2005 Notable Children's Recordings

Notable seal image

2005 Notable Children's Recordings Committee: Virginia Gustin, chair, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, Calif.; Teresa Beck, Stratford (Conn.) Library Association; Mary Burkey, Olentangy Local School District, Columbus, Ohio; Adrienne Furness, Webster (N.Y.) Public Library; Linda Lewis, Free Library of Philadelphia; Amy Lilien-Harper, Harry Bennett Branch, Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.; Louise L. Sherman, Leonia, N.J.; Glenna Sloan, Queens College, School of Education, Flushing, N.Y.; and Ellen R. Spring, Rockland District (Maine) Middle School.

Al Capone Does My Shirts. 5 hrs. 45 min. Recorded Books, 5 CS, 800-638-1304.

Grades 4 and up. Johnny Heller's youthful narration convincingly portrays the voices of Moose and his sister Natalie, who is autistic, in Gennifer Choldenko's humorous story set on Alcatraz Island in 1935.

Beethoven's Wig 2: More Sing-Along Symphonies. 40 min. Rounder Kids, CD, 800-768-6337.

All ages. Kids and adults alike will come away singing humorous renditions of classic melodies after listening to Richard Perlmutter's entertaining CD. Symphonic performances of all pieces are included.

Bucking the Sarge. 6 hrs., 10 min. Listening Library, 4 CS, CDs, 800-541-5525.

Grades 6 and up. Michael Boatman's voice and delivery perfectly convey young Luther T. Farrell's inherent decency and sense of humor while giving authentic voice to each eccentric supporting character.

Dragon Rider. 11 hrs., 35 min. Listening Library, 10 CDs, CS.

Grades 4 and up. Brendan Fraser's remarkable versatility in creating a unique voice and accent for every character in Cornelia Funke's fantasy makes for an engrossing listening experience.

Duck for President. 14 min. Weston Woods, CD and hardcover, CD only, CS and hardcover, CS only. Spanish language ed., CS and hardcover, 800-243-5020.

Preschool and up. With music and sound effects to enhance his tongue-in-cheek reading, Randy Travis brings us the next installment of Doreen Cronin's farm saga, in which Duck decides to get into politics. Jorge Pupo's satirical reading in Spanish, Pato para Presidente, will have you laughing out loud.

Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey. 15 min. Live Oak Media, CD and hardcover, CS and hardcover, 800-788-1121.

All ages. Judd Hirsch's distinctive New York accent along with judicious use of sound effects are a perfect complement to Maira Kalman's story of the contribution to 9/11 heroism of an almost scrapped fireboat and its crew.

Flipped. 7 hrs. 15 min. Recorded Books, 5 CS.

Grades 5 and up. Andy Paris and Carine Montbertrand bring Wendelin Van Draanen's characters to life in this coming-of-age story about love, friendship, and self-identity.

Heartbeat. 1 hr. 30 min. Harper Children’s Audio, 2 CS, 2 CDs,  800-242-7737.

Grades 4-8. The rhythms of 12-year-old Annie's reflections on her grandfather's failing memory, her mother's pregnancy, and her friendship with Max are extended far beyond the written word in Mandy Siegfried's sensitive reading of Sharon Creech's story-in-poems.

A House of Tailors. 3 hrs., 29 min. Listening Library, 2 CS, $23. 3 CDs, $30.

Grades 3-8. Blair Brown gives authentic voice to the characters in Patricia Reilly Giff's story about German immigrants to America in the 1870s.

I Lost My Bear. 9 min. Weston Woods, CD and paperback, $18.95. CD and hardcover, $29.95. CD only, $12.95. CS and paperback, $14.95. CS and hardcover, $24.95. CS only, $8.95.

Preschool-Grade 2. Narrator Kristen Hahn gives a theatrical reading of Jules Feiffer's story about a young girl's anguished search for her favorite bear.

I Stink! 7 min. Weston Woods, CS with hardcover, $24.95. CS only, $8.95. CD with hardcover, $29.95. CD only, $12.95.

