Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review: Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights

Welcome back to the world of Frozen!  Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and friends continue their adventures in Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights! A rock troll, Little Rock, is ready for a new crystal and with the help of his friends he will earn his tracking crystal.

Adolescent Audio Adventures review of Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights audiobook

I felt that author, Suzanne Francis (Disney Press) captured the character very well. Olaf was so Olaf and everyone else seemed true to their personalities first introduced in the movie. If readers want more Frozen, this is a fine book. I could hear the kid appeal. I was intrigued to see where the story would go as I did enjoy the movie. I doubt that I would listen to this book again. I would recommend this book to Frozen fans or young listeners who are earning badges.

Narrator Andrew Eiden was a fine narrator for Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights. He had different character voices and youthfulness in his narration. I would listen to him again.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Blackstone Audio!

I received this audiobook for free from Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review.

Audio Book Details...
Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights by Suzanne Francis
Read by Andrew Eiden
Produced by Blackstone Audio / Disney Press
Number of Discs: MP3 download (20 parts)
Total Time: 2 hours, 23 minutes
Release Date: July 19, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Review: Grayling's Song

Grayling's Song is a juvenile fiction novel written by Karen Cushman. She created a medieval world with magic. Grayling sets off on a journey to find magical people who can help her mother (and others along the way) who is turning into a tree. It's a ragtag team that comes together and helps Grayling along the way. It's a fine quest story. The unlikely characters are a good mix of interesting. It reminded me a little bit of Christopher Healy's series, The League of Princes. Grayling is more serious, and Healy is more humorous. I picked up Grayling's Song because of the narrator, Katherine Kellgren, and the fantasy element. If readers appreciate, medieval times, music, or Ms. Kellgren I would recommend this book to them.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman
Katherine Kellgren was an amazing narrator. Grayling sings throughout the story and Kellgren sings to tunes, too. Acapella. I am every so impressed when music is added to an audiobook. I am even more impressed when narrators feel comfortable and confident while singing without a tune in the background. Wow! Beyond the singing, Kellgren offers different voices for each character which sounded very authentic to the type of character Cushman described: crabby weather witch, languid enchantress, a befuddled wizard, and more. I would definitely listen to Kellgren again.

Grayling's Song reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman
Read by Katherine Kellgren
Produced by Recorded Books
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 5 hours, 6 minutes
Release Date: June 7, 2016
ISBN: 9781501916922

Monday, November 28, 2016

Quick Review: Princess in Black series

Princess in Black is an easy chapter book series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. The illustrations are by LeUyen Pham. There are currently four titles available in the series:

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Princess in Black series
1 - The Princess in Black
2 - The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party
3 - The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde
4 - The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation

Books 1-3 were in an audiobook collection, while book 4 was a standalone audiobook. Since these books are easy chapter books, the audiobooks were very short - about 20 minutes each. Each book is read by narrator Julia Whelan. I thought I heard Whelan read before, but checking the blog I don't have her documented. Interesting. I liked her voice. She was youthful and gave different characters different voices or characteristics. I thought she maintained her character voices well between all four stories.

The stories are fun and for a young audience. It was a fine read for this youth librarian. They read very quickly. I can see the appeal for girls, guys, and families. The "battle scenes" were similar to retro Batman - *Bam!* and *Pow!* That was fun. I would recommend this to families to read together or readers who want to begin chapter books.

The Princess in Black, Books 1-3 reviewed from a library copy. I received The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library!

Audio Book Details...
The Princess in Black, Books 1-3 by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Series: The Princess in Black
Read by Julia Whelan
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 55 minutes
Release Date: February 9, 2016
ISBN: 9780735209916 / 9780735209923

Audio Book Details...
The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Series: Book 04, The Princess in Black
Read by Julia Whelan
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 19 minutes
Release Date: November 8, 2016
ISBN: 9780735210141

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Review: A Most Magical Girl

A Most Magical Girl takes place in Victorian England. Proper young lady, Annabel Grey, goes to her great aunt where they share magic with her. It is unbelievable that her mother never mentioned any of this to her. Now she is told that she needs to learn quickly in order to find the Moreover Wand in under London. She needs to fight white magic against the black magic that has arrived in London.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews A Most Magic Girl audiobook

I was uncertain about A Most Magical Girl. I have been avoiding narrator Jayne Entwistle for some time. Occasionally her character voices get under my skin and I turn her off. I like a fantasy tale and I haven't heard Entwistle for a while, so I gave this audiobook a listen. The story was strange, but the narration was well done.

The story is a dark, gothic tale of good versus evil and young versus old. (Some moments reminded me of Neil Gaiman stories.) Mr. Angel was the dark magician who called up darklings from the shadows which is a bit unsettling. I preferred to imagine them as little inkblots in motion rather than how they were actually described. Annabel Grey did have a "friend," Kitty, who was along during the whole adventure. Kitty was interesting and wild and magical. Annabel and Kitty's adventure was nearly the entire length of the book. The wrap up at the end seemed rather short in comparison to the lengthy journey. The most interesting part of the book for me was the dark magic machine Mr. Angel created. It was fed by mourning tokens of the Victorian age. That historical addition was short and fascinating.

As I previously stated, Jayne Entwistle is the narrator for A Most Magical Girl. It was a good listen. Her voices were believable for all the characters. Annabel and Kitty were the main characters, but there were elderly ladies and gentlemen, trolls, Mr. Angel, and darklings. The character voices were maintained throughout the whole book. I would give Entwistle another go after hearing A Most Magical Girl.

I received this audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library!

Audio Book Details...
A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee
Read by Jayne Entwistle
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 8 hours, 13 minutes
Release Date: August 2, 2016
ISBN: 9780147521033 / 9780147521040

Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: The Writings of Paul Frees

Paul Frees is a legendary voice actor. His voice appears in some of my favorite movies. I was interested in what he wrote and I was in for a surprise. It was not what I expected. He wrote during a different era. The following selections are on the audiobook The Writings of Paul Frees:

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Writings of Paul Frees
Monster from Dimension X (script)
Spike Jones letter
The Collector's Item (Bats)
I'm Drowning My Sorrows lyrics
Partners in Crime (TV Series w/ Jeremiah & Jennifer Shade)
Who Knows? (audition script)
Freddy (short story)

Frees wrote some science fiction and science fiction isn't one of my top genres. It was interesting and a bit creepy. The first story made it hard to continue listening to the whole audiobook. The format of a read script didn't put me off, it was the story. The sound creature, or monster, killed people. The Collector's Item was interesting. It sounded like a silly commercial about a mad man with bats in his attic. And the short story, Freddy, was interesting, too. Freddy was a story about a science loving kid.

Paul Frees' son, Fred Frees, narrated the collection. He's dynamic like his father. I wasn't observant enough to notice that Fred read the book until I was writing my review. I was listening for voices that I recognized and was confused. After realizing my mistake, I knew why Fred's voices were a bit different from Paul's voices that I knew growing up.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Blackstone Audio!

