-- School Library Journal, 04/01/2009
Also in this article:Video/DVD
ArtArt. DVD. 5 min. (closed captioned). with tchr's. guide. Weston Woods. 2008. ISBN 978-0-545-10635-1. $59.95; CD, ISBN 978-0-545-10693-1: $12.95; CD with hardcover book, ISBN 978-0-545-10697-9: $29.95.
PreS-Gr 3—Patrick McDonnell, the cartoonist behind the comic strip "Mutts," gives a boisterous homage to art in this animated version of his picture book (Little Brown, 2006). Art is a young boy who likes art. He splashes colors across pages, and fills blank whiteness with zigzags, swirls, and scribbles. Encouraged by his mother, he ventures from abstract art to more realistic realms where his imagination still soars. The simple rhyming text is delightful and the animation captures the spirit of the book in its vibrant playfulness. The real stand-out is Bobby McFerrin who narrates, scats, and sings his way through the book with delightful percussion accompaniment. His voice dances over the words, bounces through pages, and carries listeners along. Bonus features include a subtitle option and a 2008 interview with the author providing additional background on both the book and its creator. The CD version contains the DVD's sound track. Art and music teachers will find this a delight, and it would be the perfect way to start classroom art activities.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WADropping in on Grandma Moses. DVD. 20 min. with hardcover book. Crystal Prods. 2008, 2009 release. ISBN 978-1-56290-597-2. $41; DVD only: $29.95.
Gr 4–7—Based on the book (Crystal Prods., 2008) by Pamela Stephens, Anna Mary Robertson "Grandma" Moses is the latest subject in this animated series of interviews by the charming talking puffin, Puffer, who drops in on artists to learn about their lives and work. As Puffer and the artist talk about her life on farms in Virginia and upstate New York, we see full screen images of her paintings, mostly landscapes, which depict her farm memories and tell stories. She explains her inspiration for each work of art, and encourages the puffin and viewers to explore the recurrent themes and repetitive details. Among the painting examined are A Country Wedding, Moving Day on the Farm, Sugaring Off in Maple Orchard, and a rare indoor scene, The Quilting Bee. There's also a painting lesson as Grandma Moses teaches Puffer to use her techniques to paint a picture about a story he wants to tell. The excellent teacher's guide includes additional biographical information, studies of each painting, classroom activities, and more. A fun, informative introduction to this extraordinary folk artist.—MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann Elementary School, Binghamton, NYLascaux, a New Look: The Walls of Lascaux Cave. DVD. 53 min. Crystal Prods. 2008. ISBN 978-1-56290-550-7. $29.95.
Gr 7 Up—The Lascaux Caves in southwest France, discovered in 1940, have been closed to the public for over 40 years. This program allows viewers to visit the 17,000-year-old cave paintings room by room and panel by panel. Important facts, explorers' and historians' names, dates, and more, are printed at the bottom of the screen for clarification and ease in note-taking. The narration is clear but somewhat dry. As the caves are explored, a map displaying the entirety of the cave layout is shown at the bottom of the screen so that viewers get a sense of where within the cave the particular paintings are found. Occasionally, this map overlaps the images but, overall, the film does an excellent job of highlighting important artwork. The narrator draws comparisons to several art movements later in history. Unbiased conclusions about the religious and social implications of the cave paintings are presented. Viewers will need some prio background in art vocabulary in order to completely understand the material. Recommended for high schools with strong art programs.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, New Britain, CT
GuidanceLearn from Nature: Respecting. DVD. 12 min. (closed captioned). Prod. by Imira Entertainment. Dist. by Film Ideas. 2008. ISBN 978-1-60572-133-6. $135.
PreS-Gr 1—The titles in this three-part animated series feature animals whose behaviors and instincts offer lessons to help children model their own behavior. Respecting offers six vignettes: "Body Hygiene," "A Tidy Room," "Reach Agreement," "Listening to Others," "Respect Opinions," and "Accept Differences." Each brief scenario is related to an animal that exhibits the titled behavior. For example, "Body Hygiene" begins by showing how a cat washes its face and paws many times throughout the day, helping it stay clean and healthy. Similarly, youngsters will be healthy and feel better if they wash often. Since each vignette is very short, teachers may need to stop the video and discuss the concept, especially for more advanced concepts like "Reach Agreement." There is an awkward visual in "Accept Differences" showing a gorilla missing an arm. Overall, although the tie ins to the animals are clever, the segments are too short to teach these lessons.—Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings School, Hoover, ALTeamwork and Team Play: How to Be a Good Sport. video or DVD. 15 min. (closed captioned). with tchr's. guide. Human Relations Media. 2008. ISBN 978-1-55548-227-5. $99.95.
Gr 3–6—While teamwork isn't limited to the sports fields, this film uses the set of a sports TV show to present three humorous vignettes which demonstrate teamwork and how it helps when working and playing together.. Anchors Chet and Cassandra and on-the-scene reporters visit a classroom, a home, and a basketball game where there is insufficient teamwork. In the classroom, chaos reigns until the students listen to the teacher's instructions. Once they understand the goals and how to accomplish them, they are able to stay focused and create terrific projects. At home, a family learns organizational skills as they clean house. One poor sport on the basketball court ruins the game for her team until she follows the rules, accepts authority, and realizes the importance of team goal. The lessons are fun and effective without being preachy, and students can see the consequences of a lack of teamwork. After each scenario, key points are repeated and printed on screen. This program can be used by teachers as well as coaches.—MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann Elementary School, Binghamton, NY
HealthEat Healthy, Be Healthy: Beginning Nutrition for Kids: Vegetables 1. DVD. 12 min. Prod. by Imira Entertainment. Dist. by Film Ideas. 2009. ISBN 1-60572-149-2. $135.
PreS-Gr 3—"A donkey loves pumpkins." Although the accuracy of this statement is certainly questionable, the technique of using animated animals as a hook to explain the nutritional importance of vegetables works well in this instructional film. Each group of vegetables (starchy, dark green, and orange) is introduced using a riddle or question. Next, the ways to cook and eat the given vegetable are explained, the nutritional value of each one is provided, and viewers are encouraged to develop healthy eating habits. Featuring vibrantly colored, simply drawn multicultural characters, Victor and Sophia earnestly explain basic vegetable facts. Accurate information combined with fun, well-executed animation make for an appealing way to teach young children about the vegetables that they may or may not enjoy on their dinner plates.—Terri Crowe, Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro, KYUnderstanding Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. video or DVD. 20 min. (closed captioned). with tchr's. guide. Human Relations Media. 2008. ISBN 978-1-55548-764-5. $139.95.
Gr 7 Up—Delivering a strong message about the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, this program describes how Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) affects learning and behavior. Experiments and research results explain the effects of alcohol on fetal development, emphasizing the changes that occur to the fetus through each stage of pregnancy. Jodee, a teenager who suffers from FAS, shares her experiences of coping with the syndrome's challenges throughout her life. She and her adoptive mother talk candidly about the physical and emotional difficulties Jodee has and will continue to face. Experts in the field discuss the dangers and effects of drinking during pregnancy in conjunction with straightforward facts recognizing the signs, symptoms, and outcomes of the syndrome. This program provides a clear understanding of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome while projecting the seriousness of drinking during pregnancy. Teacher materials add to the usefulness of the presentation. This Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) 2009 Notable DVD is an excellent choice for middle and high school health and science classes.—Linda M. Teel, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Language ArtsStoryteller's Favorite Fables (Folktales from Around the World Series). DVD. 62 min. Organic Kids Co. 2008. $16.95.