Preschool-Grade 2. If a city garbage truck could talk, it would undoubtedly have the gruff, streetwise voice Andy Richter uses to read Kate and Jim McMullan's picture book.

Ida B. . . .and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World. 3 hrs., 14 min. Listening Library, 2 CS, $23.00. 3 CDs, $30.00.

Grades 3-8. Lili Taylor's childlike reading captures Ida B.'s trials and tribulations as she comes to terms with her mother's illness in Katherine Hannigan's lighthearted novel.

The Last Holiday Concert. 3 hrs., 1 min. Listening Library, 2 CS, $23. 3 CDs, $30.

Grades 3-7. Fred Berman's youthful narration perfectly voices Andrew Clements' humorous story featuring popular student Hart Evans and his beleaguered music teacher.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel: A New Work for Narrator and Symphony Orchestra. 51 min. Simon & Simon, 1 CD, $16.98. 866-432-7624.

All ages. Magic Maestro Music presents a musically-extended version of Virginia Lee Burton's classic story through symphonic interpretation, narration, and learning experiences.

More Perfect Than the Moon. 1 hr. Harper Children's Audio, CD, $13.95.

Grades 2-6. With sensitivity and warmth, Glenn Close reads Patricia MacLachlan's fourth book about Sarah and her family.

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! 11 min. Live Oak Media, CS and hardcover, $25.95. CD and hardcover, $28.95.

Preschool-Grade 2. Music, sound effects, and William Dufris' voice augment this humorous picture book of three young veggie-loving bunnies and the farmer they outwit.

No More Nasty. 3 hrs., 45 min. Recorded Books, 3 CS, $28.75.

Grades 3-6. Johnny Heller's deadpan narration lends credibility to Amy MacDonald's humorous story of what happens when Aunt Mattie becomes the substitute teacher in Simon's 5th grade class.

Pincus and the Pig: A Klezmer Tale. 45 min. Tzadik, CD, $15.98. 212-334-8427.

All ages. Maurice Sendak narrates his Yiddish retelling of "Peter and the Wolf," with musical accompaniment by the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra.

The Pot That Juan Built. 13 min. Weston Woods, CS and hardcover, $24.95. CS only, $8.95. CD and hardcover, $29.95. CD only, $12.95.

All ages. Music, sound effects, and Alfred Molina's perfectly accented reading make this poem and the story of artist Juan Quezada come alive.

Princess in Pink; The Princess Diaries, Volume V. 7 hours, 31 minutes. Listening Library, 6 CS, $45. 7 CDs, $55.

Grades 6 and up. Narrator Clea Lewis captures Meg Cabot's Princess Mia as she contrives to go to the prom, endures her mother's pregnancy, and ponders global concerns.

Rhinoceros Tap. 42 min. Workman Publishing, CD and hardcover, $16.95. 800-722-7202.

All ages. Adam Bryant entices listeners to sing along to16 seriously silly songs including an R&B lament, a piano ballad, and more.

The Ruby in the Smoke. 6 hrs., 26 min. Listening Library, 4 CS, $35.

Grades 6 and up. Philip Pullman's tale of Sally Lockhart's quest to unravel the mystery of her father's death is made terrifyingly intense through Anton Lesser's range of accents portraying both pleasant and unsavory characters in 1870s London.

Sing Along with Putumayo. 39 min. Putumayo Kids/Putumayo World Music, CD, $15.98. 800-995-9588, x211.

All ages. A variety of talented singers perform delightful folk and blues classics.

The Teacher's Funeral. 4 hrs., 42 min. Listening Library, 3 CS, $30. 5 CDs, $45.

Grades 4 and up. Dylan Baker's folksy voice complements Richard Peck's comic account of life in rural Indiana in the early 1900s.

When Marian Sang. 29 min. Live Oak Media, CS and hardcover, $25.95. CD and hardcover, $28.95.

All ages. Gail Nelson's reading and the sound of Marian Anderson's own voice hit a high note to tell this powerful and inspiring story.