Audio Book Details...
The Writings of Paul Frees: Scripts and Songs from the Master of Voice, 2nd Edition by Paul Frees
Read by Fred Frees
Produced by BearManor Media
Number of Discs: MP3 download
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Release Date: May 31, 2016
ISBN: 9781504743006

Monday, October 24, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016 : Thank you!

A belated, but very sincere ...

Thank you for stopping by and reading Adolescent Audio Adventures!
Thank you for joining in the fun and blogging along with me!
Thank you for sharing the love of audiobooks!

I had a wonderful time reading blog posts and sharing my love of listening. I hope you had a great week as well. I am all ready looking forward to next year's Audiobook Bloggers Week. I hope you can join me and other bloggers as we celebrate audiobooks. #AudiobookBloggersWeek

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016 : #ThrowbackThursday

Welcome to Audiobook Bloggers Week Thursday! Or should I say Throwback Thursday? It's a fun way to reflect on the past.

For the longest time, my most popular blog post was The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. I don't know why it was so popular. I thought it was a children's story and I would say it is not. Jim Dale is amazing, but the story is, well, adult. The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda rose to popularity and I think it is because it's a popular series. This week I am surprised and thrilled to share that Audiobook Bloggers Week is Coming is the newest and most popular post! Thank you for joining me on this journey!! I couldn't do it without you!

What are your favorite books to hear?

I'm a big fan of fantasy! My go-to books to recommend are ...

Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull (complete series)
Five Kingdoms series by Brandon Mull (The next installment is coming!)
The Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann (complete series, spin off coming)
The Books of Beginning series by John Stephens (complete series)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (standalone story with 2 amazing narrations)
Savvy series by Ingrid Law (complete series)

I also enjoy stories that share funny moments. Here are couple recommendations for a laugh ...

The Brixton Brothers series by Mac Barnett (3 out of the 4 are audiobooks)
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood (The next installment is coming!)
The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency by Jordan Stratford (Currently two books and I can't wait for the next.)
The Hero's Guide Series by Christopher Healy (complete series)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016: #WednesdayWhere

It's the middle of our Audiobooks Bloggers Week 2016! Today we're going to share where we find audiobooks. If you're a book lover, you want to read all the books or listen to all the audios. Maybe you have a special budget or no budget.

Here's my top place for CD audiobooks: my public library.

My library will not have every book ever created, but they have a vast assortment. I can also request books from other libraries in our consortium or request an interlibrary loan which requests books from outside our consortium. It's pretty neat!

My top place for digital audiobooks: my public library.

The library works with Overdrive to offer e-books and e-audiobooks. Again, not every book but a great variety of books to enjoy. Each library and/or consortium will have different books to checkout, but titles are easy to download and listen. These books are also automatically returned when they are due, so my late fees do not increase. Another digital perk is visiting the Overdrive library at any time of the day or night. Overdrive hours are 24/7.

If you're not close to a library or don't have a library card, where can you go for audiobooks?

There are companies who sell audiobooks in store or online. You can buy books individually or sign-up for a subscription. I have not subscribed to a service, but I've purchased a few digital audiobooks when Audible had a sale on youth audiobooks. I also stumbled across a few titles at Half Price Books and area thrift shops. I won a couple audiobooks through giveaways. Every once in a while, audiobook companies offer free audiobooks! During the summer, AudiobookSYNC runs an amazing program for audiobook listeners.

Here are a few companies you can explore and see if they have books you might enjoy...

Blackstone Audio
Books on Tape
Brilliance Audio
Dreamscape Media
Full Cast Audio
Hachette Audio
Harper Audio
HighBridge Audio
Listening Library
Live Oak Media
Oasis Audio
Penguin Random House Audio
Recorded Books
Scholastic Audio
Skyboat Media
Simon & Schuster Audio
Tantor Media

This is by no means a complete list of every single audiobook company in the world. I tried to share the companies I know at this time. Happy listening friends!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016: Travel Tuesday

It's day three of Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016! We're talking travel today. Do you travel with audiobooks? Do you take them on vacation? Do you take them to the gym? Where do you like to listen to audiobooks?

My number one location for audiobooks is listening while traveling in the car. I consider my car rare because I have a six disc CD changer and I love it! I can put a whole book in the player and just keep driving without worrying about changing discs in the middle of my travels. I also have an MP3 player that I load up and use if the story is digital rather than on disc.

I also like to walk and read. Sometimes I can run and read as well, but it needs to be a moving story to keep a good pace. Some of my most memorable stories that I heard while walking/running include Small Steps and Veronica Mars.

Do you walk or run and read? What type of story moves you?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016: Motivation Monday

It's day two of Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016! We're discussing motivation this Monday. Life is full of hills and valleys and blogging is no different. I feel like I'm walking out of a valley right now. My current valley is I need to write reviews! I've been listening to audiobooks, but failing to write a review. I like to be thoughtful about books I hear, but with so many stories stacking up I'm going to forget (or have forgotten) my initial feelings, notes, or ideas about the book and the narrator.

Audiobook Bloggers Week Motivation Monday at Adolescent Audio Adventures

I've read about other bloggers having the same valley. They have written about and encouraged others to write quick reviews. Quick reviews are still meaningful, but shorter and to the point. I'm going to try my hand at it and play catch up with my pile of finished books. Instead of paragraphs about the story and the narrator, I'm going to write a couple of sentences and maybe use a questions and answer format.

When you read reviews, do you look for a lengthy review or something short & to the point?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016: Sunny Hello!

Welcome to Adolescent Audio Adventures! I am Miss Pippi and I am a children's librarian. My goal of Adolescent Audio Adventures was to create a space for discussing adolescent (aka children and teens) audiobooks. As a children's librarian, I love sharing books and audiobooks with patrons of all ages. As a reader, I love sharing books with anyone who likes books!

The majority of my posts focus on audiobooks for young listeners, but I have a couple grownup titles. I started posting music reviews this year and I would like to add more. I use music during library programs and I read youth novels to keep in touch with current literature. My favorite genre is fantasy. I'll share some of my favorite reads on Thursday, so stop back during the week!

Do you have a favorite youth audiobook? Or memorable music from your youth? Leave a comment and let me know! Happy #AudiobookBloogersWeek!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week is Coming!

At the end of June, a couple of audiobook bloggers got to talking on Twitter about making an Audiobook Bloggers Week - #AudiobookBloggersWeek. We scheduled the second week of October to celebrate. I am shocked and excited to see that it is just around the corner!

It's our first year of celebrating audiobook bloggers. I hope you will join me and other bloggers as we talk about audiobooks and blogging. You may use the logo I created for your posts if you'd like. Here are some blogging thoughts for the week ...