PreS-Gr 4—In the first production by Organic Kids Company, a group of moms who seek a "healthy alternative to cartoons and animation" for their children, four celebrated American storytellers share some of their favorite fables in front of small, diverse groups of youngsters. The stories all feature animals or things which are given human qualities and illustrate a moral lesson. Diane Ferlatte tells "Croc 'n Hen," a Bakongo tale from Africa that teaches that we are all different, yet we are alike, and "Bone Day," her twist on Aesop's "The Dog & the Bone." Ferlatte is captivating, using her body, face, and voice to tell the story. She draws the audience further into the tales by inviting them to participate with her both vocally and physically. Leeny Del Seamonds tells "Yuca," a bilingual version of the traditional Russian tale ("The Turnip"), and "Medio Pollito," a bilingual retelling of the Spanish legend about the origin of weather vanes. She includes repetitive phrases and a cappella singing to engage youngsters. Angela Lloyd tells "Yes Ma'am," based on a traditional African-American call and response song, "Hand," an original work told in English and Spanish, and "Sunbrella, another original piece. Navajo storyteller Geri Keams provides an endearing retelling of "Grandmother Spider Brings the Sun," an adaptation of the traditional Cherokee story of how the sun came to be in the sky. The camerawork is excellent throughout. For the most part, the children demonstrate natural responses to the storytelling. This is an excellent tool for storytellers and the next best thing to participating in live storytelling for children.—Stephanie Bange, Wilmington-Stroop Branch, Dayton Metro Library, OHA Visit with Lois Duncan. DVD. 35 min. Prod. by Silver Moon. Dist. by Lois Duncan. 2008. $25.
Gr 7 Up—With her daughter conducting the interview, Louis Duncan, the author of more than 50 books and the recipient of many literary awards, discusses her lifelong passion for writing. She talks about several of her popular teen novels—I Know What You Did Last Summer (Little Brown, 1973), Killing Mr. Griffin (Little Brown, 1978), and Who Killed My Daughter (Delacorte, 1992)—as well as her humorous books for children—Hotel for Dogs (2008) and News for Dogs (2009, both Scholastic). Duncan shares her personal stories and photographs and discusses her writing techniques. She also describes and shows excerpts from her novels that have been made into movies. Classes viewing this DVD can contact Duncan by email (email@example.com) with questions, making this virtual visit an interactive experience. For author/literature studies in middle through high school classes as well as college courses.—Linda Steele, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TNThe War of the Worlds. DVD. 7 hrs. DVD Bookshelf. 2008. ISBN 1-60362-005-5. $12.95.
Gr 7 Up—Originally published in 1897, H. G. Wells's classic depicting an alien invasion of the Earth is still popular today. The text, divided into two books, is displayed onscreen while it is narrated by Dick Hill whose inflection and pace are not varied. In book one, illustrations from the original serial publications by Warwick Goble and Alvin Correco enhance the text on the left hand side while the words of the story are displayed on the right hand side; book two has fewer illustrations. Best suited for individual viewing.—Danna Kubacak, Clear Creek High School, League City, TX
ScienceAdaptations (Elementary Life Science Series). video or DVD. 14 min. with tchr's. guide. Visual Learning Co. 2008. ISBN 978-1-59234-194-8. $79.95.
Gr 3–5—This interesting film opens with an overview of adaptations and why they are essential to help living things survive and reproduce in their environment. There are four main chapters: adaptations for obtaining food, adaptations for avoiding predators, adaptations for competition, and adaptations for different climates. Throughout the production, examples of both plant and animal adaptations are considered. For example, the segment about adaptations for competition explains how some plants compete for sunlight with differently shaped leaves and how male elk compete for females by locking horns in a show of strength. The video footage is eye-catching, and the narration is clear and easy to follow. A solid introduction for students just beginning to explore the topic.—Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UTArctic Dinosaurs: Warm-Blooded Creatures of the Cretaceous? (NOVA Series). DVD. approx. 1 hr. (closed captioned). Prod. by Big Island Pictures. Dist. by WGBH Boston. 2008. ISBN 978-1-59375-866-0. $24.95.
Gr 7 Up—Join paleontologists and paleobotanists as they excavate the permafrost of Alaska and evaluate the curious fossils they find there. The indication of dinosaurs living in a colder climate sparks numerous hypotheses among the scientists, including the possibility that these creatures could have shared traits with warm-blooded animals. The program explores several active dig sites, shows the techniques of lab work, and brings the Cretaceous Period to life with computer-generated animation sequences. Picture and sound quality are excellent. Students will be fascinated and may be surprised that fossil records can tell scientists so much about prehistoric life.—Ryan Henry, Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro, KYAstronomy for Kids: Space Trek (The Astronomy Series). DVD. 15 min. Prod. by TV Ontario. Dist. by Chip Taylor Communications. 2008. $89.99.
Gr 1–5—Captain Kent, with a modified Star Trek uniform and a bad Captain Kirk impression, takes viewers on a brief jaunt around our solar system. From the captain's chair on the bridge, he uses the view screen to show photographs, video, and graphics. He provides some brief information about our sun and the nine planets; several times Pluto is refereed to as the ninth planet. Clearly this program was created prior to the change in Pluto's status. During the segment about Pluto, a disclaimer is shown at the bottom of the screen indicating that Pluto is now known as a dwarf planet. This is not adequate, however, since the narration still has the dated information. While there are a lot of bad puns and plenty of overacting which would probably appeal to the target audience, students deserve more current information.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WABattle of the Bag: Deconstructing a Consumer Culture Icon. video or DVD. 44 min. (closed captioned). Prod. by Films for the Humanities & Sciences. Dist. by Films Media Group. 2008. video: ISBN 978-1-60467-444-6, DVD: ISBN 978-1-60467-445-3. $149.95.
Gr 7 Up—This documentary provides a quick history of plastic bags, the environmental degradation caused by these single-use petroleum-based bags, and the ban-the-bag movement in cities across the globe. Dominating the screen is a white plastic bag, blowing across the landscape. With this hook, quick editing, short informative segments, the amiable voice of the female narrator, and appropriate musical ditties, viewers' attention will be focused on the screen. Former Mobil employees recall their role in the development, design, and marketing of the plastic bag. An industry spokesman hails the convenience and reusability of the bags. However, horrific scenes of slums in Kenya and India where plastic bags clog gutters and are consumed by animals negate his opinions. Teachers should prepare students for the filth and for scenes of animals being cut open and pounds of plastic being removed from their intestines. These powerful images provide a segue to ban-the-bag campaigns in cities in England, Canada, the United States, and India. Grassroots environmentalists seek to save animals, beaches, and the future of the Earth by encouraging people to use cloth bags or biodegradable plastics. Science, environmental studies, geography, and current events classes can utilize this program to launch further study about the ubiquitous plastic bag and our consumer culture.—Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, ILBilly the Bean. DVD. 35 min. with seeds and peat moss. Prod. by SmartSongs. Dist. by Victory Multimedia. 2008. $12.95.
