2010 Notable Children's Recordings

notables sealThe Alvin Ho Collection: Books 1 & 2 . 4 hr., 2min. Listening Library, CD, $38.00. 1-800-733-3000. Gr. 1 - 4.

Young actor Everette Plen’s brilliant, comedic narration perfectly captures scaredy-cat Alvin Ho as he braves the perils of school, piano lessons, bullies, and camping trips. 

Chasing Lincoln's Killer . 3 hr. 58min. Scholastic, CD, $49.95. 1-800-621-1115. Gr. 4 - 9.

The story of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the capture of his killer, John Wilkes Booth, is told using trial manuscripts, interviews, and other firsthand accounts.

The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County .  15min.  Recorded Books, CS, $15.75 ; CD, $15.75. 1-800-638-1304. Ages 5 - up.

Squaa-aak!  Sisi Aisha Johnson’s strong, sassy narration takes listeners on a fun-filled journey to the farm, taking up the pursuit of the elusive Miss Hen.

The Chosen One . 5 hr. 30min. Macmillan Audio, CD, $24.99. 1-888-330-8477. Gr. 7 - up.

Narrator Jenna Lamia perfectly portrays 13-year-old Kyra, living in an isolated polygamist cult and chosen by the brutal Prophet Childs to become the seventh wife of her 60-year-old uncle. Befriended by a friendly bookmobile driver, Kyra discovers the world of books.

Diamond Willow .   2 hr. Recorded Books, CS, $25.75 ; CD, $25.75.  1-800-638-1304. Gr. 3 - 6.

The narration of Jennifer Ikeda and an ensemble cast embodies the lyrical beauty and suspense of Diamond Willow, the story of a 12-year-old part-Athabascan Indian girl struggling with a life-changing accident in the Alaskan wilderness.

A Dog on His Own . 3 hrs. Full Cast Audio, CD, $34.00. 1-800-871-6809. Gr. 2 - 4.

William Dufris’s talented voice brings to life many canine characters in this humorous story of misadventure told from stray dog K-10’s point of view.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus . 4min. Weston Woods, CD, $29.95. 1-800-788-1121. Ages 3 - 6.

Playful, perfectly timed music encourages responsive interaction as a deeply determined pigeon attempts to persuade listeners to let him drive the bus in this excellent read-along, narrated by Mo Willems and Jon Scieszka. 

Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13 . 5 hr. 7min. Brilliance Audio, CD, $48.97. 616-846-5256. Gr. 5 - 9.

Narrator Michael Page captivates listeners in this tale of adventure, discovery, and danger, which recounts the three-year Antarctic expedition led by Captain Robert Scott, told from the perspective of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, assistant zoologist on the journey.

European Playground . 45min. Putumayo Kids, CD, $14.98. 212-625-1400. Ages 3 - up/Musical.

Putumayo Kids puts together a collection of songs from across Europe with upbeat tempos that reflect the culture and history of each represented country.

Field Trip .  41min. Monkey Mama, CD, $15.00. 206-235-2148. Gr. K-6/Musical.

Recess Monkey, acclaimed children’s band from Seattle, takes children on one amazing field trip with their catchy tunes with kid appeal, precisely matching the alternative, rock and roll style of today’s music.

Heart of a Shepherd . 4 hr. Listening Library, CD, $30.00. 1-800-733-3000. Gr. 3 - 7.

Kirby Heyborne warms the heart with his narration of a story about modern ranch life and the trials of military service families. Accents and lively pacing make all members of this eastern Oregon ranching community come alive.

Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad . 10min. Weston Woods, CD, $29.95. Ages 6 - 10.

Narrator Jerry Dixon magnificently brings to life the true story of Henry "Box" Brown, who escaped slavery by ingeniously hiding himself in a wooden crate. Bonus features include an interview with author Ellen Levine and a recording of the spiritual, Jubilee in the Morning.

The Jesus Storybook Bible . 3 hr. 22min. Zonderkids, CD, $24.99. 1-800-727-3480. All ages.

Selections from both the Old and New Testament, told in stories short enough for little ears, are woven together into the bigger story of God's promise to the world and gloriously brought to life by the talented narration of David Suchet.

Knuffle Bunny Two: A Case of Mistaken Identity . 9min. Weston Woods, CD, $29.95. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 3 - 6.

Performed by Mo Willems, his daughter Trixie, and wife Cheryl, this is a delightful rendition of the best selling picture book. They make a fantastic team and the warmth between father and daughter adds to the enjoyment of this audio. The CD "extra," an interview with Mo Willems, is a wonderful bonus.

Leviathan . 8 hr. 30min. Simon and Schuster Audio, CD, $29.99. 1-800-223-2336. Gr. 6 - 9.

Rushing toward WWI, two geo-political factions prepare their Steampunk war machines for confrontation in this delightful sci-fi romp with Darwinian overtones.  Great sound effects and accented dialog highlight a lively narration.

Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken . 19min. Live Oak Media, CD, $28.95. 1-800-788-1121. Ages 4 - 8.

Louise, a French chicken with wanderlust, finds adventure in Kate DiCamillo’s comical picture book. Whimsical sound effects, playful background music, and Barbara Rosenblat’s impressive repertoire of voices combine in this tour-de-force listening experience. (2010 Odyssey Award Audiobook)

Mañana Iguana . 25min. Live Oak Media, CD, $18.95. 1-800-788-1121. Ages 4 - 8.