Sunday - #SunnyHello - Introduce yourself and your blog. (You can refer to original introductions/welcomes as well.) How long have you been blogging? Has your blog changed over the years? What your genres of choice?

Monday - #MotivationMonday - How do you start a blog? OR How do you get out of an audiobook slump? Do you have a review formula to share?

Tuesday - #TravelTuesday - Do travel while listening or taken audiobooks with you on vacation? Where do you like to listen to audiobooks?

Wednesday - #WednesdayWhere - Where do you go for audiobooks? What format is available? Do you have a favorite audiobook format?

Thursday - #ThrowbackThursday - Share your most popular post or your favorite audiobook that you heard.

Friday - #FridayListens - What are you currently enjoying in audiobook form?

Saturday - #AudiobooksForTheFuture - In the next year, what are you excited about? New audiobooks, new blog ideas, etc. Let's keep the excitement going!

I hope you're able to join us for the first #AudiobookBloggersWeek! Be sure to stop by fellow audiobook bloggers to say hi! I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Audiobook Bloggers...
Literate Housewife
MissSusie’s Reading & Observations
The Reading Date

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: Roald Dahl

Happy 100th Birthday, Roald Dahl!

It's amazing to see (and hear) the impact an author can have on readers all over the world. Since The BFG has been created into a movie, a book club that I joined decided to read it. This is my first time reading The BFG. I really appreciated that I had the opportunity to hear a brief biography about Dahl in the audiobook: Who Was Roald Dahl? before hearing The BFG

Who Was Roald Dahl? was a great companion audiobook before reading one of his books. It was very informative without being too much information for young readers. Dahl's life was full of ups and downs. He had love and loss. His boarding school days greatly influenced his stories. He truly focused on writing books for children and I could hear that in The BFG

Rene Ruiz narrated Who Was Roald Dahl? This is the first audiobook I have heard Rene Ruiz read. Nonfiction can be rather dry versus a novel, but I thought it was interesting. Ruiz shared the biography well. I would listen to Ruiz again.


The BFG version I heard was read by David Walliams. Again, another new narrator for this listener. Walliams is an English actor and his accent help make the story come alive. Dahl was also British so it makes sense to have another Englishman share his story. The BFG's voice was very memorable for me. All of the creative words Dahl created were read smoothly throughout the entire story. I would like to hear Walliams again.

As for the book itself, I don't need to read it again. I can hear the fun Dahl created for children in his book. I think I'm too adult for it. The words Dahl created sometimes annoyed me. I also was not a fan of the other giants who ate people. I know it's a pretend story, but that thought makes me grimace and my stomach twist. Dahl's writing is very unique. I think he'll continue to be popular all over the world.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Who Was Roald Dahl? and The BFG

Who Was Roald Dahl? I received this audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library! 

The BFG was reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Who Was Roald Dahl? by True Kelley
Series: Who Is / Who Was series
Read by Rene Ruiz
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 1 hour, 2 minutes
Release Date: June 7, 2016
ISBN: 9780735205512

Audio Book Details...
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Read by David Walliams
Produced by Penguin Audio / Midwest Tapes
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Release Date: 2013
ISBN: 9781611761887

Monday, September 5, 2016

Review: The Soccer Surprise

Author David A. Kelly continues his new mystery series, MVP or Most Valuable Players, with The Soccer Surprise. The students from book one, The Gold Medal Mess, are back. Instead of an all school event, it is soccer season and the students want to save an old field house. They think of an fundraiser to help save the field house, but along the way someone is tampering with the building.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Soccer Surprise
It's a good story for young mystery readers. A touch of danger at the field house, but nothing harmful to the MVPs. The mystery can be followed and solved by the reader. If readers enjoyed book one, they will like book two.

Tonya Cornelisse returns to narrate The Soccer Surprise. I love consistent narrators with audiobooks. Cornelisse maintains her voices during the story and is able to share a variety of characters from guys, gals, children, and adults. You can hear a sample from The Soccer Surprise on Listening Library's website.

I received this audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library!

Audio Book Details...
The Soccer Surprise by David A. Kelly
Series: 02, MVP (Most Valuable Players)
Read by Tonya Cornelisse
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Release Date: May 24, 2016
ISBN: 9780399569272 / 9780399569265

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Review: Waiting for Augusta

Earlier this year I heard Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson. Over the summer I listened to Lawson's newest youth novel, Waiting for Augusta. Both books were captivating, but very different in their locations and history.

Waiting for Augusta reviewed by Adolescent Audio Adventures
Waiting for Augusta is set in the South (Alabama and Georgia) during the 1970's. Segregation is happening as well as the Masters. Benjamin Putter seeks to give his dead father one last wish - to have his ashes spread on the 18th hole at Augusta National. He runs away from home with his father's urn and another young runaway, Noni. They both have a mission of unfinished business and it will take a trip to the golf course to see them both resolved.

Luke Daniels narrated Waiting for Augusta. This the first full length book I have heard Daniels narrate. Previously, I heard him briefly in The Chronicles of Harris Burdick. I was very impressed with his voices and characters. Ben Putter hears the voices of things around him. Each character that spoke was different. I think the hardest, but possibly the most memorable was the voice of a clock. I could make out all the words, but it sounded like a ticking clock! Very impressive vocal work, Mr. Daniels. I would definitely listen to another book read by Luke Daniels.

The narration was my favorite part of the book. The story line was heartrending then terribly tragic for me. Benjamin Putter works through his grief and misunderstandings with his father which was an interesting listen. I appreciated the theme of golf because very few children's books offer that as sports theme. Noni's story (which she doesn't share until near the end) took my breath away. I have no words for what happened to her. I tried explaining it to other readers and I just ended up crying all over again. My body hurts just thinking about her story. Well done on the realism, Ms. Lawson.

Some readers will love this story and I think others will never want to read it. I am closer to the never read it camp. It's a lot of emotion packed into one book.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Dreamscape Media!

I received this audiobook for free from Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review.

Audio Book Details...
Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson
Read by Luke Daniels
Produced by Dreamscape Media
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 8 hours, 27 minutes
ISBN: 9781520004693

Friday, August 5, 2016

July Audiobook Update

I haven't stopped listening to audiobooks but I have taken a break from posting reviews. In a nutshell, here's what I've been reading over the past month ...

Adolescent Audio Adventures audiobook update for July 2016

MVP #2 : The Soccer Surprise by David A. Kelly, read by Tonya Cornelisse
Five Kingdoms #4 : Death Weavers by Brandon Mull read by Keith Nobbs
The BFG by Roald Dahl, read by David Walliams
Who Was Laura Ingalls Wilder? by Patricia Brennan Demuth, read by Kimberly Farr
Who Was Roald Dahl? by True Kelley, read by Rene Ruiz
When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin, read by Paul Griffin
The Writings of Paul Frees by Paul Frees, read by Paul Frees
Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson, read by Luke Daniels

Monday, June 27, 2016

Review: Island of Dragons

The End of Artime is Here!