PreS—Billy the Bean is sad and lonely until Butterfly Rita introduces him to Mr. Soil, Mr. Rain, Cloud, Mr. Sun, and Mr. Wind. With their help, he grows into a happy plant with roots, leaves, and new bean pods. The story is accompanied by seven songs that explain how plants grow. The images are mostly static with clouds moving across the sky. Since the intended audience is preschool children, plant growth is not presented in detail, but the songs include terms like photosynthesis and chlorophyll. The main idea that plants need soil, sun, rain, and fresh air is made clear, but youngsters may have questions about some of the vocabulary that is not explained. There are two version of this early reading program. In the preschool version, key words pop up to highlight the important concepts of the story. The read-along version presents the full text of the story in yellow boxes at the bottom of the screen. As the story is read, the text is highlighted by line rather than by word. A lackluster production.—Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, KYComplex Animals (Life Science Series). video or DVD. 14 min. with tchr's. guide. Visual Learning Co. 2008. ISBN 978-1-59234-217-4. $79.95.
Gr 3–5—The characteristics of the major groups of vertebrates—reptiles, birds, amphibians, mammals, and fish—are introduced in this instructional production. Superb live-action footage will hold student interest. The content is well developed and the narration is well paced. The video is aligned to Benchmarks for Science Literacy and National Science Education Standards. The richness of reproducible activities will be an asset for educators. The excellent teacher's guide includes a pre- and post-test, a video review, and activities that address vocabulary, writing, and reading comprehension. The DVD extras include labeled slides and an iMovie project.—Beth McGuire, Fannett-Metal School District, Willow Hill, PAHomeostasis. DVD. 25 min. VEA. 2008. $89.95.
Gr 7–10—In five chapters, this film explains what homeostasis is, how it works, and why it is important. Each section includes onscreen definitions, graphics, animation, and a summary of facts discussed. Homeostasis is defined as "the mechanism by which our bodies work to maintain a stable internal environment, despite changes in external conditions." Although this is an Australian production, neither the narrator's accent nor occasional unfamiliar terms are problematic. However, there are sequences when the narrator is discussing an aspect of homeostasis that visuals of a lion at the zoo are shown. It is difficult to tell if the animal is demonstrating aspects of homeostasis, which will confuse students. While the technical aspects of the production are adequate, the script is not lively enough to hold viewers' attention.—Suzanne Libra, Silver Hills Middle School, Westminster, COMama Earth: Her Destiny—Our Hands. DVD. 23:30 min. Prod. by EarthWalk Media. Dist. by Green Planet Films. 2007, 2009 release. $99.95 (pub. perf.), $19.95 (home use).
Gr 9 Up—This introduction to ecological economics argues that a product's environmental impact should be applied to the cost. Thus, under this model, charges associated with disposing of waste and replenishing resources would be passed on to consumers. The film investigates two businesses that follow this model—a potato chip manufacturer and a micro brewery—and interviews numerous experts who suggest that this type of an economic model is necessary to preserve the Earth's resources. Between the interviews are clips that alternate between beautiful nature scenes and video of environmental pollution, with an overdubbed female voice personifying "Mama Earth" talking to viewers and sporting an attitude. This device might be distracting for some students, and it seems a bit too juvenile for a film that attempts to cover academic issues. The inclusion of a micro brewery and depiction of alcoholic consumption could make this film inappropriate for some classrooms. Otherwise, it does a solid job of introducing the concept of ecological economics.—Ryan Henry, Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro, KYOur Distant Neighbors (Elementary Earth Science Series). video or DVD. 14 min. with tchr's. guide. Visual Learning Co. 2008. video: ISBN 978-1-59234-212-9, DVD: ISBN 978-59234-213-6. $79.95.
Gr 3–5—This overview of our solar system emphasizes the outer planets from Jupiter to Neptune. With a combination of animation, graphics, photographs, and live-action video, viewers get a quick look at the entire solar system beginning with the sun and moving out through the inner planets. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune receive special coverage. Information is provided about what has been discovered about these planets as well as a few of their moons through the use of telescopes and probes. Pluto is mentioned as a dwarf planet and other solar objects, including meteoroids and comets, are briefly examined. Along the way there are "You Decide" questions designed to engage students. A five-question assessment and short review concludes the film. Extras include a glossary, slides, and subtitles. This program contains some interesting information, but would best serve as an introduction to a more in-depth classroom unit.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WAThe Science of Disney Imagineering (Series). 3 DVDs. 30 min. ea. with tchr's. guide. Disney Educational Prods. 2008. $49.95 ea. Includes: Gravity (#77D58VL00); Levers and Pulleys (#77D57VL00); Trajectory (#77D58VL00).
Gr 5–8—Gravity, levers, pulleys, and trajectory are explored through the use of animation and live-action footage in this fast-paced series. Each concept is explained using real-life examples as well as familiar Disney park attractions. The host, Asa Kalama, is a Disney Imagineer—one of the many people who create the theme park attractions using both imagination and engineering—who takes viewers behind the scenes of many attractions and interviews design engineers who explain the scientific concepts as they relate to the attractions. For example, the principles of gravity are demonstrated in relation to roller coasters. Real-life examples of levers and pulleys—a toilet flusher, an oar, workout machines, garage doors, and more—reinforce concepts and help explain how attractions such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant are created. Projectile, parabola, and zero "G's" are discussed as they relate to and affect trajectory. The ability of humans to calculate trajectory through trial and error is demonstrated by shooting basketball hoops, while the importance of using formulas to calculate trajectory precisely is discussed based on the Disney fireworks displays which are synchronized with music. Scene selections will assist teachers in integrating the topics into the curriculum. "Try It Yourself" experiments reinforce concepts. Each DVD is aligned with National Science Education Standards. A supplemental selection for the science curriculum and to enrich classroom lessons.—Linda M. Teel, East Carolina University, Greenville, NCWater First. video or DVD. 46 min. (closed captioned). Prod. by Hart Prods. Dist. by Bullfrog Films. 2008. video: ISBN 1-59458-789-2, DVD: ISBN 1-59458-790-6. $250 (Rental: $85).
Gr 7 Up—One billion people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water and 4000 children die each day from a lack of clean water. Clean water is the best way to empower people in developing nations. In Malawi, Charles Banda is attempting to achieve the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving primary education, realizing gender equality, combating malaria, and ensuring environmental stability. He established the Malawi Freshwater Project to improve the lives of his people by drilling wells to bring clean water to local villages. He believes that a reliable source of clean water is the key to realizing most of the MDGs. Banda narrates this film and his words together with powerful visuals of Malawi's landscapes and its citizens demonstrate that water is life. The DVD also includes an edited 28-minute version of the film that omits the chapters on Banda's personal story. Science, geography, current events, sociology, anthropology, and government classes can utilize this production to learn about the environmental issues facing developing nations.—Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, ILWeathering and Erosion (Elementary Earth Science Series). video or DVD. 14 min. with tchr's. guide. Visual Learning Co. 2008. ISBN 978-1-59234-204-4. $79.95.
