Books with Cassette or CD

GOD BLESS AMERICA.  Illus by Lunn Munsinger.  Music by I. Berlin.  New York:
    HarperCollins, 1938, 1966, 2002.  32p.  CD performed by Barbara Streisand.
    Sony Music, 2001.    0-06-009788-4; hb., $15.99  0-06-009789-2; lib.bdg., $15.89
    2002-002154    PreS-Gr. 3    782.421

    Munsinger’s watercolor illustrations of a father bear and his family visiting the places in Berlin’s familiar song make it accessible to small children.  The bear family begins by raising the flag on their home pole and their car arial.  They watch a parade for “Stand beside her” and see military men, policemen, a fireman, and man in a hard hat-- bears of course.  “Through the night with a light from above” shows the family looking at the new New York skyline from what is probably the Staten Island ferry.  They are camping in the woods for “From the mountains” and on an old fashioned farm for “To the prairies.”   The family peeks out of the halo of the Statue of Liberty for “God bless America” and are safely back home for “My home sweet home” where they hug their mother.  The illustrations are very appealing and age appropriate.  Music and lyrics for two verses appear in a double page spread at the end of the book.  The book is accompanied by a CD.   Barbara Streisand’s rendition of this classic is stylized and fits the illustrations better than a military band would.
    An endnote indicates that royalties for the song, published in 1938, were given to the God Bless America Fund whose money goes to the Scout councils of greater New York.  Today, part of that funding goes to children affected by the events of September 11.  A portion of the publisher’s proceeds is also being donated to the fund.  Since 911, a plethora of patriotic books have been published for children but this one is superior to most.  This is a first purchase for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Brown, Marc.  ARTHUR'S CHICKEN POX.  Audio cassette and paperback.
    An Arthur Adventure.  Boston: Little, 1994.  32p.  0-316-11384-0; hb., 15.95
    0-316-11050-7; pb., $5.95      Cassette tape, 1998.   0-316-1119474
    Book-tape package, $9.95    PreS-Gr. 2       E

     Brown takes a common happening in children's lives–chicken pox-and tells a story which could really happen in a child's life.  A little sibling rivalry, the grandmother coming to help, the trip to the circus are experiences in the lives of many children  When chicken pox hits the schools (and it usually does), this would be a good way to calm fears about chicken pox, suggest what you look like, and what you do; i.e., rest, etc.
     The circus music at the beginning of the cassette really sets the tone for something exciting.  The first time we listened, Sarah was impatient to get to the story and thought the songs were "too much," but the second time all was OK.   The cassette gives the child the opportunity to listen again and again.  Since most children would  love to have another "Arthur" experience and since this one has such a useful message, it is recommended for elementary school, public, and home libraries.
    Mary Knauss; with help from her Grandaughter, Sarah
    Retired educator, Marquette Area Public Schools, Marquette, MI, 32 years of experience
Brown, Marc.  ARTHUR'S FIRST SLEEPOVER.   Illus by author. Boston:  Little, 1998. 
    32p. An Arthur Adventure series.  0-316-11445-6 hb. $15.95,  0-315-11974-1 pb. $5.95,
      0-316-11948-2; audio and pb., $9.95     Gr. K-3    E

    Three cheers for this rollicking Arthur adventure!  What could be better than a boys' sleepover with a good chance of seeing aliens?  This light-hearted story finds Arthur, Buster, and the Brain planning their first outdoor sleepover.  But when the local newspaper reports an alien sighting, talk among Arthur's family and friends turn to spaceships and flashing lights, not sleepovers.  When the big night finally arrives, the boys have convinced themselves they will see aliens.  Dragging their great (Including Buster's favorite "blankie,") out to the tent, they settle in for the night and find some surprises in store which include scary footsteps and a suspicious bright light.  Could the young adventurers have the adventure of their lives?  This story is a must-have for all Arthur collectors.  To double the reading pleasure, the book comes complete with a read-along cassette tape that includes foot-stomping music and excellent sound effects.  Best of all, listeners get to hear Marc Brown read his own story.  Choose this to read aloud or alone.  It's fun either way.   Although there is one sentence missing in the book that is on the tape, it does not alter the story.
    Nancy Anderson, Retired Librarian; Gwinn Area Community Schools, Gwinn, MI
    30 years of experience as a teacher and librarian

Holm, Jennifer L.  BOSTON JANE; AN ADVENTURE  (4 audiocassettes)  New York:
    Listening Library, 2001.  6 hrs. 15 min.  0-8072-0465-X; audio cassettes,
    $26.00.  Read by Jessalyn Gilsig.  Unabridged.  From a book by Jennifer L. Holm.  

