2012 Notable Children's Recordings list

Notable SealAlcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, 7 hrs.  CD or Cassette.  Recorded Books, 1-800-638-1304. Grades 5 - 7 (10 - 13).

Evil librarians are trying to take over the world.  Ramón de Ocampo deftly voices the recluctant, snarky hero, Alcatraz Smedry.

The Apothecary, 8 hrs. CD. Penguin, 1-800-847-5515. Grades 6 - 9 (11 -15).
Reader Cristin Milioti switches seamlessly between American, British and Russian accents in this fantasy set during the Cold War.

Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Piano Classics, 46min. 5 sec. Music CD. Beethoven's Wig, 1-413-835-0484. Ages 4 and up.
Richard Perlmutter introduces piano classics and notable composers, resulting in a great time for all in this CD that invites listeners to sing along.

Clementine and the Family Meeting, 2 hrs. CD or Cassette. Recorded Books. Grades 2 - 4 (7 - 10).
Jessica Almasy narrates Clementine with emotion perfectly suited to a third grader realizing that her family dynamics are about to change.

Countdown, 7 hrs. 20 min., CD. Listening Library, 1-800-733-3000. Grades 5 - 8 (10 - 14).
Emma Galvin's narration and historical audio clips capture the story of an 11-year-old girl growing up during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Dead End in Norvelt, 7 hrs. CD. Macmillan, 1-888-330-8477. Grades 5 - 8 (10 - 14).
Jack Gantos narrates this mostly true story of his boyhood summer escaping Hell's Angels and writing obituaries, all while he was grounded at home.

Dear America: Like the Willow Tree, 4 hrs. 17 min. CD. Scholastic, 1-800-290-7531. Grades 4 - 6 (9 - 12).
Sara Barnett relates the story of Lydia Amelia Pierce during the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918. Historical photos, Shaker music and a note from the author help fill out the story.

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!, 5 min., CD/Book. Weston Woods, 1-800-243-5020. PreK - 2 (3 - 7).
Author and illustrator Mo Willems energetically voices the wheedling pigeon who does not want to go to bed in this adaptation of his popular book.

Ella Jenkins: A Life of Song, 36 min., Music CD. Smithsonian Folkways, 1-800-410-9815. Ages 4 and up.
Ella Jenkins, the matriarch of children's music, has teamed up with children and others to deliver a collection of stories and songs inspired by her early life.

Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms, 7  min. CD/Book.  Weston Woods. Grades PreK - 2 (4 - 7).
Against a delightful soundtrack, Katherine Kellgren's flawless reading portrays Fletcher, who warns his animal friends to return to their winter quarters when he mistakes blossoms for snow.

Ghetto Cowboy, 4hrs. CD. Brilliance Audio, 1-800-648-2312. (2012 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
Narrator JD Jackson delivers a rich baritone performance as twelve-year-old Cole, a boy who grows from near-delinquent to responsible teen and passionate horseman as he helps his father and the cowboys save their endangered stables in inner-city Philadelphia.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 2: The Hidden Gallery, 5 hrs. 57 min., CD. Listening Library. Grades 4 - 7 (9 - 13).
With precise comic timing, Katherine Kellgren does not shy away from barking and howling while managing the rich vocabulary and exciting action of this gothic mystery.

Ivy and Bean: What's the Big Idea?, 1 hr.15 min., CD or Cassette.  Recorded Books. Grades 2 - 4 (7 - 10).
With humor and heart, Cassandra Morris portrays Ivy and Bean as they search for the perfect science project.  A note about global warming extends the lesson.

Jefferson's Sons, 10 hrs. 24 min., CD. Listening Library. Grades 6 - 9 (11 -15).
A young slave asks why he can’t call his own father “papa.” Adenrele Ojo voices the questions of Thomas Jefferson’s sons and carries the assurance of their mother that her enslaved children will one day be free.

Jessica, 7 min. 27 sec., CD/Book. Live Oak Media, 1-800-788-1121. PreK - K (3 - 6).
Ruthie's parents say her friend Jessica isn't real, but she is to Ruthie.  Katherine Kellgren's performance captures Ruthie's sincerity and vulnerability in this story of friendship.

Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes, 50  min. Music CD. Jim Gill, Inc., 1-708-763-9864, Ages 2 - 6.
Jim Gill's songs incorporate fingerplays  and movements  so catchy that everyone will want to join in.

