NAPPA 2006: Spoken Word and Storytelling for Ages 8 & Up

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By Marilyn McPhie

Nappa Gold Winners
What does the soundtrack of your life sound like? The next time you're in the car, take note. If you'd like to rise above the din of traffic, the drone of talk radio and the barrage of backseat bickering, what could be better than a story? Here are the Gold Award-winners to get you started.

Gold Award Winners

See Rock City, by Donald Davis, August House Publishers, 2005; $14.95. This could be a child's definition of infinity: being on a family car trip, listening to a CD about being on a family trip. Davis is laugh-out-loud funny as he relates experiences we've all shared. Plus, you can learn a new family road game - cow poker.

Tell Me a Story, written by Amy Friedman, read by various artists, D & F Productions, 2006; $18.95. This one is a favorite of both children and parents. Travel the world while doing errands, carpooling or relaxing at home. Eight great folktales hail from different cultures (Japan, Scotland, Africa and the American South), each with a cast of actors and music suited to the tale.

Thomas Jefferson's America, written by Amy Friedman, read by various artists, by Jim Weiss, Greathall Productions, 2006; $14.95. Storyteller Jim Weiss is always excellent. This portrait of one of America's founding fathers is both interesting and informative, educational and appealing. Even adults will learn something. (Note: A brief introduction on the nature of heroes can lead to some lively family discussions about Jefferson and more.)

Honors Award Winners

Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monsters, Pirates & Dogs, Bill Harley; Round River Records, 2005; $15; Another virtuoso performance by one-man dynamo Bill Harley. You'll never look at clams or pirates the same way again. Keep this hilarious CD at the ready in your car for the inevitable requests.

If the Shoe Fits Cinderella Stories from Around the World, Milbre Burch; Kind Crone Productions, 2005; $15; Stories from many cultures about girls (and one boy) who triumph in a Cinderella-like tale. Burch introduces and chats about each story. Listeners will surely want to compare and contrast. Some great higher-order thinking skills (synthesis, analysis, evaluation) are the order of the day.

The Snow Spider, written by Jenny Nimmo, read by John Keating; Scholastic Media, 2006; $24.95; A magical story of family relationships in a fantasy setting. This audio-book for older children is delivered in a wonderful Welsh voice that adds to the magic.

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