    Holm, author of the Newbery Honor Book, OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA (Harper, 2000) has created another feisty heroine in Boston Jane. The Chinook Indians in the Washington Territory call everyone from the East coast “Boston” because the first white people they ever saw were from Boston.  Jane has left her father in Philadelphia to join her fiancé, William, who had apprenticed to her father, a doctor.  Her father did not approve of her going by boat trip to Washington Territory.  Jane missed the first ship because her wedding dress was not finished, her maid died on the terrible ocean voyage, and when she arrived, William was not there.  A sailor from the ship was interested in her but she remained true to William.  While she waited for William she had to live with a group of crude men who offended everything she had learned at Miss Hepplewhite’s Young Ladies’ Academy.  Holm cleverly weaves in quotes from her text, The Young Ladies Companio,n whenever Jane is in doubt about appropriate behavior and this ties the book together.
    Gilsig creates a very believable Jane and gives her the vitality that readers expect of the character.  She also provides voices to other characters that are appropriate and add to understanding the text.   Holm’s fast paced book with crisp dialogue and colorful characters comes alive on these cassettes. This is a good addition to school and public library audio collections.  
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist  

Krensky, Stephen.  ARTHUR'S TV TROUBLE.    Illus by Marc Brown. Boston:  Little, 
    1997.      32p.  An Arthur Adventure series.  0-316-10919-3; hb., $15.95.   
    0-316-11959-8; pb., $5.95.   0-316-11594-0; audio and pb., $9.95  Gr. K-3

    Here's another book in a long list of winners from Marc Brown and it's one that Arthur the aardvark fans will want to add to their collection.  This is a set that includes a great twenty-minute read-along cassette tape with bouncy music and sound effects and what's more, Marc Brown is the reader!  While watching TV one day, Arthur is intrigued by a commercial for a dog toy called the "Treat Timer" and he decides that his dog, Pal, must have one.   The problem is an age old one--Arthur has $10.03 and the toy costs $19.95.  Mom, Dad, and the ever-crafty D. W. are no help in making Arthur richer, but he manages to land a small job stacking newspapers that gives him the extra cash.  Arthur happily purchases the "assembly required" and "all sales are final" "Treat Timer" only to discover that things in the real world and in TV land are often different, and the toy is not exactly as advertised.  Because many children may have a similar experience, this story can provide a springboard for discussion on advertising and how it affects our lives.  As the beginning of the tape says, "Arthur stories are similar to the way kids live at home and school.  Purchasing this set is money well spent!
    Nancy Anderson, Retired Librarian; Gwinn Area Community Schools, Gwinn, MI
    30 years of experience as a teacher and librarian

.  Illus. by Lee Ann Nakwesee and John 
    Lawrence.  Photos by Bill Bachhuber.  New York: DK, 1998.  38p.  Accompanied by CD.  
    0-7894-2571-8; hb., $24.95    98-3522    Gr. 1-6+    398.2

    Chief Lelooska's first book of Northwest Coast folktales, ECHOES OF THE ELDERS, received acclaim.  That title and this one were published after Lelooska's death in 1996.  This oversize book also contains noteworthy illustrations which evoke several Northwest coast tribes including the Tlingit and Haida as well as the Kwakiutl people, the clan into which Lelooska was adopted in 1968.  Although Lelooska's name means "he who cuts against wood with a knife," the illustrations are not his work.
     A map of the people of the Northwest Coast also includes wildlife that are featured in the tales.  The five stories are about ant, bear, loon, raven, halibut, and puffin.  The last story is a variant of a favorite story about how light and humans came into the Pacific Northwest.  Italicized words are phonetic spellings of the language of the Kwakiutl.  Chief Lelooska tells the legends on the accompanying CD and the drums and chants add authenticity to the tales.  This title will be a welcome addition to collections and will be checked out by teachers of art, science, social studies, and storytelling. Students will check out the book for Native American and nature studies.  The book is great for integrated studies programs.
    Mary Ann Paulin;  Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    32 years experience as a school library-media specialist

Numeroff, Laura.  IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO THE MOVIES.  Illus by Felicia Bond. 
    New York: Geringer/Harper, 2000.  32p.  0-694-70105-X; bk & cass., $11.95.      
    PreS-Gr. 3      E  

