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Product Type: Audio

 


2010 Award
Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti
(Spare the Rock Records $13.98 Score:)

After the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti, the idea of this CD came about as a way of reaching out and helping. The music is a rare compilation of mainly new recordings done for the benefit of those whose lives were turned upside down. Musicians of all kinds volunteered their talents so this CD includes music from a diverse group of musicians with very different styles; from Pete Seeger to Randy Kaplan to Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and many, many more. This is a pleasing collection with selections the family will enjoy.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Wake Up Clarinet!
(Oran Etkin, Timbalooloo $16.98 Score:)

Well known jazz clarinetist Oran Etkin introduces his own "Timbalooloo" method for get young children involved in moving and responding to the music. This is not just a sit there and watch kind of CD, it has tracks that will also play as a DVD. The music is original and anything but the usual kiddie fare. For parents who especially like jazz, this is a good place to start with younger listeners. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
(J.K. Rowling, Listening Library/ Scholastic $44.95 Score:)

The long-anticipated fifth book takes about a hundred pages to get going, but not to worry--that leaves almost 700 more pages to satisfy the most die-hard Harry Potter fan. We wish Jim Dale could read all our audio books. He doesn't just read them, really, he performs them with such energy that our testers looked forward to getting back into the car to hear the next installment! For kids that find an 800+ page book a little daunting, here's a great way to experience the world of Harry Potter. 26 hours & 30 minutes of listening. Age: late school years, 'tweens, teens. Still top rated, the first three audio books in the series. PLATINUM AWARD '01.

Age: . Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Turtle in Paradise CD
(by Jennifer L. Holm/ narrated by Becca Battoe, , Listening Library $25 Score:)

Set in the tight times of 1935, 12 year old "Turtle" is sent to her Aunt in Key West when her mom takes a job as a maid in a house where she is not welcome. Mom has a boyfriend who is going to make good and build them a house one day, but not soon enough. Turtle is not exactly welcomed by her cousins or Aunt, who are having their own hard times. Jennifer Holm's dialogue is snappy and the characters are off-beat and edgy. The story takes an unbelievable turn when Turtle finds a pirate map and goes with her cousins to find gold on one of the nearby island that is hit with a hurricane while they are there. Although they find what seems to be a fortune, Turtle discovers that what she has really found is a family and herself. If this were a movie of the Great Depression, Hollywood probably would have given us a happier ending than the one Holm surprises her readers with here. A three-disk set that runs 3 hours and 48 mins. A good choice for a long flight. 8-12

Age: . Award Year: 2010.

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2010 Award
The Night Before Christmas
(by Clement C. Moore/ illus. Eric Puybaret, Music a, Charlesbridge $19.95 Score:)

An oversized picture book with stylized fresh images of this classic holiday poem. Puybaret's Santa has a waxed mustachio and a very long cap. His white reindeer have a rather unusual look and each setting has small details for children to delight in. Best of all, the second track of the CD has a reading of the poem done by Mary Travers in her last recording session. Her voice is weak and sometimes the background music overwhelms the narration, but those who loved her will find her reading as moving as so many as her songs always were. Also on the CD, A'Soalin ("Hey ho, nobody home, meat nor drink nor money have I none Yet shall we be merry") from a 1963 recording plus a musical version of The Night Before Christmas--sorry, but the latter is not as wonderful as Mary Travers' reading.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
(by Bill Martin /Eric Carle, Narrated by Gwyneth Pa, Macmillan Young Listeners $9.99 Score:)

This classic picturebook comes packaged in a paperback edition accompanied with a CD narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow. It's a soothing repetitive refrain with Eric Carle's delightful paper and paint collages of familiar animals and what they hear. The single disk is a good one for naptime and quieting down for the night time. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed the Sea
(by Clement C. Moore/ illus. Eric Puybaret, Childs Play $7.99 Score:)

Adapted from the familiar folksong, There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Here, the habitat is changed to the seaside and the bold cheerful illustrations go hand in hand with a lively rendition sung on the CD. Kids can follow along with the words and follow the circular cutaways as they sing the refrain or just sing along from memory. There are two versions on the CD; one is a sing-along the other is karaoke.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Chicken Licken, book & CD
(illus. by Francesca Assirelli, Child's Play $7.99 Score:)

A charming paperback of a classic tale with lift the flaps and a CD with word-for-word text. For beginning readers, this is a good way to reinforce vocabulary and eye sweep. Lifting the flaps just adds to the fun. For preschoolers the story will be enjoyed for pure listening pleasure. The narrator uses multiple voices as he plays the many characters on the way to tell the king that the sky is falling. And, yes that fox keeps popping up in the oddest places.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010.

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2010 Award
The Silly Book & CD
(by Stoo Hample, Candlewick $16.99 Score:)

This CD and book would have been a lot better if the CD followed the sequence of the book so that young readers could follow along. Instead it starts with a poem/song that is in the back portion of the book and then hops around. Perhaps the artist wanted the reader/listener to do each of these activities separately-- enjoy reading or listening. The songs and poems are as promised in the title totally silly. Some are funnier than others. Good--not great.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
The Complete Adventures of Curious George 70th Anniversary edition & CD
(by Margret and H.A. Rey, narrated by various reade, Houghton Mifflin $29.99 Score:)

This anthology includes seven Curious George stories in one big book. The art is as it always was and so is the text. The only question is will you like holding this hefty book in your lap when sharing it with young children? Just in case you would rather not, the publisher has taken recordings of all the stories and put them on two CD's that are tucked inside the front and back cover. So, this is a collection kids can enjoy with an adult or on their own.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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