2000 Notable Children's Recordings Committee: Margie Stern, Chair, Delaware County Library System (PA); Karen Allen, Greenville County Library (SC); Bruce Farrar, Public Library of Nashville and Davidson County (TN); Patricia Jefferson, Johnson Elementary School (TX); Vivian Landfair, Ortona Elementary School (FL); Diane Person (NY); Louise Sherman, Anna C. Scott School (NJ); Veronica Stevenson-Moudamane, Mount Vernon Public Library (NY).
The Big Bug Book. Performed by Nelson Runger. 45 min. Book and cassette (40871): $24.20. Recorded Books, Inc.
Thirteen of the world’s largest insects come alive as narrator Nelson Runger introduces the listener to the fascinating realm of insects. This work makes even these creepy-crawlers seem appealing and intriguing.
Classical Child at the Opera. Performed by various artists. 47 min. Cassette (CC106): $9.95. CD (CC106D): $15.95. Metro Music.
Fourteen robust arias and duets sung in English were selected for their appeal to children from operas by Bizet, Offenbach, Verdi, Mozart, Delibes, Rossini, Gilbert & Sullivan and Humperdink. The musical quality and catchy tunes on this collection will make even the opera-phobics pause to listen.
Colonial Fair. Performed by Dean Shostak & Friends. 56 min. Cassette (014149): $10.00. CD (014125): $15.00. Coastline Music.
Lively, traditional folksongs, stories and riddles from the colonial era played on authentic instruments portray a sense of bustling commerce and productive activity. The lyrics and songs’ origins are provided on the album’s coverjacket, recreating an early American er a.
The Dark is Rising. Performed by Alex Jennings. 8 hours, 40 min. 6 Cassettes (YA 990CX): $37.98. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Will Stanton turns 11 years old on an ominous winter’s day; he finds himself right in the center of the ancient battle between the forces of light and darkness. British actor Jennings’ reading is a perfect match for Susan Cooper’s tense involving fantasy.
The Golden Compass. Performed by full cast production. 10 hours, 40 min. 8 Cassettes (YA991CX): $50. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Author Philip Pullman is the narrator who, along with a cast of fine British actors, brings to life this popular fantasy about a young girl’s quest and keeps the listener on the edge of his seat from beginning to exciting conclusion.
Harriet the Spy. Performed by Anne Bobby. 7 hours. 4 Cassetts (YA993CX): $29.98. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Narrator Anne Bobby wonderfully captures the spirit of Harriet, a want-to-be author who keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors. Harriet’s adventures and her classmates’ revenge are a delight to hear.
Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad. Performed by Peter Francis James. 6 hours, 30 min. 5 Cassettes (95753): $46.00. Recorded Books, Inc.
On my Underground Railroad I never run my train off the track and I never lost a passenger,” said the woman who led over 300 slaves to freedom. They called her “Moses”. James’s riveting reading rings true and will involve middle through upper grade listeners.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Performed by Jim Dale. 9 hours. 6 Cassetts (YA 137 CXR): $34.00. CD (YA 137CD): $49.95. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Jim Dale leads the listener through Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This suspense filled sequel is as exciting a romp as his first year. Who let a deadly monster out of a forbidden hiding place? Suspicion falls on Harry and some of his friends.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Performed by Jim Dale. 8 hours, 17 min. 6 Cassettes (YA 108): $37.98. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Jim Dale captures the spirit of the well-known characters in J.K. Rowling’s wildly successful fantasy. This tale of mystery and adventure portrays Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts.
Holes. Performed by Kerry Beyer. 4 hours, 30 min. 3 Cassettes (YA994CX): $23.98. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Kerry Beyer’s perfectly appointed reading brings out the offbeat humor and dramatic power of Louis Sachar’s 1999 Newbery Award winning story of the incredible but wonderful coincidence of an ancient family curse and a prison camp friendship.
Hoot Owl Blues: Tales and Tunes to Conjure up a Mood. Performed by Jeslyn and Ben Wheeless. 56 min. Cassette: $8.99. CD: $12.99. Jeslyn Wheeless.
Stories and folk songs performed by Wheeless, accompanied on guitar by her son include Southern, African-American, and English tales. Told in authentic Appalachian voice they capture the flavor of the regional oral tradition.
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key. Performed by Jack Gantos. 2 hours, 58 min. 2 Cassettes (YA 120CX): $18. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Jack Gantos has captured the chaotic world of an ADHD child, Joey Pigza. As Gantos reads his own story, the reader becomes totally involved in the tragicomic misadventures of this special child.
Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln. Performed by Rex Robbins. 20 min. Book and cassette (MPRA 428): $12.95. Weston Woods Studios, Inc.
The life of President Abraham Lincoln and the story of the historic Gettysburg Address are lovingly remembered through this rich combination of Rex Robbins’ powerful voice and superb musical compositions.