Gr 3–5—Well-chosen nature footage is joined with clear explanations and examples of weathering and erosion. The film defines weathering and features segments that explain the difference between mechanical and chemical weathering and define erosion. Several of the experiments presented can be replicated in the classroom. The scenes depicted are beautiful and may lead into a geography lesson to help students locate these places on a map. DVD extras include a glossary, labeled slides, an iMovie project, and more. Learning objectives, pre- and post-viewing tests, and additional exercises to extend the lesson are included in the teacher's guide. A first-purchase where weathering is part of the curriculum.—Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings School, Hoover, AL
Sign LanguageAmerican Sign Language for Kids and Adults, Vol. 1: Everyday Lessons. DVD. 2:20 hrs. Prod. by Everyday ASL Prods. Dist. by AV Café. 2008. $16.95
Gr 7 Up—American Sign Language (ASL) is taught using a "three-way visual aid" concept. Lessons on the alphabet, weather, everyday words, and idioms are presented on a screen divided into three segments: a picture, an English-based component, and a video of the instructor, Avery Posner, signing. Each lesson is clear, concise, and designed for novices. Posner's facial expressions are top-notch and his signing is easy to "read" and understand. The DVD is quite long; nearly half of it offers a "lesson" on "Animal Facts." Viewers are taken on a tour of New York City's Central Park Zoo where the three-way method is disregarded. Only open-captions and voice-overs corresponding to the instructor's straight ASL signing are used. Most of this segment and the following animal rescue video belongs on a PBS documentary. However, for more advanced sign language learners, the ability to mute the voice-over and simply study the ASL grammar and syntax provides a valuable learning tool. There are a few inconsistencies: the more traditional sign for dog is used in an early lesson, but the more common, modern sign is used during a discussion of animal facts. Showing viewers the evolution of the language is wonderful, but without proper explanation, it creates confusion. Also, during the music video, Posner begins the song using SEE (Signed Exact English), but midway through, switches to straight ASL. Although this isn't a standard ASL instructional video, it is a nice supplemental resource.—Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH
Social StudiesAmerican Feud: A History of Conservatives and Liberals. DVD. 90 min. American Feud. 2007, 2008 release. $15 (home use), $195 (pub. perf.)
Gr 9 Up— American Feud offers an insightful and refreshingly unbiased review of how we got to where we are in the political divide. Using a chronological theme ranging from the formation of our country up to the results of the 2006 general election, the film traces the development and evolution of the divergent political philosophies of conservatism and liberalism. The producers have utilized a variety of clear interviews with historians and other observers of our unique system (Noam Chomsky, G. Gordon Liddy, Donna Brazile, and many others), crisp graphics, a remarkable collection of archival photos and live-action footage, and a smooth narration to present this impressive program. Viewers effortlessly follow the sequence of both international and domestic events which affected the electorate. Commentary includes the philosophies from all aspects of the political spectrum and does so in a wonderfully nonjudgmental manner. Viewers are left with a challenge to consider what our country's collective future holds in the political arena. One word of caution: the film contains an unfortunate and completely unnecessary expletive which might be an issue in some settings. Classroom teachers as well as individual researchers will appreciate the chapter selection option and the number of extras included in this useful title.—Dwain Thomas, formerly Lake Park High School, Roselle, ILAmerica's Heart & Soul. DVD 88 min. (closed captioned). Disney Educational Prods. 2004, 2008 release. ISBN 1-59753-212-6. $49.95.
Gr 5 Up—Some of the Americans who make up the "heart and soul" of our country and use the freedoms it offers to create their own opportunities are given voice in this film. Over 30 individuals from all regions of the country tell their stories and describe their versions of success. Some of them live ordinary lives, such as cowboys, steel workers, and farmers, while others purse more unique careers, including oil well firefighters, a blind mountain climber, a marathon runner who suffers from cerebral palsy, and a number of artists and musicians. There is no narration; these individuals discuss their pride in their efforts and emphasize that success is not always measured in dollars. Their stories run from one to four minutes each. Technical quality is outstanding, with stunning shots of the American countryside, scenic locations, and cities mixed with the footage of the people in the film. John Mellencamp's vocal performance of "The World Don't Bother Me None" opens and closes the production. Although this is an interesting and inspirational film, most of the individuals profiled are mature adults, and their stories are unlikely to hold the interest of teen viewers. Since there are no clear educational objectives, the film is best suited for entertainment rather than instructional purposes.—Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MOCapitalism and Democracy (Democracy: The Basics Series). DVD. 50 min with tchr's. guide, quiz. Hawkhill Assocs. 2008, 2009 release. ISBN 1-55979-222-1. $109.
Gr 9 Up—While many individuals may assume that capitalism and democracy are only possible when mated with each other, this well-crafted program presents a comprehensive examination of the relationship between the two theories. Consisting of two distinct divisions, the nicely paced and superbly narrated film reviews the historical development of both the economic theory of capitalism and the governmental concept of democracy and explains how capitalism and democracy are connected today. The historical account begins at the earliest stages of human society and smoothly progresses to today's complex world with hints at what might occur in the future throughout the world. A rich variety of artwork, video, and photographs help illustrate the connections between capitalism and democracy and enhance the impact of the presentation. New terms are subtitled as they are introduced. There are two interactive review tools for post-viewing use. The guided questions option reviews key points to generate discussion, while the mastery quizzes focus on essential topics and themes from the program. While most teachers will find these assessment devices lacking in substance, their inclusion is a nice bonus. A valuable resource.—Dwain Thomas, formerly Lake Park High School, Roselle, ILGrandfather's Journey. DVD. 10 min. with tchr's. guide. Weston Woods. 2008. ISBN 978-0-545-10640-5. $59.95; CD, ISBN 978-0-545-10694-8: $12.95; CD with hardcover book, ISBN 978-0-545-10696-2: $29.95; CD with paperback book, 978-0-545-12708-0: $18.95.
Gr 1–4—Allen Say's beautifully written Caldecott Award-winning memoir of his grandfather's life (Houghton Mifflin, 1993) is treated with care in this expressive production. His grandfather traveled as a young man, finding beauty wherever he went and eventually settled in California. His love for Japan, however, soon called him to return to the land of his birth. Yet, through war and change, a part of him still loved California. The author chronicles the birth of his mother and of himself. California is now his home but, like his grandfather, he feels the tug of his Japanese heritage as well. This lovely circular story about family and tradition embraces the concept of home in a way that many immigrants will understand. The poignant story is nicely narrated by B. D. Wong. The original music by Ernest V. Troost begins with a Japanese flavor, but adopts a slightly more Western tone as the story progresses, beautifully complementing the text. Say's lovely watercolor illustrations, created like a family album, are scanned iconographically creating a feeling of movement. The production concludes with a 2008 interview with the author where viewers can learn more about his life as well as how the book was created. The CD contains the sound track from the DVD. This is an exceptional program that calls to the heart.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WAIron Ladies of Liberia. DVD. 52 min. Cinema Guild. 2007, 2008 release. ISBN 0-7815-1278-6. $99.95 (Rental: $65).
Gr 9 Up—Liberia has had a violent, troubled history since it was founded in the early 1800s. A series of corrupt and cruel dictators such as the infamous Charles Taylor left the country in turmoil after decades of civil war with a legacy of corruption and widespread poverty. The producers of this moving film follow Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa's first female President who was elected in 2006, through her first year in office as she and her heavily female cabinet attempt to right the country's course. Camera crews document the almost overwhelming problems facing the administration's efforts at improving the lives of the country's needy population. They most certainly are Iron Ladies. English-language subtitles help clarify much of the accentuated dialogue. This intriguing title could be utilized in social science classrooms as well as in media centers.—Dwain Thomas, formerly Lake Park High School, Roselle, ILMy Life on the Farm: Dermot in Australia. DVD. 13 min. (closed captioned). Prod. by Marathon Int'l. Dist. by Film Ideas. 2009. ISBN 1-60572-104-2. $175.