Island of Dragons is the final installment of Lisa McMann's Unwanteds series. I've waited on the edge of my seat for each audiobook release. The series has been captivating! Island of Dragons made me want to cry because it's the end of a series that stole a piece of my heart. I've gotten to know the people, critters, and statues from Artime, Quill, Island of Shipwrecks, and the other islands. I don't want to say goodbye...

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Unwanteds #7 Island of Dragons
Yet there is always a time for a story to wrap up. McMann brought the conclusion of the Unwanteds to a satisfying end. She also left room for a sequel. More adventures are on the horizon! I cannot wait! Uwanteds Quests is coming in 2017! Thank you, Lisa McMann for not leaving these beloved lands.

Steve West returns to narrate the last Unwanteds tale. Yippee! I've enjoyed his voice for several of audiobooks in the series. Mr. West is beginning to feel like an audiobook friend and I love to hear his voice make the story come alive. Simon & Schuster did have a female voice share the beginning and ending information for the story and production. The end of disc voice was jarring for me, but I have a multi-disc player so have that interruption was annoying to me. I know other audiobook listeners appreciate the "end of disc" statements. I hope West return for the next installment of the Unwanteds adventure. I understand if a new narrator is chosen for a new series, but Mr. West would be greatly missed.

Thank you, Ms. McMann and Mr. West. It's been a treat!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Island of Dragons by Lisa McMann
Series: Book 7, The Unwanteds
Read by Steve West
Produced by Simon & Schuster Audio
Number of Discs: 9
Total Time: 11 hours, 15 minutes
Release Date: April 2016
ISBN: 9781442393844

Friday, June 17, 2016

Review: A Clatter of Jars

Welcome back to the world of talents in glass jars!

A Clatter of Jars is a companion book to A Tangle of Knots. Lisa Graff returns with new stories that share a glimpse of magic in the real world. Everyone, well, almost everyone, has a special talent which can range from cooking, baking, ice control, or communicating with frogs. Some talents can beckon talents from others while others can move talents from one person to another.

If you are unfamiliar with Graff's Tangle or Clatter, I would recommend reading A Tangle of Knots first and then follow up with A Clatter of Jars. Characters from Tangle appear briefly in Clatter but I believe it is significant enough to read them in order of publication. There are also talent ties to the first novel as well.

The setting for A Clatter of Jars is a summer camp for talented kids. A great story to read during the summertime! Clatter features several talent children who's stories are woven together at camp. It's a good read for a family trip or listening on your own.

Ellen Archer narrates A Clatter of Jars. This is a different narrator from A Tangle of Knots. The differences of stories deserves a different narrator. I liked Archer's narration of Clatter. With the range of characters, I could hear the difference between who was "speaking." I also appreciated the frog sounds throughout the book. Many times we learn the sound of a frog is "ribbit," but the frogs around camp were not "ribbit frogs," so appropriate frog sounds were shared. Looking for more frog sounds? Visit Animal Diversity Web for their page on Frog Calls.

I received this audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library!

Audio Book Details...
A Clatter of Jars by Lisa Graff
Read by Ellen Archer
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 4 hours, 31 minutes
Release Date: May 24, 2016
ISBN: 9780451485885 / 9780451485892

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Review: The Hidden Oracle

The Percy Jackson Saga continues!

The focus shifts from Percy Jackson to the god Apollo who has been thrown to earth as a human teenager. The beginning is a humorous trial of escaping garbage, bullies, and fruit. A strange coincidence ... right as I began listening to the book I walked past a banana peel on the sidewalk. How ironic to sight it around the the beginning of The Hidden Oracle. You'll understand if you listen or read the beginning of the book.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Hidden Oracle audiobook
I will admit that I have a Percy Jackson gap. My last check in with the series was The Mark of Athena ... which was published in 2012. The saga began with Greek gods, moved to Roman gods, and now the series returns to Greek gods while keeping tabs with characters from previous books. Listeners and readers of the series will enjoy this next installment. I'm glad to have touched base with Camp Halfblood & friends, but I'm not sure how closely I'll follow along with Apollo's trials. Some themes of the book are friendship, mythology, romantic interest between guys and gals, romantic interest between guys, overcoming obstacles, and fighting/battles. I also heard the humor sprinkled throughout which had me chuckling. I think the guiser gods might be my favorite characters.

Robbie Daymond's reading of The Hidden Oracle was fantastic. Apollo is a bit full of himself and Daymond gives voice to his attitude so well. I think his reading made the book. Apollo is the main character but there is a plethora of ladies, gentlemen, and mythological creatures which Daymond shares with different voices. I look forward to the next book I find read by Robbie Daymond!

I received this audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library!

Audio Book Details...
The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Series: Book 1, The Trials of Apollo
Read by Robbie Daymond
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 9
Total Time: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Release Date: May 3, 2016
ISBN: 9780451485199 / 9780451485205

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review: Wolf Hollow

Lauren Elizabeth Wolk is an artist, poet, and novelist. Wolf Hollow is her second book and is "Wolk's first novel for young people (although really for all people)." I would completely agree that this title is a book for everyone. It captured my attention and I am closer to middle age than middle school. Here is the novel teaser from Listening Library ...

Annebelle reflects upon a very brief period in her life. Great tragedy accompanies a budding friendship and a case of bullying. Each chapter revealed small pieces of a larger painting, until the masterpiece is revealed. It's not a lighthearted story. It's one that begs the listener (or reader) to reflect on the truth of tale. It took me a while to write a review because of the depth of this novel. It's not a book that will be easily passed by after reading it.

Part of the story was the addition of art. Annebelle's mother won a camera and a lifetime supply a film. Photographs play a role in the drama, but the photos also give insight

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Emily Rankin narrates Wolf Hollow. I really enjoyed the story through her voice. She sounded youthful and mature which is a great bland for the character of Annabelle. Rankin also give believable voices for the men, brothers, and women throughout the story. I would definitely listen to Emily Rankin narrate another story.

I received this audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library!

Audio Book Details...
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Read by Emily Rankin
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time: 6 hours, 55 minutes
Release Date: May 3, 2016
ISBN: 9780451485656 / 9780451485663

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June is Audiobook Month 2016

Welcome to June 2016! Welcome to Audiobook Month!

I look forward to June every year. I get to celebrate my passion for audiobook for an entire month! I also connect with readers, publishers, and organizations who are passionate about audiobooks. It's a great time of year!

At my library, I put up a display of audiobooks during the month. Each week of the June, I try to feature different audiobooks. For example, one week can be about family listens, another week on mysteries, another on first books in a series, and so on and so forth. I will try to snap of photo of each display and share them during Audiobook Month. Connect with me on Twitter or Instagram at @MissPippiReads

Adolescent Audio Adventures | June is Audiobook Month 2016

Join the fun this month by blogging about audiobooks or interacting with audiobook enthusiasts. Some hashtags to keep in mind are #JuneIsAudiobookMonth, #JIAM, #AudiobookMonth, or #LoveAudiobooks. Looking forward to talking audiobooks with you this month!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Audies 2016 Tonight

The Audies Gala is tonight in Chicago!

