1998 Notable Children's Recordings

Notable seal image

Notable Children's Recordings committee members: Diana Freeman, chair, Hardin Simmons University, Abilene, TX: Carolyn Schemick Bailey, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Jct, NJ; Ione Cowen, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Akron, OH; Roxanne Feldman, The New York Public Library, (NY); Mary Ann Gilpatrick, Walla Walla, WA; Kelly Jennings, Tulsa City-County Library, Tulsa, OK; Lucinda Fran Ware, Baltimore County Public Library, Columbia, MD; Kay Weisman, Willowbrook School Library, Glencoe, IL.

All Aboard. Sony Wonder. 40 min. $9.98. CD, $13.98.

John Denver rides the rails in this collection of train songs which covers a range of musical styles. The artist takes the listener back to the days when the echo of a train whistle evoked a sense of adventure and westward expansion.

Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. Listening Library. 3hr9. 2 cassettes, $16.98.

In this modern classic, Judy Blume portrays the physical, spiritual, and emotional concerns common to all girls on the threshold of adolescence. Laura Hamilton's youthful, animated narration brings Margaret's coming-of-age story to life.

Ballad of Lucy Whipple. Recorded Books. 4hr45. 4 cassettes, $34.

Karen Cushman's novel of life in the gold fields of California in 1840 is brought vividly to life by Christina Moore's narration. From 12 year old Lucy to the crusty miners and other inhabitants of the town of Lucky Diggins, Moore's characterizations are delightful and authentic.

Battle for the Castle. Listening Library. 4hr33. 3 cassettes, $23.98.

The Words Take Wings Repertory Company takes the reader back once again to the castle from Elizabeth Winthrop's Castle in the Attic. The two young men who performed the main characters in the original work return, complementing the coming-of-age story line perfectly.

Boggart and the Monster. Listening Library. 4hr43. 3 cassettes, $23.98.

In this second fantastic adventure of the Boggart, the mischievous house spirit returns to help his cousin Nessie regain his shape-shifting ability. Susan Cooper's humorous, exciting, and surprisingly tender tale is masterfully presented by Rintoul.

Charlie Daniels: By the Light of the Moon--Campfire Songs and Cowboy Tunes. Sony Wonder. 40min. $9.98. CD, $13.98.

Step back in time with the Charlie Daniels band as they fiddle up your favorite songs of the Old West. Sing and stamp along to "Git along, little Dogies," "I'm an Old Cowhand," "Sixteen Tons," and seven other lively tunes.

Chuck and Danielle. Listening Library. 1hr56. 2 cassettes, $16.98.

Andrew Sachs' impeccable reading brings to life the high-strung dogginess of Chuck the whippet and her mistress Danielle. Dry British humour abounds.

Coconut Moon. Performed by the Green Chili Jam Band. Squeaky Wheel Productions. 44min. $14.98.

High energy and fine musicality are evident in this delightful recording from the lilting title song to the wryly humorous "Lard (a tragedy)" to the choral synchronizing of "Tic Toc." Coconut Moon will charm children of all ages.

Crash. Recorded Books. 4hr. 3 cassettes, $26.

School football star and accomplished bully Crash Coogan meets an unlikely match in his pacifist classmate, Penn Webb. Jeff Woodman's superb narration captures life from a bully's point of view.

Giving Thanks. Weston Woods. Book/cassette, $24.95.

Chief Swamp authentically delivers this message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth based on the Iroquois Thanksgiving Address read in both English and the Mohawk language.

The Great Gilly Hopkins. Recorded Books. 4hr45. 4 cassettes, $34.

Gilly Hopkins is perfecting the art of driving people crazy until she arrives at the foster home of Maime Trotter where she meets her match. Katherine Paterson's Newbery Honor Book is given a spirited and heartfelt reading by Bresnahan, whose characterization of each voice is right on target.

Harlem. Spoken Arts. 8min. Book/cassette, $27.90.

Told with love and affection, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis capture the excitement and energy of life in Harlem. Jazz music provides the backdrop for this special kit which includes a copy of the 1998 Caldecott Honor Book.

Harriet and the Promised Land. Spoken Arts. 7min. Book/cassette, $16.95.

Ruby Dee's rich, textured voice brings the inspiring story of Harriet Tubman alive. The kit includes the book illustrated in the rich primitive art of Jacob Lawrence.

Lily's Crossing. Recorded Books. 4hr25. 3 cassettes, $26.

Lily's plans for a happy summer at the beach are shattered when her father is sent overseas just after D-Day 1944. Christina Moore sensitively portrays the conflicting emotions of both Lily and her friend Albert in this 1998 Newbery Honor Book.

Mick Harte Was Here. Listening Library. 1hr42. $16.98.