Young readers can enjoyably learn the days of the week in Spanish as Iguana plans a fiesta.  Clear, well-accented voices are complemented by fine background sounds and music.

Music for Abraham Lincoln: Campaign Songs, Civil War Tunes, Laments for a President . 59min. Enslow Publishers, CD, $23.93. 1-800-398-2504. All ages/Musical.

Learn the Civil War story of Abraham Lincoln in song with historical music from the Library of Congress.  A teachers' guide and original music also available.

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales . 3 hr. Hachette Audio, CD, $16.98. 1-800-759-0190. Gr. 1 - 8.

Both the diversity and commonality of the African continent's oral tradition is beautifully presented in this collection of 22 folktales accompanied by magical music. Each story is retold by a star-studded cast of narrators.

Peace, Locomotion . 2 hr. 7min. Brilliance Audio, CD, $39.97. 1-800-648-2312. Gr. 6 - 9.

In this follow-up to Woodson's Locomotion, soulfully narrated by Dion Graham, 12-year-old Lonnie finally starts feeling at home with his foster family while struggling to keep the memory of his parents alive. (2010 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)

Picnic Playground . 32min. Putumayo Kids, CD, $14.98. 800-995-9588. All ages/Musical.

Children and adults will feast on these twelve songs representing foods and cultures from around the world.  Includes liner notes in English, Spanish, and French.

The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour . 6 hr. 55min. Listening Library, CD, $50.00. 1-800-733-3000. Gr. 5 – 8.

Tai Ricci delivers fun, lively narration in this tale of four 12-year-old girls embroiled in a mystery surrounding a decades-old scavenger hunt and a missing ring.

Riot . 2 hr. 36min. Listening Library, CD, $30.00. 1-800-733-3000. Gr. 5 - 9.

In 1863, 15-year-old Claire, the daughter of an Irish mother and a black father, faces ugly truths and great danger when Irish immigrants, enraged by the Civil War and federal draft, lash out against blacks and wealthy "swells" of New York City. Read with emotion and drama by a full cast.

The Scrambled States of America Talent Show . 16min. Weston Woods, CD, $29.95. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 5 - 9.

The Scrambled States of America show off their many talents in this creative read-along, which is jam-packed with original songs and old standards.  The full cast of narrators joyfully recreates Laurie Keller’s detailed text for a very memorable listening experience.

Songs from the Garden of Eden: Jewish Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes .  53min. Secret Mountain, CD, $16.95. 514-483-9281. All ages/Musical.

The folk art illustrations in the book match the mood of the old songs and rhymes sung by multiple artists of all ages, accompanied by traditional instruments. Lyrics with translations and notes on each selection and klezmer music are included.

A Soup Opera .  21min. Jim Gill Music & Books, CD, $24.00. 708-763-9864. Ages 4 - up.

Listeners will want more than one helping of this delectable sing-along soup opera, brought to life in a book illustrated by David Moose and a fully orchestrated CD that includes narration, dialogue, and instrumentation. Additional tracks for classroom use allow teachers and students to dramatize their own story.

The Tapestry Book 1: The Hound of Rowan .   11 hr. 45min. Recorded Books, CS, $97.75; CD, $108.75. 1-800-638-1304. Gr. 4 - 8.

Narrator Jeff Woodman creates a vibrant voice for each character in the story of 12-year-old Max McDaniels, who discovers that he is a wizard and joins Rowan Academy, a school for young magicians.

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball . 1 hr. 55min. Brilliance Audio, CD, $42.95. 1-800-648-2312. Gr. 2 - 6.

Dion Graham takes listeners down memory lane with his authentic and compassionate retelling of the history of the Negro National League that played baseball from the 1920s through its decline in 1947 after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the major leagues. An additional CD showcases Kadir Nelson’s breathtaking oil paintings from the print edition. (2010 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)

Wild Girl . 2 hr. 56min. Listening Library, CD, $30.00. 1-800-733-3000. Gr. 4 - 7.

The soft accents and lilting voice of Justine Eyre gently tell the story of 12-year-old Lidie, who leaves Brazil and struggles to fit in with her Pai and brother in New York after many years apart. Through their mutual love of horses, the entire family learns to reevaluate their expectations of one another. 

The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children . 2 hr. 50min. Brilliance Audio, CD, $39.97. 616-846-5256. Gr. 4 - 6.

Narrator Laura Merlington uses a variety of voices and accents in this modern mystery update to the Hansel and Gretel story. Lively narration and deadpan, gothic humor will tickle your funny bone.

2010 notable children's recordings committee2010 Committee Members:

Janet Weber, Chair, Youth Services Librarian, Tigard Public Library, Tigard, OR
Sharon Levin, Redwood City, CA
Susan Melcher, Librarian, Jefferson County Schools, Louisville, KY
Linda Plevak,  Northeast Lakeview College, Universal City, TX
Lynda Poling, Long Beach Public Library, Long Beach, CA
Sara Saxton, Tuzzy Consortium Library, Barrow, AK
Kathryn Shepler, Aurora School, Oakland, CA
Tracy Sumler, DC Public Library, Washington, DC
Linda Zeilstra-Sawyer, Skokie Public Library, Skokie, IL