The Audies are awards given by the Audio Publishers Association, or the APA. The winners will be announced this evening from the short lists that were announced in February. I am looking forward to hearing the winners!

I have spent the last couple months listening to books from the Middle Grade and Young Listeners short list. I volunteered to be a part of Armchair Audies where audiobook lovers listen and try to predict the winner. I listened to most of the audiobooks in each category. There was one audiobook in each category that the libraries around me did not own, so I'll just have to wait and see if they sweep the awards! I bolded the titles I think could win and italicized the titles I did not hear.

Young Listeners Audies 2016 Finalists

  • Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan, read by Dustin Hoffman
  • Brother Hugo and the Bear by Katy Beebe, read by Gildart Jackson
  • Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon, read by Suzy Jackson
  • Eloise Audio Collection by Kay Thompson, read by Bernadette Peters
  • The Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine, Marc Brown, read by Jack Black
  • Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales, read by Adriana Sananes

Middle Grade Audies 2016 Finalists

  • Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville, read by Euan Morton, Nancy O’Connor, Amanda Carlin, Scott Sherratt, Amanda D’Acierno, Jennifer Rubins, Joe Scalora, Dan Zitt, Tavia Gilbert, Matt Hostetler, and Karen Dziekonski
  • Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan, read by Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, MacLeod Andrews, and Rebecca Soler
  • Jump Back, Paul by Sally Derby, read by Bahni Turpin and Dion Graham
  • Stellla by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper, read by Heather Alicia Simms
  • The Unmapped Sea by Maryrose Wood, Read by Katherine Kellgren

I hope to tweet along with the Audies this evening as well as watch the live steam! Best wishes everyone!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

AudiobookSYNC 2016

Welcome back, AudiobookSYNC!

Another Summer season of AudiobookSYNC is here! I am so excited and thankful for this audiobook partnership. Beginning May 5, two audiobooks are available to download each week until August 17. There are a total of 30 audiobooks from over 15 different audiobook publishers. AudiobookSYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through the OverDrive app. You can choose to download all of the books, none of the books, or a random mix of books. The choice is yours!

Each week features two titles that are based on a theme for the week. The books are geared for teens ages 13+. Again, you might want all the titles, none of the titles, or some of the titles. You choose what to hear this summer!

I hope you'll join in the fun and share the good news of audiobooks!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: The Gold Medal Mess

Author David A. Kelly has a new mystery series for young readers who are ready for chapter books! His first series, Ballpark Mysteries, focuses on mysteries located at different American ballparks (Fenway, Wrigley, etc.) His new series is MVP or Most Valuable Players. Book one is The Gold Medal Mess. Here is a brief write up from Kelly's blog:

I know of the Ballpark Mysteries, but I never read any of the books in the series. They are a popular series for young readers who enjoy sports and mysteries. I think the same readers will enjoy this new series. Kelly kicked off with a great theme of Olympics in the year of Summer Olympics in Rio. Well played, sir! The mystery could be followed and solved by the reader, so it shouldn't frustrate young readers. It's also a mystery that is solved by a group of friends (or teammates) rather than a couple of friends or an individual.

Tonya Cornelisse narrates The Gold Medal Mess. Cornelisse is a new narrator for these ears. She has a husky voice which works well with female and male characters. She also needs to shares the voices of elementary students, middle graders, and adults. The voices sounded believable. You can hear a sample of The Gold Medal Mess on Listening Library's website. You can also see the next MVP book that will be narrated by Cornelisse.

I received this audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library!

Audio Book Details...
The Gold Medal Mess by David A. Kelly
Series: 01, MVP (Most Valuable Players)
Read by Tonya Cornelisse
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Release Date: May 3, 2016
ISBN: 9780399569227 / 9780553513219

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A to Z Challenge is Done

The A to Z Challenge is done and it did me in. I still need to complete some of the last letters of the alphabet... April was a busy month for me and adding a blog challenge was exciting, but a little stressful. I was "live" posting rather than schedule posting. Lesson learned for next time! I hope everyone who participated in #AtoZChallenge had a good time! It was a new experience that I hope to do again.

Shout out to fellow children's librarian, Katie at Story Time Secrets, who blogged about picture book biographies during the month of April.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Music List: VeggieTales

Today is Tuesday and not Thursday, but it's a throwback theme today. Are you familiar with VeggieTales? They premiered many years ago and I fell in love with those acting and singing vegetables. I owned the first VeggieTales cassettes and had it memorized at one time. I have not listened to that first music release in awhile, but I wouldn't be surprised if I could singalong with most (if not all) of the songs on the album.

VeggieTales have released several albums now, but these are a few of my favorite albums:

VeggieTunes Volume 1
- Tunes for the first few VeggieTales videos. (This was when VHS was still the technology of choice.)

A Very Veggie Christmas
- Veggie Christmas party with holiday songs - silly and traditional

Rock-a-Bye Veggie
- Lullaby album

The albums can be found at the VeggieTales Store online. The VeggieTales website also has videos you can view to hear some of their tunes as well.


 A to Z Challenge - Letter V - VeggieTales

Review: The Case of the Girl in Grey

Lady Ada Byron and Miss Mary Godwin are back with their second Wollstonecraft Detective Agency adventure! The story picks up soon after book one, The Case of the Missing Moonstone, ends. Ada's sister, Allegra, and Mary's sister, Jane, have just joined the secret agency. The older girls are frustrated with the younger girls, but every brain is needed to undercover, The Case of the Girl in Grey. This story "involves a horrible hospital, a missing will, a hasty engagement, and a suspiciously slippery servant. But Mary has stumbled onto a mystery of her own. She spotted a ghostly girl in a grey gown dashing through the park. A girl who is the spitting image of their new client."

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Case of the Girl in Grey
I did not laugh uproariously during book two, but I did chuckle quite a bit throughout the entire book. I looked forward to every drive while The Case of the Girl in Grey lived in my car's sound sytem. Author Stratford put together another amazing tale that weaves history, mystery, and adventure together. Again, he takes creative liberties, but he explains his decisions at the end of the book as well as historical notes. I cannot wait for the next installment of The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency. Unfortunately, I have not seen any news for the next book at this time. The waiting has begun. In the meantime, check out The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency website. Random House has put together information, activities, and education guides.

Nicola Barber returns to narrate The Case of the Girl in Grey. Huzzah! She maintains her voices from book one into book two while adding new characters. With book two, I felt like a knew the differences between all the voices and characters. I did enjoy all the female and male characters. I also really like how "clandestine" is always thrown about in the book. Whenever Barber reads it, I find myself saying it out loud as well. I hope Barber will return for future Wollstonecraft Detective Ageny books!