Gr 1–4—Each title in this 13-part series about life on farms around the world is narrated by the featured youngsters. In this film, viewers visit Australia where Dermot helps his parents run an enormous sheep farm. The boy has many adult responsibilities, and his daily routine may seem exhausting to many children. He takes viewers on a tour of a huge area of hot, flat, arid land, demonstrating how he herds sheep, helps fix machinery, cleans up around the barn, cooks, and helps his mother take care of vacationers who rent a cottage on the grounds. Although he is only seven years old, Dermot drives himself to the nearest village, 40 kilometers from his home, to run errands. Since it is too far to commute to the nearest school, the youngster attends classes via a 2-way radio. As we travel with Dermot and his parents around the farm by truck, motorbike, and airplane, viewers see some Australian animals and the striking landscape and can appreciate the challenges of living in this remote area. Metric measurements are constantly used and will have to be explained to viewers. A fascinating look at another culture.—MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann Elementary School, Binghamton, NYThe New China: Shanghai, Shanghai. DVD. 50 min. Prod. by RTSI/Televisione Svizzera and United Colors Communications SA. Dist. by Chip Taylor Communications. 2008. $99.99.
Gr 9 Up—Shanghai, China's largest city and one whose economy is challenging Hong Kong as the country's economic center, is a city of contrasts which is the theme of this entrancing documentary. In the 1990s, Shanghai rose to preeminence as all of the country's resources, especially their huge human reserve, combined to create today's economic and manufacturing giant. This well-paced, clearly presented film focuses on the present-day city as we encounter impoverished peasants, obnoxious nouveau riche, successful professionals, and the beginning of what would be considered a middle-class in Western societies—all cohabitating in one of the world's fastest growing cities. Chapter access is available to enhance the film's usefulness in classrooms or individual research setting. This quality portrayal of this major economic force that continues to impact Western society provides a balanced study of a dynamic society.—Dwain Thomas, formerly Lake Park High School, Roselle, ILNew York Noir: The History of Black New York. DVD. 50 min. Prod. by North Shore Entertainment and The Metro Channel. Dist. by Little Dizzy Home Video. 2009. $14.99.
Gr 9 Up—The significant contributions African Americans have made to New York City—and to the nation—from the early 1600s through today are examined in this documentary. Through the lenses of politics, business, the entertainment industry. and the military, the film's director incorporates historic footage capturing key moments in the African-American experience. The cultural revolution of the Harlem Renaissance creates the crux for the entire narrative and helps to illustrate the profound impact that African Americans had and continue to have on our nation's history, as both slaves and as free men and women. This story of struggle and triumph would make a valuable contribution to secondary and college media centers.—Vincent M. Livoti, Kresge Center for Teaching Resources, Lesley University, Cambridge, MAPlease Vote for Me (Why Democracy? Series) DVD. 52 min. Cinema Guild. 2007, 2008 release. ISBN 0-7815-1300-6 $99.95 (Rental: $65).
Gr 9 Up—Elementary students in Wuhan, China, engage in an experiment in democracy in this film. Third graders participate in their school's first election for the coveted position of class monitor. To prove that they are worthy of the job, each of the three candidates must participate in a talent show, debate their own qualifications and the other candidate's shortcomings, and deliver a speech asking for votes. One of the candidate's parents attempt to buy goodwill for their son by arranging for a class trip and purchasing gifts for the class. A soft-spoken girl dissolves into tears when her classmates taunt her during a speech. The youngsters are pushed by their parents to be the best and they feel the pressure. There are bribes, mud-slinging, and generally disrespectful behavior, and through it all the teacher is remarkably quiet. Director Weijun Chen's series is designed to encourage global debate about democracy. Viewers are left to decide if this attempt at democracy in China has been successful. An optional purchase.—Sally Ray, Plano Senior High School, TXSchoolhouse Rock: Election Collection. DVD. 42 min. with tchr's. guide. Disney Educational Prods. 2008. ISBN 1-59753-209-6. $29.95.
Gr 1–8—Who can forget Schoolhouse Rock? Its catchy, award-winning tunes both entertained and educated. This collection is divided into four sections—"The Campaign," "Our History," "Our Government," and "Extra Credit—and includes many of the classic song in a variety of styles which, for the most part, are still very relevant. Among the songs are "Tax Man Max," " Tyrannosaurus Debt," "I'm Gonna Send Your Vote to College." "No More Kings," "Three-Ring Government," the ever-popular "I'm Just a Bill," and "Sufferin' Till Suffrage." "Extra Credit" features two versions of a song encouraging people to vote. All of the tunes are accompanied by simple, clever animation with lots of white space enhanced by splashes of color. Students learn about the electoral college, the Preamble to the Constitution, the 19th Amendment, the branches of government, and more. Teachers will welcome this collection as an enjoyable way to teach and reinforce social studies and civics concepts in the classroom.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
Language ArtsThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer (unabr.). 6 CDs. 7:15 hrs. tomsawyeraudio.com. 2008. $59.95.
Gr 7 Up—Mark Twain's American classic is performed by veteran actor Michael Beattie, whose 1840s dialect and Southern accent is infallible. Tom, Huck Finn, Aunt, Polly, Injun Joe, and all the other characters are perfectly voiced, with each receiving a distinct identity. The narration draws listeners into the magic of the tale, accurately portraying the social values, superstitions, and humor of Tom's childhood along the Mississippi River. An excellent choice for school and public libraries for group, individual, or family listening.—Anita Lawson, Otsego High School, MIAmerican Listener's Theatre: Telling Tales of Civil Warriors. 3 CDs. 3:06 hrs. CD Americana Prods. 2008. ISBN 978-0-9649040-2-6. $9.99.
Gr 7 Up—Ambrose Bierce's tales reflect his experiences as a Union soldier during the American Civil War. After the war, he became a prolific writer and journalist who died mysteriously in Mexico while a correspondent with Pancho Villa's forces. Bierce is best remembered for his short story masterpiece, "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Among the other tales in this collection are "A Little of Chicamauga," "A Horseman in the Sky," "Son of the Gods," and "One of the Missing." Narrator Timothy Patrick Miller adapted eight stories, and his resonant voice projects the drama and sorrow of these situations. The content and themes will interest U.S. history and English classes in middle and high school.—Sally Ray, Plano Senior High School, TXAnne of Green Gables (unabr.). 8 CDs. 10:21 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-6721-6. $50.
Gr 5–8—Anne never fit in at any of the foster homes she was sent to after her parents' deaths. When she is mistakenly sent to the Cuthbert's farmhouse, Green Gables, she is overjoyed. Although the foster parents wanted a boy, this mischievous, talkative, imaginative girl eventually gets under their skin. Kate Burton, an incredible vocal artist, provides superb narration for L. M. Montgomery's classic. She creates an irresistibly vivacious and breathless voice for Anne. She also provides an excellent voice for the repressed and proper Marilla Cuthbert, slowly allowing the woman's increasing affection for her charge to blossom. Shy Matthew Cuthbert is voiced quietly but firmly. Listeners will fall in love with Burton's performance as well as the spunky, exceptional Anne Shirley. A must-have for all libraries—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, Santa Barbara, CAThe Big Splash (unabr.). 4 CDs. 4:52 hrs. Scholastic Audio. 2008. ISBN 0-545-09107-7. $49.95.