Looking Like Me, 8 min. 3 sec., CD/Book. Live Oak Media. Grades 2 - 6 (7 - 12).
Dion Graham and Quincy Tyler Bernstine perform snappy rhyming couplets, set against original jazzy music and picture book collages.

Lucky for Good, 5 hrs. 25 min, CD. Listening Library. Grades 3 - 6 (8 - 12).
This adaptation of the final book in the Lucky series is narrated by Cassandra  Campbell and has Lucky  facing new questions and growing up.

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, 16 min. 18 sec., CD/Book. Live Oak Media. Grades 3 - 6 (8 - 12).
Marilyn Singer and Joe Morton bring exuberance, humor and point of view to familiar fairy tales in 14 reverso poems.

Moon Over Manifest, 9 hrs. 25 min., CD. Listening Library. Grades 5 - 8 (10 - 14).
Jenna Lamia along with Cassandra Campbell and Kirby Heyborne tell the story of Abilene Tucker's adventures in Manifest during the summer of 1936.

Okay for Now, 9 hrs. 18 min., CD. Listening Library. Grades 6 - 9 (11 -15).
Lincoln Hoppe voices Douglas Swieteck with all the attitude and hurt that this young teen experiences in  "stupid" Marysville, N.Y. in 1968. (2012 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)

Operation Yes, 6 hrs. 28 min, CD. Brilliance Audio. Grades 4 - 7 (9 - 13),
Jessica Almasy's performance reflects the ups and downs of 6th graders living on a military base while friends and relatives serve in Afghanistan.

The Other Half of My Heart, 7 hrs. 50 min., CD. Listening Library. Grades 4 - 7 (10 - 13).
Bahni Turpin's narration is flawless in this moving story about biracial twin sisters.

Practically Ridiculous, 40 min., Music CD. Pluckypea Publishing, 1-646-504-4551. Ages 5 - 12.
The Jimmies bring a wide variety of musical styles to this celebration of all things kid.

The Sisters Club: Cloudy with a Chance of Boys, 3 hrs. 6 min. CD. Brilliance Audio, 1-616-846-5256, Grades 3- 6 (9 - 12).
With charm and humor, Jenna Lamia captures the perspectives of three sisters as boys begin to play a new role in their lives.

Songs from the Baobab: African Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes, 48 min. Music CD/Book. The Secret Mountain, 1-514-737-7158. Ages 0 - 7.
Authentic instrumentation and lyrics, in eleven African languages, provide a unique reading and listening experience of traditional lullabies and nursery rhymes common to Black Africa.

Stone Soup, 10 min. 12 sec. CD/Book. Weston Woods. Grades PreK - 3 (5 - 8).
This traditional folktale, narrated by B.D. Wong, is given a new twist in this thoughtfully crafted production.

Thunder over Kandahar, 6 hrs. 36 min, CD. Listening Library. Grades 7 - 10 (12 - 16).
This contemporary novel of friendship in the midst of the war in Afghanistan is enriched by Mozhan Marno's lyrical reading.

The Unforgotten Coat, 1 hr. 40 min., CD. Brilliance Audio. Grades 4 - 7 (10 - 13),
Sarah Coomes' performance conveys Julie's feelings as she becomes the "good guide" for two mysterious new students from Mongolia.

Young Fredle. 6 hrs. 30 min. Listening Library. (2012 Odyssey Honor Audiobook)
Wendy Carter captures all the curiosity, fear and delight of young Fredle, as listeners follow the mouse’s adventures both inside and outside the house.  Voigt’s gentle and heartwarming story features cats, dogs, raccoons and owls, all brought to fine characterization through Carter’s spectacular performance.

Members of the 2012 Notable Children's Recordings Committee were:  Sharon Haupt, Chair, San Luis Coastal Unified School District San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Cari Albarelli, Kansas City, Mo.; Sunday Cummins, National Louis University, Wheaton, Ill.; Linda Martin, Sugar Hill Elementary School, Gainesville, Ga.; Sharon McKellar, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library; Daniel Meyer, Kew Gardens Hills, N.Y.;  Danielle Shapiro, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; and Janet Thompson, Chicago Public Library.

We'd like to thank Eliza Dresang, member of the 2012 Notable Children's Recordings Committee from January 2011 to early January 2012, who was unable to attend the Midwinter Meeting and vote on the final list.