2019 Notable Children's Recordings

Notable seal image

The Notable Children’s Recordings list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways.
Back to the Land. Hot Peas ‘N Butter Records, CD. Gr. PreS+
Packed with energy, this family-friendly recording features a clear, full sound of rousing, folksy songs with environmental messages. Performed by Hot Peas ‘N Butter. 
Beanstalk Jack. Paper Canoe Co., CD. Gr. K+
Journey into a musical fractured fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk with clever lyrics, exuberant musical arrangements, and expert production quality. Performed by Tami Stronach, Greg Steinbruner, Kristin Andreassen, Jefferson Hamer, Stephanie Coleman, Robin MacMillan, Jacob Silver, Sam Reider, Mike Merenda, Julia Joseph, Jeff Cubeta, Karina Denike, Tom Ayers, & Morgan Price.

Before She Was Harriet. By Lesa Cline-Ransome. Live Oak Media, CD and book. Gr. K-3
With a musical score and sound effects carefully tailored to each beautiful spread of the picture book, Sisi Aisha Johnson, January LaVoy, Lisa Renee Pitts, & Bahni Turpin take turns painting scenes from Harriet Tubman’s life with their passionate, engaging reading.

Children of Blood and Bone. By Tomi Adeyemi. Macmillan Audio, DL. Gr. 7+
Bahni Turpin’s powerful narration, voiced through three distinct perspectives, weaves a story of grit and determination in the face of persecution in this epic fantasy.

The Christmasaurus. By Tom Fletcher. Listening Library, CD. Gr. 1-4
Paul Shelley’s whimsical narration delights with a tale of a dinosaur, a young boy in a wheelchair, and the magic of Christmas. 

Du Iz Tak? By Carson Ellis. Weston Woods, CD and book. Gr. PreS-2
With a multigenerational cast, sound effects, and an expressive musical accompaniment, this simple-text picture book explores the wonders of imagination and creativity in nature. [Read by Eli D'Amico, Sebastian D'Amico, Burton Fott, Galen Fott, Laura Fott, Sarah Hart, Bella Higginbotham, Evelyn Hipp, and Brian Hull.] - 2019 Odyssey Honor Audiobook

Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist. By Susan Wood. Live Oak Media, CD and book. Gr. K-5 
The roo-roo, bzzz, and zowww of instruments jump off the page as Brian Amador’s lyrical narration creates a story in stereo-sound about Esquivel’s innovative and creative musical career. - 2019 Odyssey Honor Audiobook

Falu’s Bazaar. Falu Music Publishing, CD. Gr. PreS+
A spicy trilingual (English, Hindi and Gujrati) journey to South Asia features original children’s songs with a variety of  traditional Indian, Bollywood, and pop instrumentation. Performed by Falu. 

For Every One. By Jason Reynolds. Simon & Schuster Audio, DL. Gr. 6+
Reynolds performs the speech he wrote prior to his success as a writer, emotionally conveying the shared journey, struggles, and dreams of those who have faced harsh realities.
The Griffin’s Feather: Dragon Rider #2. By Cornelia Funke. Atmende Bücher, DL. Gr. 3-6
A fantastical soundscape layered with Marc Thompson and Cornelia Funke’s theatrical narration brings listeners along on this epic adventure to save the last Pegasus.  

The Journey of Little Charlie. By Christopher Paul Curtis. Listening Library, CD. Gr. 5+
Talented storyteller Michael Crouch portrays the tensions of the Pre-Civil War North and South through a wide variety of character voices and tones.

Keep it Real. Aurora Elephant Music, DL. Gr. PreS+
Caspar Babypants entertains listeners of all ages with clever toe-tapping tunes of original songs mixed with remakes, performed in a variety of musical styles.

Lu. By Jason Reynolds. Simon & Schuster Audio, DL. Gr. 5+
Guy Lockard brings Lu’s competitive nature, attitude, and ego off the page through quick wit, expert pacing, and engaging interpretations of the friends and adults in Lu’s life. 

Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish. By Pablo Cartaya. Listening Library, CD. Gr. 4+
Seamlessly shifting between Spanish and English, Cartaya reads his own novel about entrepreneurial Marcus Vega searching for his father in his homeland of Puerto Rico with emotion and understanding.

Monstrous Devices. By Damien Love. Listening Library, CD. Gr. 4-7
With great aplomb and distinct accents, Allan Corduner throws listeners, along with the main character Alex, into a world in which robots are alive, ancient magical powers can come to life, and Alex’s grandfather eats too many sweets. 