Gr 6–8—Who took down Nikki Fingers? That's the mystery that seventh grader Matt Stevens is retained to uncover in Jack D. Ferraiolo's debut novel (Amulet Books, 2008). Matt is hired by Vinnie (Biggs) Biggio, the head of Franklin Middle School's (The Frank) organized crime syndicate that traffics in black market hall passes, stolen exams, and candy, to ask newly retired water pistol toting Nicole (Nikki Fingers) Finnegan to return a good luck charm. As Matt carries out the job, an unknown assassin sends Nikki to "the outs" by shooting the front of her pants with a yellow liquid, and she is humiliated in front of everyone. Both Vinnie and Nikki's sister Jenny hire Matt to solve the case. After many red herrings, several fights, and a budding crush, The Frank's crack newspaperman helps Matt to the surprising denouement. This enjoyable noir mystery is filled with humorous nicknames and clever mob analogies and metaphors. Sean Schemmel infuses suspense into Matt's first person narration, while creating adult type noir voices for each of the middle school characters. Word like damn, hell, and crap are used throughout the story which, although plot appropriate, may not be age appropriate. Listeners will eagerly await a sequel.—Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NYBrendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It (unabr.). 5 CDs. 5:15 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-7912-7. $38.
Gr 4–6—Ten-year-old Brendan Buckley loves science, Tae Kwan Do, questions, and looking for answers. While visiting the local mall with his grandmother, the boy meets his estranged maternal grandfather, Ed, for the first time and begins to wonder about the rift between his mother and her father. Ed and Brendan are drawn together by a mutual interest in rock collecting and meet secretly. When Brendan's parents discover that the two are spending time together, they reveal that Ed is opposed to their biracial marriage (his mother is Caucasian and his father is African American). Brendan must come to grips with this information, how it affects his feelings towards his grandfather, and his own identity. Sundee T. Frazier's novel (Delacorte, 2007) is well-narrated by Mirron Willis who gives unique voices to all the intriguing characters. Listeners will be captivated.—Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UTCybele's Secret (unabr.). 11 CDs. 13:51 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-7936-3. $70.
Gr 8 Up—In Juliet Marillier's sequel (2008) to Wildwood Dancing (2007, both Knopf), Paula, one of four Transylvanian sisters, travels to Istanbul by sea with her merchant father to bid on an ancient artifact, Cybele's Gift. Their voyage is interrupted when the dangerously charming pirate, Duarte Aquilar, intercepts their ship and mischievously absconds with Paula's red scarf. There is no end of intrigue as he follows and lavishes his attention on Paula when they come ashore, seemingly to gain an advantage over the acquisition of the coveted artifact to be auctioned. Stoyan, a bodyguard hired by Paula and her father, is tortured by his past inability to prevent the death of his employer and is eager for redemption. The pace picks up after the bidding ends in disappointment. Paula's father is assaulted the following day while en route to negotiate a price. Could the culprit be from the cult of Cybele? Who is willing to kill to obtain the artifact? The clues, from a puzzle from the Old Kingdom unfolding itself as a pattern on fabric found in a Turkish noblewoman's library, take Paula back to the Old Kingdom, reunite her with her long lost sister, and test her integrity. Justine Eyre convincingly portrays Paula, stoic but steadfast Stoyan, mockingly charming Duarte, and the other characters. Teens will enjoy this fantasy and eagerly await a sequel.—Ann Crewdson, Issaquah Library, WAFrogs & French Kisses (unabr.). 7 CDs. 8:14 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-7943-1. $55.
Gr 6–9—Life just isn't fair. In Sarah Mlynowski's Bras & Broomsticks (Delacorte, 2005; Listening Library, 2005), Rachel learned that her mother and sister Miri are witches, but she is not. In this sequel (Delacorte, 2006), Rachel talks her sister into performing a love spell on her crush, Raf, but it goes horribly wrong. Rachel gets the hot boyfriend who wants to take her to prom, but Raf's older brother Will falls under the spell. Rachel plans to reverse the spell as soon as prom is over. Things at home have gone crazy too. In an attempt to bolster her confidence, Rachel's recently divorced mother has become addicted to magic, snapping her fingers for everything from enhanced boobs to new clothes to the girls' dinner. Miri believes she must solve the problems of the world, and battles oil spills, hungry children, endangered animals, and drought. Cows that have been miraculously saved from slaughter end up in the high school gym threatening the prom. Ariadne Meyers's narration is delightful, giving the mother and daughters perfect New York accents and moving the story to its satisfying conclusion. This sequel stands on its own and is an enjoyable story for tween collections.—Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OKGenius Squad (unabr.). 13 CDs. 15:43 hrs. Prod. Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-71268. $75.
Gr 7 Up—In Catherine Jinks's engrossing sequel (2008) to Evil Genius (2007, both Harcourt), Cadel Piggott is 15, living in a foster home, and trying to live a more "authentic" life in terms of honesty and society's values. Events take him to Clearview House, a supposed haven for children, but really an organization dedicated to uncovering the evil organizations for which the teen once worked. Here Cadell is reunited with his friend Sonja, who is confined to a wheelchair and must rely on mechanical devices to communicate. He finds that he is uncomfortable having to lie to two people who are becoming important friends: Fiona, his social worker, and Saul, the Detective Inspector in charge of his safety. The various complexities of the plot give narrator Justine Eyre the opportunity to create a rich variety of voices and reflect the characters' varying emotions. When Cadel once again falls into the clutches of the evil Prosper English, the tension and potential terror is reflected in the narration. A page turner.—Edith Ching, Washington Latin Public Charter School, DCThe Hunger Games (unabr.). 9 CDs. 11:11 hrs. Scholastic Audio. 2008. ISBN 978-0-545-09106-0. $84.95.
Gr 7 Up—Suzanne Collins's first book (Scholastic, 2008) of a planned trilogy introduces an easy-to-imagine, cruel future society divided by wealth and obsessed with media and celebrity. The controlling Capitol broadcasts the Hunger Games, mandatory watching for all citizens of Panem. The annual event pits 24 Tributes—a girl and boy teen from each of the 12 Districts surrounding the Capitol—against one another in a desperate battle to the death. When 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister's place as District Twelve's girl Tribute, she is thrown into a media frenzy, complete with stylists and costumes, literally fighting for her life in the arena. Intense, graphic action, along with a touch of romance, makes this dystopic adventure a great choice for older reluctant readers. Although the plot mimics both Stephen King's The Long Walk (Penguin, 1999) and Running Man (Signet, 1999) as well as Koushon Takami's Battle Royale (Tokyopop, 2007), Collins creates a fascinating world and Katniss is a believably flawed and interesting character. Carolyn McCormick ably voices the action-packed sequences and Katniss's every fear and strength shines through, along with her doomed growing attraction to one of her fellow Tributes. This engrossing audiobook belongs in all public and school libraries.—Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MIJudy Moody Goes to College (unabr.). 2 cassettes or 2 CDs. 1:30 hrs. Recorded Books. 2008. cassette: ISBN 978-1-4361-5901-2, CD: ISBN 978-1-4361-5906-7. $25.75.