Reviewed from a Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, HighBridge Audio!

Audio Book Details...
The Case of the Girl in Grey by Jordan Stratford
Series: Book 2, The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency
Read by Nicola Barber
Produced by HighBridge Audio
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 Hours, 41 Minutes
Release Date: January 2016
ISBN: 9781622314270

Monday, April 25, 2016

Music Review: Sing-a-Move-a-Dance

Have you heard of Colleen & Uncle Squaty? They are a musical team from Wisconsin. They've produced multiple albums and present at several early childhood conferences. (I love their workshops and I would highly recommend seeing one!)

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Sing-a-Move-a-Dance with Colleen and Uncle Squaty
Sing-a-Move-a-Dance is one of their albums and I have used a couple of the songs during storytime. The paper insert is a fold-out which shares lyrics, credits, thank yous, and contact information. The back paper insert includes the track list, brief song information, and song lengths. Since Colleen and Uncle Sqauty all ready shared song notes, I won't add extra notes from me. I did italicize some of my favorite songs from the CD. Sing-a-Move-a-Dance also won two awards: Parents Choice Award and iParenting Media Award. Music albums can always be found on sites like Amazon, but they can be found at North Side Music.

Track List --
1.  Sing-a-Move-a-Dance (Upbeat Movement)
2.  Elephants Have Wrinkles (Echo / Movement Song)
3.  See-Saw (Literary Concepts with Activity)
4.  Alice the Beagle (Movement / Story Song)
5.  Pickin' It Up (Rock/Blues Clean-up Song)
6.  What Dance You Wanna Do? (Fun Interpretative Dance / Latin Style)
7.  Barnyard Boogie (Movement / Story Song / Blues Boogie)
8.  Movin' 'Round the Room (Movement / Echo / Sing-a-Long)
9.  Ukulele Blue Yodel (Fingerplay / Yodeling / Hawaiian Style)
10. Scratch Your Head (Movement / Story Song / Bluegrass)
11. Lorilei's Birthday (Hawaiian Birthday Story Song)
12. I Can Hold On (Movement / Soft Rock)

Reviewed from a personal copy.

Album: Sing-A-Move-A-Dance
Artist: Colleen and Uncle Squaty
Genre: Kindie / Family / Educational
Release Date: 2005


A to Z Challenge - Letter U - Sing-a-Move-a-Dance with Colleen and Uncle Squaty

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Music Review: Through the Woods

Hello, again, Okee Dokee Brothers! Previously, I shared the album Can You Canoe? Now, it's time to share another family listen favorite of mine, Through the Woods. This time the Okee Dokee Brothers took a walk on the Appalachian Trail. Just like their Mississippi River adventure, they spent 30 day in the wilderness.

It's a great album for background listening or on a car trip with the family. The songs range quiet to clap along. The song writers are Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander. The album insert shares little paragraphs about each song and the story behind it. Also included with the CD is a DVD with videos they filmed along the way. You can get a preview of their songs as well as their videos on their website. Below is the track list and a few notes from me. The italicized tracks were some of my favorites from Can You Canoe?

Track List --
1. Through the Woods
2. Big Rock Candy Mountain (with Hubby Jenkins - Carolina Chocolate Drops)
3. Jamboree
4. Evergreen
5. Walking with Spring (with Cathy Fink)
6. Out of Tune
7. Black Bear Mama (with David Holt)
8. Hillbilly Willy
9. Riddle & Rhyme
10. Tiny Little Life
11. Ruby Jane
12. Fiddlestick Joe (with Marcy Marxer)
13. Lighten Your Load
14. Echo
15. Baby Mine (with Rosie Newton)

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Through the Woods
Artist: The Okee Dokee Brothers
Label: Okee Dokee Music
Genre: Folk / Americana / Kindie / Family
Release Date:


 A to Z Challenge - Letter T - Through the Woods by The Okee Dokee Brothers

Friday, April 22, 2016

Review: Seasonal Songs in Motion

Hello, again, The Learning Station! Previously, I shared my thoughts on their album La Di Da La Di Di Dance with Me. Today I have Seasonal Songs in Motion. There is a song for each of our four seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) as well as couple winter holiday songs. They also share that "the last five can be used in any season." I have not used any of these songs for storytime, but the CD is a newer one in my library's music collection.

The paper insert does include song lyrics, song lengths, and occasional movement directions. The track list is below and a couple italicized tracks were some I enjoyed. I also added a couple notes. Happy listening!

Track List --
1 - Hungry Caterpillar
2 - Spring is Here
3 - Green Grass Grows
4 - Mulberry Bush - classic song with a new movement twist (march, skip, hop, clap) - circle song
5 - Sunscreen - body song - summer song
6 - Row, Row, row Adventure - classic song with a new story twist ... rowing chorus and a narrator captain sharing a story about the stream you're rowing on
7 - It's Fall Again
8 - Stirring Our Brew
9 - Dradel, Dradel, Dradel
10 - Kwanzaa
11 - Comin' Down the Chimney - "She'll Comin' Round the Mountain" mashed together with a Santa Clause theme - call and response song
12 - Snowflakes - body song - pretend skating
13 - If You Feel It
14 - London Bridges
15 - Can You Do It?
16 - I Got a Hat
17 - Bam!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Seasonal Songs in Motion
Artist: The Learning Station
Label: Hug-a-Chug Records
Genre: Kindie / Educational
Length: 49:45
Release Date: November 2001


A to Z Challenge - Letter S - Seasonal Songs in Motion by The Learning Station

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: Raffi Fun Food Songs

Have you heard Raffi? He's a classic children's musician with hundreds of songs, over 20 CDs, and over 10 books. He's got a passion for quality music for kids and he's been singing with families for decades. One of his most popular songs is Baby Baluga.

Fun Food Songs is one of his newer albums and one I love to pop in the CD player while I work. It's music I can sing along with or keep on as background music. It's fun family listening. The lyrics are not included in a paper insert, but they can be downloaded from Raffi's website. You can also download music credits on his website as well. The track list below and a couple italicized tracks that I enjoy while listening.

Track List --
1 - Peanut Butter Sandwich - pb & j song - kazoo song too
2 - Brush Your Teeth
3 - Five Little Pumpkins - fingerplay rhyme
4 - Down By the Bay
5 - Going On a Picnic - question and answer song
6 - Corner Grocery Store - This song reminds me an out of print book: "The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read" by Irma Simonton Black.
7 - Day O
8 - Biscuits In the Oven
9 - Oats & Beans & Barley Grow
10 - Savez-Vous Planter Des Choux?
11 - Apples & Bananas
12 - Bananaphone
13 - Naturally
14 - Kitchen Sing Sing
15 - Coconut

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Fun Food Songs
Artist: Raffi
Label: Rounder
Genre: Kindie
Length: 30:03
Release Date: November 2013


A to Z Challenge - Letter R - Raffi Fun Food Songs


Raffi Fun Food Songs on Amazon (Affiliate)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Music Review: Questions

Q. Q? Q is like the letter X. It's not an easy letter in an alphabet book. Sometimes the match is far-fetched, but those letters are needed. Q and X are a part of our language. I've decided to branch out and ask some questions. Or you could ask questions in the comments below.

