of how Bettina must retrieve her baby sister from a spiteful nisse.
Members of the 2015 Notable Children's Recordings Committee are:
Jennifer Duffy, Kingsgate Library, Kirkland, Wash.
Carolyn Angus, Mountain View, Calif.
Becki Bishop, Campbell Court Elementary School, Bassett, Va.
Cecily Pilzer, Takoma Park, Md.
Barbara Scotto, Children's Literature New England, Brookline, Mass.
Rachael Stein, Eastern Shore Regional Library, Salisbury, Md.
Heather Warren Smith, Eastern Lancaster (Pa.) Public Library
Merri V. Lindgren, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison
We thank Lynn Piper-Carpenter, member of the 2015 Notable Children's Recordings Committee from January 2014 to early January 2015, who was unable to attend the Midwinter Meeting and vote on the final list.