By Marilyn McPhie
Feel the day's cares drain away as you share the age-old, tried-and-true art of the spoken word. You'll laugh, you'll sigh; you may even start telling stories of your own. But how do you choose from the waterfall of spoken-word recordings clamoring for a spin in your CD player? Here are this year's winners.
Gold Award Winners
Bugsters!, Tim Russ and Jedda Roskilly, Russ Invision, 2000; $14.99 (CD and 20-page activity booklet); www.bugsters.com, 562-421-1836. If the children in your life like the recent bug movies or have ever owned an ant farm, they may be ready for Bugsters. An assortment of buggy friends, each with a distinctive voice and personality, deliver two stories: one about cooperation, another about fear and rumors. The messages are unmistakable, but not overbearing. The theme music is catchy. Top-notch.
Wish Away! Stories for All Ages, Mary Lloyd Dugan, Dancing Pony Productions, 2001; $9.98 (tape); www.dancingponyproductions.com, 843-272-4570. No gimmicks and glitz here. Dugan is a traditional storyteller telling traditional stories in a traditional way. That's all, and that's more than enough. Authentically multicultural, she tells the German "Rumpelstiltskin," the Native American "Little Scarred One," the Thai "Freedom Bird" and three more. A hint of an accent adds a little extra flavor. Children will listen to this one again and again.
To see winning albums for other age groups, return to NAPPA 2003 Award Winners: Spoken Word & Storytelling.
Marilyn McPhie has been a professional storyteller for nearly two decades. She performs around the country and is a member of the National Storytelling Network. She is also a mother and grandmother.