So, today to and from the office I listened to a compilation of Arthur books by Marc Brown. The jingle (theme music) is still running through my brain. As I was listening, I kept mentally commenting on things like, "well, that doesn't make sense," and then kept having to remind myself Arthur is an aardvark. Yikes! Look what happens when storybook characters become real even to old readers like me. This collection (2 disks and about 2 hours) would be ideal for parents whose kids love these books (or perhaps have not met Arthur and friends yet) on even short hops as each story is self-contained.
The other audio was Karen Cushman's ALCHEMY AND MEGGY SWANN (Listening Library/Books on Tape, 2010). Katie Kellgren was the narrator, so I knew I was in for a treat. I know Katie and yet I could swear the woman was born and reared in England and during Elizabethan times as her dialect/accent is just spot on perfection for bringing this book to life. And listening made me appreciate Karen Cushman's ability to use language to not only transport readers to another time and place but to give characters individual dimensions, to add humor to the story, and to inject just the right amount of drama into a given situation or levity for that matter. Meggy is sent to live with her father. When she arrives, he takes one look at her crooked legs and her pet swan with a crooked wing and basically turns away from her. Meggy must manage largely on her own in a noisy, unfamiliar, and sometimes cruel London. This is an audio not to be missed. <270>