Posts filed under ‘Children's Picture Books on Audio’

That darn cat!

Skippyjon Jones in the Doghouse by Judy Schachner; published by Dutton Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, New York; 2005.

Skippyjon Jones has been a favorite read-aloud in our school since his debut because the parent-volunteers love doing the voices.  As I said before, I don’t usually care for author’s doing their own narrations, but again I was delighted by an author’s rendition.  Schachner’s voices, songs and accents are endearing and add so much to the telling of Skippyjon’s story.  She really likes her kitty creation!

In the case of this audiobook, I did refer to the illustrations as I listened to it.  What a treat to enjoy the acrylic with pen and ink illustrations while someone else read the story to me.

The original Skippyjon Jones was included on the CD with this book but the book was not included with the kit; I would have preferred to have both books with the CD.

I would definitely use this book and CD combo on a pathfinder of read-along books.  I would also use Schachner’s narration while I turn the pages of the book for a story time.  She is so entertaining and her narration helps illustrate how to read out loud with mucho gusto.  Ooh, that gives me an idea: I could use her narration to train parent volunteers how to read aloud to the students.


January 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Laugh out loud and learn a little

The Composer Is Dead written and read by Lemony Snicket, music composed by Nathaniel Stookey, illustrations by Carson Ellis; published by Harper Collins, New York; 2009.

Wow, this is an unbelievable multimedia experience.  I’m not usually a fan of the author narrating his or her own books, but in this case, Lemony Snicket is a natural.  He is at his inimitable best in this educational but entertaining tale of the murder of the composer.  His narration is paired with original compositions by Nathaniel Stookey and illustrations by Carson Ellis.  Stookey’s music highlights the sounds and styles of the various sections of the orchestra with drama and panache; I can’t imagine this book without the music.  Ellis’ images reminded me of the pictures in my piano books from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  The silhouette busts of the composers on the end pages really tickled me but I found I didn’t refer much to the book—I preferred to let the story and music play in my imagination.

I have got to let our music teacher know about this book—the accompanying CD includes nine instrumental tracks along with the narrated tracks and any music teacher could incorporate this into her lessons.  I would also use it in an educational box about classical music or orchestras as well as in a music program at the library.

January 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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