Gr 2–4—In an effort to improve her math proficiency, Judy Moody's parents send her to "college"—Colonial College—which offers a tutoring service. Judy is viscerally opposed to the very idea of tutoring, fearing that counting jellybeans in a jar will make her a "tutor-tot." She quickly converts from bitter skeptic to faithful disciple after meeting her uber-cool tutor, Chloe. It is refreshing that the math geek is a multi-pierced, dyed-hair female character. Judy and Class 3T are not the same after the experience. Everyone acquires a new "mathitude." Judy Moody's mathematical struggles and her adventures "in the game of life" are clearly and expressively voiced by Kate Forbes. She excels at voicing Stink, giving him just the right amount of an adenoidal quality to make him appropriately annoying. A must-purchase for Judy Moody fans.—Terri Crowe, Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro KYThe Juvie Three (unabr.). 5 cassettes or 5 CDs. 5:30 hrs. Recorded Books. 2008. cassette, ISBN 978-1-4361-5923-4: $41.75; CD, ISBN 978-1-4361-5928-9: $51.75.
Gr 6–10—Gecko, Terence, and Arjay are serving time in juvenile delinquent facilities and are desperate to get out. Douglas Healy, a reformed delinquent himself, plucks each boy out of juvie to live in a halfway house—a rundown walk-up—he just opened in New York City. The rules are simple: attend school, go to counseling, and perform community service. It's a rough beginning, but each boy realizes that one slip-up lands them back in jail. Gecko and Arjay toe the line well, but Terence attempts to join a gang of dangerous thieves at his new school. When Terence's midnight rendezvous results in their mentor falling to the pavement below, the boys must work together to help Mr. Healy, who is hospitalized with no memory of who he is, and save themselves. The trio decides to keep up the charade that nothing has changed. Far-fetched? You bet. But listeners won't mind. It's satisfying to see the boys struggle to do the right thing and spread their wings. Christopher Evan Welch narrates Gordon Korman's novel (Hyperion, 2008) at a quick pace and gives each character a distinct voice and personality. The hopeful message and happy ending make this a perfect listen for middle schoolers and reluctant readers.—Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OKKissing the Bee (unabr.). 3 CDs. 2:45 hrs. Full Cast Audio. 2008. ISBN 978-1-934180-39-6. $34.
Gr 7 Up—Dana, an introverted high school senior, speculates about how her life will change upon graduation as this novel (Farrar Straus, 2007) by Kathe Koja opens. As part of her senior project for biology class, Dana is studying the colony traits of bees. She draws many comparisons between their behavior and the dynamics of her own little "hive"—Dana, Avra (the queen bee), and Emil, the boy they both love. Each chapter begins with excerpts from her biology project. Koja deftly presents Avra's family problems, her drinking issues, Dana's unspoken love for Emil, Emil's uncertainty about his future with Avra, and the fallout when everything comes out into the open. The excellent full-cast narration is perfectly paced. Sarah Gorman as Dana, especially, is able to convey wonder, the delicacy of first love, passion, hesitancy, anger, and alienation. There is elegantly haunting music that plays between chapters which enhances the mood of the whole experience. Some teens may have trouble getting past the science theme, but the interaction between the teens themselves will resonate with all young adults. This novel of teen friendship and love would be an excellent choice for libraries with large circulating audiobook collections.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CTLarry and the Meaning of Life (unabr.). 4 CDs. 4:31 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-7276-0. $38.
Gr 8 Up—This is another hilarious installment (Holt, 2007) by Janet Tashjian about the life of 18-year-old Josh Swenson (aka Larry) who is facing a spiritual crisis. Depressed by the death of his mother, the loss of a presidential election, and unable to find his ex-girlfriend, he stares blankly at the television. When he stumbles upon Gus Muldarian, a spiritual guru, at Walden Pond, Josh decides to study under him and search for the meaning of life. Josh, his best friend Beth, and his stepfather Peter must figure out the game Gus is playing before it completely ruins Josh's life. Through his trials, Josh realizes the importance of family and of Thoreau's message of actually living your own life. Matt Green accurately captures the teen angst and self-absorption of Josh through his tone of voice and interpretation of the text. He seamlessly blends the footnote material into the sentences. Green also perfectly portrays the other unique characters. Reading or listening to The Gospel According to Larry (2001) and Vote for Larry (2004, both Holt) would explain many of the plot points and characters included here. A fun, intellectually stimulating book—Sarah Flood, Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg, KYThe New Girl: Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls, Book 2 (unabr.). 4 CDs. 4:10 hrs. Scholastic Audio. 2008. ISBN 978-0-545-14281-6. $49.95.
Gr 3–5—Allie Finkle recently moved into a big old house with her parents and two brothers and is beginning fourth grade. On her first day as the new girl at Pine Heights Elementary School, she has to eat popcorn for breakfast, is embarrassed by her little brother who insists he's a pirate, wears the wrong outfit for making a good first impression, and makes an enemy of the class bully. On top of all that, she soon discovers that Lady Serena Archibald, a show cat pregnant with Allie's promised kitten, is ill and may lose all her babies. How can this girl handle all these complications? Narrator Tara Sands breezes through Meg Cabot's second entry (Scholastic, 2008) in the series with an enthusiastic, youthful voice for Allie as she deftly voices more than a dozen supporting characters. This enjoyable story about the plucky youngster's struggles to deal with her family, friends, enemies, and the tricky situations life throws at her is an audio treat for girls who will easily relate to this realistic character.—Jennifer Verbrugge, Dakota County Library, Galaxie Branch, Apple Valley, MNThe Porcupine Year (unabr.). 4 cassettes or 4 CDs. 4:15 hrs. Recorded Books. 2008. cassette, ISBN 978-1-4361-5890-9: $33.75; CD, ISBN 978-1-4361-5895-4: $46.75.
Gr 5–8—A Native American family makes the arduous journey from Wisconsin to Minnesota in search of a new home after being displaced by the U.S. government in 1852 in Louis Erdrich's sequel (HarperCollins, 2008) to Birchbark House (Hyperion, 1999) and The Game of Silence (HarperCollins, 2005). Omakayas, the only survivor of a smallpox outbreak, was adopted into an Ojibwa family. The journey is difficult and dangerous, and Omakayas matures and discovers the power of storytelling and her own inner strength. Erdich provides wonderfully descriptive passages about Minnesota and the Native American way of life. A rather abrupt ending leaves open the possibility of a sequel. It is not necessary to be familiar with the two previous books to enjoy this one. Christina Moore's narration brings Omakayas and her family to life, giving each character a unique voice. Her pronunciation of Ojibwa words and phrases creates an exotic atmosphere for listeners unfamiliar with the language.—Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MISomeday This Pain Will Be Useful to You (unabr.). 6 CDs. 7:07 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-7253-1. $50.