Do you have a favorite storytime song or music album?
- It would be very difficult to name just one song or one album. Some of my tried and true singers I use for storytime are Hap Palmer, Jim Gill, Miss Carole, and Mike Soloway. I usually end of using Jim Gill the most right now.

What's the newest album that you enjoy as a family?
- The newest album that I have in my head is Odds & Ends by Andrew & Polly. I'll have to share that review soon. I have their Grapes song on repeat way too often in my head, but it's a fun song for little ones. I can't help but picture my little loved ones singing it on repeat as well.

Is there a kindie album I should hear?
- I've heard a good handful of albums, but there is always something new around the corner. Give me a suggestion!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Music Review: Peek-a-Book and Other Songs for Young Children

Hello, again, Hap Palmer! Previously, I shared Hap Palmer's Creative Movement and Rhythmic Expression and Two Little Sounds Fun with Phonics and Numbers. I picked up the Peek-a-Book album for possible use during a baby storytime session. After listening to it, I would say this CD is more suited to general family listening than in storytime. There are a couple songs that stood out to me and I've italicized the titles.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Hap Palmer's Peek-a-Book and Other Songs for Young Children CD
The paper insert is a more basic one than his previous titles I reviewed. The insert includes lyrics, credits, and a little info about Hap Palmer and his music. Song lengths are also not included. I did add some notes about most of the songs, but some of the titles I thought are self-explanatory to the content.

Track List --
1 - Gettin' Up Time - animal song (bird, pup, kitten, calf, colt, chick, duckling, pig)
2 - Baby Songs Theme Song - Baby Songs was a video series and this is the theme song
3 - Baby's First -
4 - My Mommy Comes Back - visits away from mom song
5 - Don't Wash My Blanket - security blanket song
6 - Peek-a-Boo - seeking song - Sheila, Danny, Jim, Jannie are the names in the song but you could replace them to make it personal
7 - Lovey and Me - security / comfort item (teddy, blanket, doll, or stuffed toy)
8 - Piggy Toes - ten little toes song - toe wiggle song
9 - Walking - learning (remembering) to walk song
10 - Daddy Be a Horsie - playtime with dad song
11 - Teddy Bear Ball -
12 - Today I Took My Diaper Off - no more diapers song
13 - I Can Put My Clothes On By Myself - dressing song
14 - What a Miracle - echo song - movment song (clap, stamp, swing arms, bend, stretch, twist, bend, balance)
15 - Raggedy Rag Doll Friend -
16 - Merry-Go-Round - riding a merry-go-round (one from a carnival, not a playground)
17 - Teddy Bear -
18 - Just Fun - movement song (jump, spin/turn around, rolling)
19 - Finger Foods - food song -
20 - Boogie Woogie Wash Rag Blues - bath song
21 - Goodnight Story Time - evening song - books / stories song

Reviewed from a personal copy.

Album: Peek-a-Book and Other Songs for Young Children
Artist: Hap Palmer
Label: Hap-Pal Music, Inc
Genre: Kindie
Length: 51:57
Release Date: November 1996
ASIN: B00000I6YJ


A to Z Challenge - Letter P - Hap Palmer Peek-a-Book and Other Songs for Young Children

Monday, April 18, 2016

Music Review: Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee

Hello, again, Jim Gill! Here is another of Jim Gill's fantastic music CDs. I've previously shared Jim Gill presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes and Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise, Idaho. As with his previous albums, "Do Re Mi" offers a lot of great music for storytime or general listening. I italicized and bolded the tracks I have used during storytime. I italicized additional tracks that I like and added my thoughts and notes.

Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee reviewed at Adolescent Audio Adventures

The paper insert for the CD case included lyrics, credits, and thanks. There are two songs that do no include written lyrics: "San Francisco" and "My Bonnie." There are a few notes on different actions or song extensions that you can use in your classroom, storytime, or home. Song lengths are not listed on the paper insert.

Track List --
1 - The Tempo Marches On - marching song - slow to fast song
2 - Knuckles Knees - body song - cumulative song
3 - Spin Again - spinning song - "freeze song" during the verses
4 - The Wrong Song - silly song
5 - Toe Leg Knee - body song - do re mi song
6 - My Ups and Downs - large and small song - stretching up and laying down
7 - San Francisco - music and original lyrics by John Phillips - body song - instrumental middle - song fades out
8 - Driving Here, Driving There - traveling song - fill-in the rhyme with different states in the US
9 - My Bonnie - traditional song - arms up and down - letter B song -
10 - Yes, No, Maybe - rhyming song - silly song -
11 - Color Game - colors song - body song - "take" a color and play with it
12 - Mashed Potatoes - potato song - sequential song -
13 - Spin Again ... Again - adapted version of traditional song "Michael Finnegan" - name song
14 - The Nothing Wrong Song - movement song (jump, stamp, spin, crawl, sing)

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee
Artist:Jim Gill
Label: Jim Gill Music
Genre: Kindie
Length: 29:16
Release Date: March 1999


A to Z Challenge - Letter O - Jim Gill Sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Music List: Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

The letter M and N are so close to each other in the theme I wanted to chat about this weekend that I am combining them in one post. I'm going rouge in the A to Z Challenge. Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes are traditional songs and classic children's music in my mind. Many musicians share various traditional songs on their albums or create a whole album of classic kindie songs. They even create new renditions of all classics. But there are some groups that seem to focus on Mother Goose melodies and Nursery Rhymes that get passed down from generation to generation. One of the first groups that sprang to my mind was Wee Sing. Pam Beall and Susan Nipp created cassettes and CDs that have hundreds of songs. Kidsongs is another group that sang hundreds of songs. I also remember early episodes of Barney before he had all those dinosaur friends. A more "modern" rendition of Mother Goose is Mother Goose Rocks. Those are a fun listen if you like a variety of music styles. (Unfortunately, they didn't have their own dedicated website.)

Those are some albums I grew up singing. How about you? Do you have a nursery rhyme / Mother Goose / traditional tape that you enjoyed while you were a little learner? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Appleblossom the Possum

Appleblossom the Possum is about a possum who names herself Appleblossom.

She comes from a large family of siblings who all have names beginning with A. They are first batch babes of Mama Possum. Mama Possum teaches her young possums about the theatre of life! They need to take center stage to survive from monsters (cars, people, and dogs) and find food to eat each night. They need to find a place to rest when the sky turns the color of plums

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Appleblossom the Possum
Appleblossom the Possum is the fifth story from Holly Goldberg Sloan. (Perhaps you are familiar with her previous popular novel, Counting by 7s.) Sloan throws together fact and fiction when sharing the story of Appleblossom. Theatre studies also played a large roll in Sloan's story. The possums were anthropomorphic. When they interacted with "peoples," they did keep their squeaks rather than English conversation, which I appreciated.

