My loyal readers might remember that last summer Lightening Bolt insisted on listening to one of about four CDs all summer long. This year, he has gone entirely off music. Instead, we are listening to audio books of the early chapter variety. He’s only beginning to be ready to listen to these read aloud at home, but when he’s stuck in the car, they are marvelous. Here’s what he’s enjoyed so far:
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. Narrated by Mark Hamill. He’s asked to listen to these twice. A fun introductory fantasy, but note that the language is occasionally crude and that the three siblings are not kind to each other in the early books.
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond. Narrated by Michael Fry. It’s a classic, and still very funny.
Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi. Narrated by Alan Cumming. A light-hearted yet earnest tale of a boy who befriends a gentle and intelligent dragon, and then must save him from the fearful villagers.
Half Magic by Edward Eager. Narrated by the WTW Repertory Company. A fantasy classic. LB liked it so much that he insisted that Daddy listen to it, too. Daddy was not so impressed, until informed that it was originally published in 1954. Yes, it’s a bit old-fashioned, but it’s held up remarkably well.
The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne. Narrated by the author. These are the big hits of the summer. LB will now utter “Mary. Pope. Osborne.” in an extremely satisfied voice, and explain to anyone who cares to listen that she is and will forever remain his favorite author. We are now listening to book 37, and reading many out loud as well. I will note that the books starting in the late 20s begin to use more magic and vary from the strict 10-chapter plot formula of the earlier books, making them more interesting to older readers/listeners.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Narrated by the author. White’s old-fashioned country voice still let me notice the poetry of his language so much more than I did when I eagerly read the book for plot as a child. Really, no wonder it’s lasted so long.
Do you have any ideas for an adventure-loving yet still sensitive almost-Kindergartener?