Monday, June 16, 2008

Books on CD

I've been meaning to tell you all about this for quite a while now, but whenever Big Kid sees me with the packaging, he insists on me setting it up for him to listen to again, and then I get sidetracked.

Macmillan Young Listeners recently put out an audio book of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle, and other stories from that series.

We have lots of books on CD and they are usually met with a "meh" sort of response (after I explain 900 times that they are not DVDs and that we can not watch them). So when we got this one I wasn't sure it would be any different.

Then I noticed Gwyneth Paltrow was the person who read the story, so I actually sat down and listened to it with Big Kid, thinking for sure I'd be able to do an entertaining Gwynnie impression when it was all said and done.

I've got to say...she did a good job! Usually books on CD just sort of lull me to sleep, with the boring voices of the narrators, who either underact or overact, and all too often sound like a 4th grader learning to read a story with feeling, but this one was really cute. She has a pleasant voice and her acting abilities come in handy, making the whole story cute and making me giggle a little when she does different voices.

The CD has 13 tracks on it, including 4 stories and then the Spanish version of those stories. Big Kid even sits transfixed by the Spanish versions and is already able to recite a few lines from the stories in Spanish.

He begged me to let him take it to pre-k to show to his friends. I warned him that the teacher wouldn't have time to stop class to listen to the whole CD, but I allowed him to take it, and he came home proud to report that everyone liked it so much that they listened to all of it, and his teacher said she was buying it for next year's class.

He LOVES this CD. The DVD kid, who has had zero interest in any disc he cannot watch, begs to listen to it daily.

We also have "The Cricket in Times Square" which is also an adorable story, and really well read, and little kid listens to that before every nap time. Sometimes I just can't deal with him around 4pm, and he refuses to nap at that time, so I just put him in his crib with some toys and put the CD on and he usually plays happily.

I saw that Macmillan Audio is launching a set called the "You are Loved" collection this fall, which includes a new lullaby called "It's Time to Sleep, My Love" and the story "On the Night You Were Born." I don't know if any of you have heard the story "On the Night You Were Born" but it is breathtakingly beautiful, and this set would make a great new baby or Christmas gift.

HERE is the website for Macmillan Audio. You can listen to some of the excerpts of the audio books on there. As you all know, I highly recommend anything that encourages quiet and helps break the television habit, so go check it out.


jenn said...

Cool! My kids are too old for these, but I'm making note for baby shower gifts.

Anonymous said...

I love that story "On the night you were born"!! That is a great gift idea, my BF is having a baby and I might just do a basket of the book, the audio CD and some other cutesy stuff. Great idea!

Maddness of Me said...

The best part is BK gets to be hero for a day at school.

Things I May Regret Writing said...

Thank you so much for the recommendations! I've been racking my brain for things that will occupy my child that is not TV, so I can use the toilet or brush my teeth.

Never in a million years would I have ever thought of audio CDs for toddlers. Thanks for the tip!

sjb said...

Thank you for the recommendation! I'm going to get these for my girls. My oldest often listens to audio books at bedtime; it's a good compromise, because if I let him read he'll stay up waaay too late. This way, the light's off and he can drift off at a more appropriate hour!

Anonymous said...

Out of curiousity I was checking out your ad prices, and I saw this entry and re-read it. Now I'm not knocking you for making money off of advertising, but this just sounds like a blatant sales pitch! I really can't picture you writing a post this long on the sole topic of audiobooks unless you were getting something out of it. If you do any other "editorial coverage" in the future, can you state that you're doing it?