Sloan's novel is on the 2016 Audie Finalist list for Young Listeners. Well-known actor, Dustin Hoffman, narrates Sloan's story. He can read well and bring fun dynamics to Appleblossom the Possum. I think my favorite character voices were Big Poss (Papa Possum) and Amlet. In addition to an Academy Award winning actor, Listening Library added sound effects and music throughout the story. It's is original music by Ry Cooder. Excellent addition to the story. The music brought a country, outdoor tone while the sounds effects gave it some umph and whimsy. I can hear that a lot of work went into this audiobook.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Read by Dustin Hoffman
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 hours, 39 minutes
Release Date: August 2015
ISBN: 9780739360538

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Music List: Lullabies

The letter L is the near the middle of the alphabet, so I'm taking a little break from my previous style of music reviews. I'm making a list for the letter L. It is a list of lullaby albums that I enjoy listening to while sleeping, relaxing, or simply just to have background music. Perhaps these albums are new or their old favorites. You can let me know your favorite lullaby album by leaving a comment on this post.

Music List of Lullabies from Adolescent Audio Adventures

Lullaby Tribe : Sleep Like a Princess
 - Guitars and piano mix with nature sounds

The O'Neill Brothers : Christmas Lullabies
 - Beautiful blend of Christmas carols and nursery rhymes.

Sesame Street : Sleepytime Bird
 - Story of Big Bird on Sesame Street with lullabies

Chris Rice : The Living Room Sessions
 - Piano hymns

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Music Review: Kidquake!

Have you hear The Not-Its?  The Not-Its are a kindie rock band. I have not used their music during storytime sessions. They are a family listening type of music with kid friendly lyrics. My copy of Kidquake! is an old library copy, so I don't have any album insert information. The album cover is a just a photocopy. I have the track list below and a couple italicized tracks that I enjoyed on this collection.

The Not-Its have a large website if you'd like to explore some more. You can sample their music on the website and purchase it there as well. They also do a bit of touring, depending on where you live maybe you can catch a live show.

Track List --
1 - Kidquake! - album song
2 - Let's Skateboard - skateboard song
3 - Busy - busy lives and take time
4 - Rock, Paper, Scissors
5 - Temper Tantrum
6 - Operation Cooperation - school song - work together song
7 - Full Tilt - pinball song
8 - Participation Trophy
9 - Tarantula Funeral
10 - Walk or Ride
11 - The Not-Its! Love You

Reviewed from a personal copy.

Album: Kidquake!
Artist: The Not-Its!
Label: Little Loopy Records
Genre: Kindie / Rock
Length: 28:19
Release Date: February 2013


A to Z Challenge - Letter K - Kidquake! from The Not-Its!


Kidquake! on Amazon (Affiliate)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Music Review: Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes

Hello, again, Jim Gill! Here is another of Jim Gill's fantastic music CDs. This CD also comes with a DVD. There is no paper insert in the library case, so lyrics, credits, thanks yous are unknown. Song lengths are not listed on the CD. I italicized and bolded the tracks I have used during storytime. I italicized additional tracks that I like and added my thoughts and notes.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviewed Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes

Track List --
1 - Beethoven's Five Finger Play - 2:10 - counting song - fingerplay song - classical music
2 - It Takes Some Friends - 2:45 - friends song - clapping, stamping, singing
3 - Truck Stop - 4:56 - story song / imaginative play song
4 - Have You Seen the Trampoline? - jumping song
5 - Johnny Cuckoo - traditional song adapted by Jim Gill
6 - Bagpipes - body song (knee, arm, head, body)
7 - The Onomatopoeia Pizzeria - pizza song - silly ways to sing the song (clap, hiccup, gargle, whisper)
8 - I Was Born a Horn - body song (thumb, tummy, arms, lips, fingers) - musical instruments (trumpet, drum, strings, reeds)
9 - Bananas - imaginative play song - food song - grow, pick, peel, eat, and go bananas
10 - Habanera La La La - singing la la la
11 - Bounces Abundant - jumping song
12 - I Changed My Mind - dancing song - slow and fast
13 - Two for Tea - counting song - fingerplay song
14 - Foot Notes - foot song / shoe song
15 - Living Inside of a Jar - bottle music - silly song

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes
Artist:Jim Gill
Label: Jim Gill Music
Genre: Kindie
Length: 46:09
Release Date: October 2011
ASIN: B006432EBA


A to Z Challenge - Letter J - Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes

Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: The Door by the Staircase

Mysterious Madam Z arrives at the Buffalo Asylum for Young Ladies. Mary Hayes jumps at the chance for adoption to leave that terrible place. But does that mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Door by the Staircase by Katherine MarshKatherine Marsh has woven together a very mysterious (at time frightening) tale. It's a retelling of a
Russian fairy tale / folk tale - Baba Yaga. Being unfamiliar with such tales, I walked into a whole new territory. The village is called Iris (narrator pronounced it "ear is"). The village was described as an occult town, which threw me for the loop, but I stayed with it. Iris is a tourist town that features magicians, illusionists, con men, charlatans, and such. Madam Z lives near Iris, but has her own kingdom where she lives and takes Mary home. Mary meets a young magician, Jacob, in the town and they discover the magic in Iris. Some magic is truly just tricks, but other magic is real and connected to Madam Z's world. They join forces to uncover if Madam Z is safe or harmful for Mary's future.

I appreciated the play between magic tricks and fantastical magic. I loved that Mary had a copy of Household Tales (fairy tales around the time of the Grimm brothers) that she read throughout the book. The Russian food described during the book was also very interesting. If you like Russian literature, folktales/fairy tales, or scary books, this would be one for you! I picked it up because it was a fantasy story, but it was a bit unsettling, or dark, for me.

A silly side note... In my imagination the door by the staircase, was never by a staircase. The mysterious door was next to the fireplace. There were no staircases in my imagined home of Madame Z. It's just fascinating how all minds are different and each reader will create their own Baba Yaga home when they listen or read this story.

Laurel Merlington read The Door by the Staircase. I liked her narration from the beginning. Mary sounded young and Madam Z sounds elderly and Russian which was how those characters were described. Jacob and Koshchey, the male main characters, sounded masculine to me. Yulik the cat was the hardest voice to hear for me. It was close to her natural narration voice, but Yulik doesn't speak until later in the book. This is the first book I've heard with Merlington and I would listen to her again.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Dreamscape Media!

Audio Book Details...
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Read by Laural Merlington
Produced by Dreamscape Media
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time: 7 hours, 15 minutes
Release Date: January 2016
ISBN: 9781682628034

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