Lubotsky convincingly portrays thirteen-year-old Phoebe as she remembers good times and bad in this poignant and sometimes irreverent memoir of her younger brother, Mick.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: Lullabies for All Ages. Performed by Kevin Roth. 42 minutes. (786-1) Cassette: $11.98, CD: $15.98. Star Gazer Productions

Kevin Roth skillfully blends traditional bedtime material with original words and music on this soothing lullaby recording. A reworking of the traditional prayer *Now I lay me down to sleep,* familiar favorites *Little fishies* and *Hush little baby,* and originals like the reassuring *I'll be there* comfort and relax listeners of all ages.

Officer Buckle and Gloria. Performed by John Lithgow. Book and cassette (HHRA 366): $24.95. Weston Woods.

Rathmann's Caldecott medal book about a safety officer and his canine companion comes to life courtesy of Lithgow's droll presentation.

Rainbow Tales, Too. Various performers. 74 minutes. Cassette (#8033): $9.98, CD (#8033): $14.98. Rounder Records.

Fourteen distinctively flavored tales served on a bed of delightful music, spiced up with energetic performances from premier storytellers makes this recording an irresistible feast for the ear and the heart.

Redwall. Performed by Brian Jacques and a full BBC cast. 10:43 minutes. (#YA 940CX): #64.98. Listening Library, Inc.

Author Jacques and company enliven this tale of adventure featuring danger, laughter, hair breadth escapes, tragedy, mystery, a touch of wonder, a truly despicable villain, and a hero we can take to heart. This recording will have listeners cheering Matthias in his quest to save Redwall Abbey.

Shadow of a Bull. Performed by Francisco Rivela. 3 hours, 34 minutes. 2 cassettes (YA934CX): $16.98. Listening Library, Inc.

Eleven-year old Manolo Olivar fears that he cannot live up to the legend of his deceased father , the greatest bullfighter in Spain in this Newbery award winning book by Maia Wojciechowska. Francisco Rivela, a native of Spain, gives a richly nuanced reading to this powerful story of courage and honor.

Shakin' a Tailfeather. Performed by Taj Mahal, Linda Tillery & the Cultural Heritage Choir, and Eric Bibb. 42:36 minutes. Cassette (R472940): $9.98, CD (R272940): $15.98. Music for Little People.

This masterful recycling of old pop tunes and traditional material, from *Little Sally Walker* to *Shortnin' Bread,* will get all ages shakin' their tailfeathers.

Skull of Truth. Performed by Bruce Coville and the Words Take Wing Repertory Company. 230 minutes. 3 cassettes (YA 927 CX): $23.98. Listening Library, Inc.

The skull of truth compels its owner to speak the absolute truth in every situation. When Charlie Eggleston, a chronic liar, takes possession of the skull, his life changes dramatically. This playful fantasy is narrated by the author and dramatized by the multi-voiced Words Take Wings Repertory Company.

Sun Upon the Lake is Low. Performed by Mae Robertson and Don Jackson. 58 minutes. Cassette (LYR 4902-4): $10.00, CD (LYR 4902-2): $15.00. Lyric Partners.

This collection of traditional and contemporary folk songs expresses the love and hope of childhood and will enchant and appeal to the entire family.

This Land is Your Land. Performed by Woody Guthrie and Arlo Guthrie. 37:41 minutes. Cassette (Roun CS 8050): #9.98, CD (Roun CD 8050): $14.98. Rounder Records.

These tunes tumbled from Woody Guthrie's head around 1950 as he sang for his young daughter. Today's children will enjoy these rollicking classics created by digitizing tapes of Woody's vocals with those of his son and other musicians.

The View from Saturday. Performed by various actors. 4 hrs. 47 minutes. 3 cassettes (YA994CX): $23.98. Listening Library, Inc.

Each narrator's voice complements and expands this Newbery-Award winning story about the triumph of kindness and cooperation over competition.

We Can Do. Performed by Jim Newton and Noel Paul Stookey. 41.23 minutes. cassette (639 907 29714): $10.00, CD (639 907 29732): $14.00. Celebration Shop, Inc.

These songs for singing, sharing, and feeling good remind us that together there's no telling what we can do.

Winnie-the-Pooh. Performed by Charles Kuralt. 3 hours. 2 cassettes: $16.95. Penguin Audiobooks. ls The House at Pooh Corner. Performed by Charles Kuralt. 3 hours. 2 cassettes: $16.95. Penguin Audiobooks.

A veteran CBS commentator breathes new life into the now classic stories of Pooh Bear and all his friends. Kuralt's straightforward narration and rich voice bring out every nuance of humor and humanity in the well-loved books by A.A. Milne.

Zeely. Performed by Lynne Thigpen. 3 hours. cassette (95171): $26.00. Recorded Books, Inc.

Lynne Thigpen's warm, resonant voice brings out the subtle nuances in this reflective coming-of-age story.