Nanette’s Baguette. By Mo Willems. Weston Woods, CD and book. Gr. PreS-2 
Trixie Willems, along with Mo and Cher Willems, exuberantly perform the rhyming trials and tribulations of Nanette trying to get a baguette home to her mother.

Nate Expectations. By Tim Federle. Simon & Schuster Audio, DL. Gr. 5+
Federle’s narration of his own character’s return to his small town nails the deadpan humor and sarcasm of Nate’s first-person voice.

The Night Diary. By Veera Hiranandani. Listening Library, CD. Gr. 4+ 
Priya Ayyar lends her voice talent to Nisha and other characters in this moving story of a young girl’s search for home, identity, and a hopeful future in a tumultuous partitioning of India. 

On Bird Hill. By Jane Yolen. Live Oak Media, CD and book. Gr. PreS-1
Yolen’s narration conveys a sense of exploration, while gentle music and sound effects add to the feeling of wonder in her sparse picture book. 

The Parker Inheritance. By Varian Johnson. Scholastic Audiobooks. Gr. 3-7
In pursuit of the mysterious Parker inheritance, author Varian Johnson takes readers down a trail of clues spanning three generations of fear and discrimination in the American South. Narrator Cherise Boothe evokes an appropriate sense of time and place with her compelling cast of characters and authentic range of emotions. - 2019 Odyssey Honor Audiobook

The Poet X. By Elizabeth Acevedo. Harper Audio, DL. Gr. 7+
Acevedo performs her original slam poetry novel with expert pacing, nuanced emotion, and a natural blend of English and Spanish to share Xiomara’s struggle to discover her place in the world. - 2019 Odyssey Honor Audiobook

Quidditch Through the Ages. By J.K. Rowling. Bloomsbury, CD. Gr. 2+
With timely sound effects and Andrew Lincoln’s variety of accents and light tone, even non-Harry Potter fans will be drawn into this humorous “textbook” about a fictional sport.

Rebound. By Kwame Alexander. Recorded Books, CD. Gr. 4-8 
With rhythmic narration, Ron Butler relates Charlie’s emotional journey from sullen to happy as he processes his father’s death with help from his grandparents and basketball.

Spin: The Rumpelstiltskin Musical. By Neil Fishman & Harvey Edelman. Harper Audio, CD. Gr. 1+
This delightful written-for-audio children’s musical combines Jim Dale’s grandfatherly narration and a full cast of singing performers to draw the listener into a witty re-imagining of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. [Read by Jim Dale, Barrett Leddy, Lisa Livesay, Khristine Hvam, Nicola Barber, Nick Sullivan, John Brady, & Johnny Heller.]

Sunny. By Jason Reynolds. Simon & Schuster, DL. Gr. 5+
Through deft use of pacing and tone, Guy Lockard captures Sunny’s frenetic energy and wika-wika wordplay.

They All Saw a Cat. By Brendan Wenzel. Weston Woods, CD and book. Gr. PreS-1
John Lithgow’s gentle propulsive narration and a distinct musical accompaniment ferret out the major characteristics of each animal encountered by a cat as it strolls and surveys the world.

Tight. by Torrey Maldonado. Listening Library, CD. Gr. 5+
Maldonado’s dynamic Brooklyn accent perfectly suits his story of Bryan, as he struggles with finding the right friends, set against the backdrop of the city streets and projects. 

We Found a Hat. By Jon Klassen. Weston Woods, CD and book. Gr. PreS-2
Ambient sounds and gently strummed guitar music pull listeners into the dry, western, desert setting, while Johnny Heller and Christopher Curry voice two old tortoise friends.

Whichwood. By Tahereh Mafi. Listening Library, CD. Gr. 5+
Bronson Pinchot’s wry and familiar narration breaks the fourth wall, bringing readers into this darkly humorous fantasy about a young, overworked Mordeshoor (caretaker of the dead). 

The Wild Robot Escapes. By Peter Brown. Hachette Audio, DL. Gr. 2-7
A plethora of sound effects and Kathleen McInerney’s “mechanical” narration set the scene for Roz the robot’s episodic odyssey to find her son, Brightbill. 

2019 Notable Children’s Recordings Committee

Michelle Ng, Chair, San Mateo County Libraries, Belmont, California
Eric Barbus, San Francisco Public Library
Laura Bos, Mount Prospect (Illinois) Public Library
Josephine Caisse, Deschutes Public Library, Redmond, Oregon
Annamarie Carlson, Westerville (Ohio) Public Library
Rosa Diaz, Rochester (New York) City School District
Clare Dombrowski, Amesbury (Massachusetts) Public Library
Dona Helmer, Formerly Anchorage (Alaska) School District
Sara White, Seminole County Public Library, Casselberry, Florida