Love From Your Friend, Hannah. Performed by six various actors. 4 hours, 25 min. 4 Cassettes (YA 996 CX): $29.98. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Hannah’s letters to her best friend, grandparents, pen pal and even Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their replies give listeners an insight into the Depression and a young girl’s heart. Laura Hamilton as Hannah and a fine cast of supporting readers give authentic voice to the characters.
Mary Poppins. Performed by Sophie Thompson. 3 hours, 49 min. 3 Cassette (YA997 CX): $23.98. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
British actress Sophie Thompson perfectly captures the crusty personality of the English nanny who takes her charges on many magical adventures in P.L. Travers’ classic fantasy.
The Merman. Performed by June Whitfield. 1 hour, 32 min. 2 Cassettes (YA112 CX): $18. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
June Whitfield’s lyrical reading of Dick King-Smith’s fantasy tale of a young girl’s friendship with a merman enhances the story and makes their special friendship involving and uplifting.
Meteor! Performed by Patricia Polacco. 13 min. Book and cassette (6857): $16.95. Spoken Arts.
Patricia Polacco’s magical retelling of a meteor landing and a small town’s oversized reaction to this family event booms, blasts and marches through this earthshaking production.
My Louisiana Sky. Performed by Judith Ivey. 4 hours. 3 Cassettes (BDDAD1015): $24.00. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey gives a delightful reading about twelve-year-old Tiger Ann Parker who struggles with mixed feelings about her grandmother, her mentally impaired parents, and her changing world in this coming of age story set in 1950’s Louisiana.
On the Good Ship Lollipop. Performed by The Persuasions. 45 min. Cassette (R475794): $9.98. CD (R275794): $15.98. Music for Little People.
Old time and traditional songs soar with joyous new harmonies as the “a cappella fellas” swing round the “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and down to the “Teddy Bears’ Picnic”.
A PIZZA the Size of the SUN. Performed by Jack Prelutsky. 54 min. Cassette (FTR205CX): $11. CD (FTR205CD): $14.95. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Jack Prelutsky has set his irresistible poetry to music in this rollicking collection of poems and songs sure to delight the young and young at heart.
Ramona’s World. Performed by Stockard Channing. 3 hours. 2 Cassettes (YA123CX): $18. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
Ramona decides that fourth grade is going to be the best year of her life until spelling almost spoils the whole thing. Channing does a superlative job of capturing the personalities of Cleary ’s well known characters.
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Performed by Michael York. 30 min. Book and cassette (MHRA385): $24.95. Weston Woods Studios, Inc.
Michael York’s impeccable narration and Jerry Pinkney’s stunning illustrations allow the listener to rediscover the magical world of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the fearless young mongoose who defeats two enormous cobras to save a young boy’s life.
Sparrows in the Scullery. Performed by Steven Crossley. 5 hours, 30 min. 4 Cassettes (95913): $37.00. Recorded Books, Inc.
The life of 10-year-old Colley Trevelyan takes a sudden and drastic change when he is mysteriously captured from his own bed and taken to the dreadful Broggin Home for Boys in London. Crossley ’s natural British accent adds an authentic flair to this suspense story.
Strega Nona. Performed by John McDonough. 15 min. Cassette (95626): $11.00 Recorded Books, Inc.
John McDonough gives a lively performance of Strega Nona, the Italian witch who leaves Big Anthony alone with her magic cooking pot. Trouble ensues.
Thank You, Mr. Falker. Performed by Patricia Polacco. 18 min. Book and cassette (6854): $27.95. Spoken Arts.
The author’s rich reading involves the listener in a sympathetic portrayal of one child’s difficulty in learning to read. Listeners follow along with the accompanying book and share the triumph of success when the author reveals she was that child.
This Land is Your Land. Performed by Arlo Guthrie, Nora Guthrie. 12 minutes. Book and cassette (MHRA 388): $24.95. Weston Woods Studios, Inc.
The entire family can enjoy Kathy Jakobsen’s illustrations while listening to Arlo Guthrie sing his father’s classic folk song. Nora Guthrie’s biographical information adds a personal touch.
The Wheel on the School. Performed by Anne T. Flosnik. 6 hours, 20 min. 4 Cassettes (YA 104CX): $29.98. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group.
The search by Dutch schoolchildren for a wooden wheel leads to adventures both harrowing and heartwarming in this 1955 Newbery Medal winner. Flosnik’ s fine reading captures the essence of the many fascinating characters that make this story memorable.
World Playground: A Musical Adventure for Kids. Performed by various artists. 40 min. Cassette (PUTU154-4): $10.98. CD (PUTU154-2): $15.98. Putumayo World Music.
An international selection of noted performers presents a multicultural collection of songs representing countries around the world. Liner notes explaining its origin and unique musical style accompany each distinctive song.
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin. Performed by Maureen Anderman. 9 min. Cassette (LHBC386): $24.95. Weston Woods Studios, Inc.
This award-winning book is an instrumental delight of words, sounds and pictures. The ten instruments of the book come alive as the narrator introduces them one-by-one.