    Jason Alexander of Steinfeld fame reads this circular Christmas story.  Also on the cassette are other songs and readings including “Mouse’s 12 Days of Christmas.”   The song includes a great big chocolate chip cookie instead of a pear tree and items from the text like strings of popcorn and green boxer shorts with candy canes on them.  The second song is a medley of tunes from secular and sacred Christmas songs that lend themselves to a popcorn theme.  The popping sound lends itself nicely to “Jingle Bells” and works into the chorus (Fa la…) of “Deck the Halls.”  The tape, along with a supply of chocolate chip cookies or popcorn and two of Numeroff’s books can make a great story hour combination.  The story itself is superbly read, the songs are sung with gusto, and the book is a winner.  What a great combination.
    The cassette is accompanied with a small sized book that contains everything that was in the original title published in 2000.  The book begins when a boy takes a mouse to the movies where the mouse wants popcorn which leads to decorating a Christmas tree with it, making a snowman, having a snowball fight, singing Christmas carols, making ornaments which leads back to the popcorn decorations and the movies. This new title, using the same pattern as the previous ones, is as good or better than the first one.  Other books by Numeroff using the same pattern are:  IFYOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE (Harper, 1985), IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN (Harper, 1991) and IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE (1998).
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Primavera, Elise.  AUNTIE CLAUS.  Illus by author.  San Diego:  Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 
    1999.  CD:  Rosemary Killen Productions, 2001. 15 min.  Read by Ellen Burstyn.  
    Music by John Guth.    Gr. K-3        E

    Sophie Kringle and her brother Kris live in New York City.  One day, Sophie was summoned to Penthouse 25C for tea at 3:00 to be instructed on Christmas activities.  .Auntie Claus said "Always remember my first and final rule--It is far better to give than it is to receive."  Sophie's Great Aunt said the Sophie and Kris were given too many presents but Sophie's philosophy was "You can't have too many presents."  Auntie Klaus was mysterious; she left on a business trip between Halloween and Valentine's Day.  She also wore a mysterious diamond key on red ribbon around her neck.  When Sophie asked what her business was, Aunty Claus answered: "That's for me to know and you to find out" so Sophie decided to find out and stowed away.  She watched Aunty use the key to an elevator in her room.  This elevator shot into space on a long cold journey and landed in the company of an elf who mentioned that there are only 48 days left.  Mr. Pudding put her to work in the mailroom and blended in with the other elves.  The best part of the story is when readers figure out the family business.  That’s why this book is best enjoyed by children who know the real story about Santa Claus.  While working on various tasks, Sophie found her little brother Chris's name on the BB&G list, bad boys and girls who would receive only a stinky stocking full of coal and gunk and Sophie substituted her own name.  The moral is there but it is unobtrusive and therefore more effective.  Sophie's unselfishness was her passport to finding out about Aunty Claus' business and learning that it really is far better to give than to receive.
    This title can be purchased in a gift set that includes the book, a gold key with a “diamond” in it, and a CD.  The story is ably read by Burstyn on the CD which is marked "Not for individual sale."  The set makes a great holiday gift because the whole family can enjoy listening to the story and is a must for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855
    32 years of experience as a school library-media specialist

Weeks, Sarah.   LITTLE FACTORY.   Illus. by Byron Barton.  New York:  HarperCollins,
    1998.  unp.  Accompanied by a CD  0-06-0274298; hb., $19.95  98-221668    
    PreS-Gr.1      E   or   372.64

    Bold and bright, dark and light---- That's what this book is made of! (in the full sense of the word).  Little Man owns a little factory, but in a sing-song fashion, Little Man's factory expands to become a big factory. The main problem is pollution, but the solution is simple---solar energy. This easy-read is designed for the preschooler and beginning reader, but it would be an excellent introduction for environmental pollution or solar energy. The text is minimal, but the simple, uncluttered pictures fill in what the story does not provide.  A CD-ROM  is included at the back of the book to motivate a child or a class to sing along with the Little Man and make the world a better place.
    Patricia Fittante; Children's Librarian, Escanaba Public Library.
    24 years of experience as a school and public librarian

Weiss, Jim..  THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER. Great Hall Productions, 2003.  
    59534-11332 Compact Disk $15.00    Gr. K-5  

    Literature comes alive with storyteller, Jim Weiss.  Mark Twain's original stories of Tom Sawyer and friends is enhanced with the vocal skills of Weiss on this one hour long CD.  
    Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Charlottesville, VA:  Greathall Productions, Inc., 2004.  ISBN 188251385-3  CD   
    Gr. 3-7

             Jim Weiss tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life, including political races and the Civil War.  The CD includes twelve separate selections and runs approximately 70 minutes.  The Gettysburg Address in narrated in full text. 
Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Wood, Audrey and Don.  PIGGIES.  Illus. by Don Wood.  Orlando, Florida:  Harcourt, Inc.
            1991.  Unp.  ISBN: 13: 978-0-15-205667-4  hb.  $17.95.    PreS-Gr. 1      E PIC

            Piggies are fingers and toes in this whimsical book and musical CD. The oil illustrations depict pigs romping through silly antics, sometimes clean, sometimes dirty, until it's time to kiss goodnight. The CD will encourage singing along as it breaks into simple songs or reggae rhythms that follow the pages of the book. This combination book and CD would make a great gift for our children and grandchildren!
            Judy Bennett, Clerk, Ironwood Carnegie Library, Ironwood, MI

[ To the top of this page ]

[ SPC Homepage ] | [ ]