Gr 10 Up—Peter Cameron has crafted a sharp, biting tale (Farrar, 2007) that deservedly has been compared to J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. The translation to audiobook format is just short of brilliant. Eighteen-year-old James Sveck lives with his upper-crust family in New York City and is ambivalent about many things: his Ivy League future at Brown, his sexual orientation, his dislike of kids his own age. The people in James' life include an artsy mother who came home from her honeymoon alone, a pretentious sister, his smart and funny grandmother, and his co-worker at his mother's art gallery. James meanders through the summer sharing his observations of the world around him. Alarmed at his insistence that he has no use for college, his parents force him into therapy. When James turns inward to examine his ambivalence, the story takes a serious turn. The divorce of his parents left scars and his high school was close to ground zero on September 11th. Narrator Lincoln Hoppe perfectly captures James' wit, sarcasm, pain. The ending is rather abrupt and we never fully understand James' motivations, but this won't be problematic for listeners. With strong language and mature themes, this is a story for older teens.—Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OKThe Split Second: The Seems, Book 2 (unabr.). 6 CDs. 7:43 hrs. Scholastic Audio. 2009. ISBN 978-0-545-09105-3. $29.95.
Gr 4–8—The adventures of Becker Drane, 13, who lives both in the Real World and in the world of The Seems, continues in John Hulme and Michael Wexler's sequel (2008) to The Glitch in Sleep (2007, both Bloomsbury). Becker is a Fixer who is called upon to right any wrongs in The Seems world, where all of normal life is maintained and monitored. In this case, time is "out of whack" because of a time bomb. As Becker's family goes on vacation, he heads off to save mankind, meeting all kinds of characters—from a disillusioned artist to a retired Fixer who sacrifices himself to save others. The plot is complex, with many characters drifting in and out, and there are many varying viewpoints. Listeners unfamiliar with the first book may be confused because little background story is provided. Oliver Wyman's narration does not vary enough to completely differentiate between the characters or emphasize the text's many hilarious wordplays and puns.—Edith Ching, Washington Latin Public Charter School, Washington, DCTalia Talk (unabr.). 4 CDs. 4:20 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-7159-6. $38.
Gr 4–7—Talia's mother is the co-host of a morning television show and talks about everything that Talia does on the program, thoroughly embarrassing her daughter. That's the last thing the 11-year-old needs as she starts middle school. On top of it all, her group of friends has split up and the two who want to be cool want Talia to desert her lifetime, loyal, loud, bossy BFF. Talia is torn by these and other middle school issues. Her route to sanity? Oddcast. Talia starts her own commentary as part of the daily newscast/podcast aired at her school. She reports on middle school life (and turns the tables a bit on her mom) with simple honesty. Her relationship with her mom is sometimes tense but always resonates with love. Becca Battoe does a terrific job of bringing Christine Hurley Deriso's novel (Delacorte, 2008) to life. Sometimes sulky, sometimes exuberant, her voice is perfectly suited to portray these preteens and the other characters. Dealing with friendship, fitting in, parent/child relationships, loss, and change, this book is a winner.—Laura Davies, Kenton County Public Library, KYTales from the Hood: The Sisters Grimm, Book 6 (unabr.). 6 cassettes or 6 CDs. 6:15 hrs. Recorded Books. 2008. cassette, ISBN 978-1-4361-5912-8: $51.75; CD, ISBN 978-1-5317-3: $66.75.
Gr 4–7—Humans are being forced out of Fairyport Landing by the new mayor, the Queen of Hearts, and her right hand man, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The only humans left are the Grimm family (descendants of the Brothers Grimm), and now their protector, Mr. Canis (the Big Bad Wolf), is in jail for past crimes. While the family and their lawyers (Sherwood Associates) attempt to clear him, Canis is slowly losing hold of his human side and is slipping more and more into the character of the Big Bad Wolf. Will the kangaroo court convict Mr. Canis? What really happened to Red Riding Hood? Should Mr. Canis be saved? Michael Buckley's fast-paced tale (Amulet Books, 2008) features twists, turns, and side plots that will intrigue listeners. L.J. Ganser's narration is dramatic and he provides different voices and accents for the characters. A great addition to the series and a must-have for fans of the previous titles.—Laura Davies, Kenton County Public Library, KYA Taste of Colored Water. cassette or CD. 11:06 min. with hardcover book. Spoken Arts. 2008. cassette, ISBN 0-8045-6976-2: $27.95; CD, ISBN 0-8045-4201-5: $29.95.
Gr 1–4—In this tale of childhood innocence (S & S, 2008), written and illustrated by Matt Faulkner, country cousins Lulu and Jelly don't know if they should believe Abbey's story about a water fountain that she saw in the big city that was labeled "Colored." The children imagine all the different flavors of colored water that might spout from this unusual water "bubbler." When Jelly's father announces he needs to run an errand in the city, the cousins are excited to go with him and try the special water. Their excitement changes to confusion when they arrive in the midst of a civil rights march. There's lots of shouting and violence when the firemen turn water hoses on the crowd. The children return home scared and more aware of racial intolerance. Narrator Ann Scobie uses a soft, easily understood Southern accent and reads slowly, deftly conveying Lulu's innocence. Peter Calo provides an enjoyable banjo piece as background music in the first part of the story; the music is edgier after the cousins' encounter with the police. Sound effects add to the telling. This polished production will spark discussion about intolerance and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.—Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MNTenderness (unabr.) 5 cassettes or 5 CDs. 5:30 hrs. Recorded Books. 2008. cassette, ISBN 978-1-4361-5958-0: $41.75; CD, ISBN 978-1-4361-5994-4: $51.75.
Gr 8 Up—Robert Cormier's chilling novel (Delacorte, 1997) is the portrait Eric Pole, a serial killer who is about to be released from juvenile detention after serving time for murdering his mother and stepfather. Lori, a 15-year-old runaway, is obsessed with Eric, whom she met three years earlier. She is drawn to him and, even when he tries to kill her, can't leave him. Can Lori change Eric or will he begin killing again? Narrator Jennifer Ikeda does an excellent job conveying the haunted girl's emotions throughout the story, but she is less believable when voicing Eric. There is a sexual aspect to Eric's serial killings, so this psychological thriller would be best suited for large audiobook collections in public libraries.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CTToad Surprise (unabr.). 3 CDs. 3 hrs. Bolinda Audio. 2008. ISBN 978-1-7421-4098-8. $32.
Gr 3–6—Morris Gleitzman's comical story (Puffin, pap. 2008) about an Australian cane toad and his adventures among humans combines animal fantasy similar to E. B. White and satire akin to Dr. Seuss. Limpy, introduced in Gleitzman's previous Toad stories, is on another mission to spread peace and good will between the human race and cane toads. His journey begins when he hitches a ride with a bearded fireman he mistakes for Santa Claus. Along the way, he overcomes many obstacles while learning more about humans and the celebration of Christmas. Limpy's altruism is rewarded with new friendships he forms with insects, cats, dogs, and even people. Some Briticisms might need explanations. The tale is impeccably narrated by the author who gives each character an appropriate voice: compassionate Limpy, egotistical cousin Goliath, and protective sister Charm. A fun listen.—Cynthia Grabke, Halifax Elementary School, MAThe Wizard Heir (unabr.). 12 cassettes or 12 CDs. 13:45 hrs. Recorded Books. 2008. cassette, ISBN 978-1-4361-5967-8: $102.75; CD, ISBN 978-1-4361-5972-2: $108.75.
Gr 8 Up—In Cinda Williams Chima's sequel (2007) to The Warrior Heir (2006, both Hyperion), Joseph (Seph) McCauley, an untrained wizard orphan who can't control his magical powers, is sent to a private school in Maine. He discovers that along with being a fine boarding school for boys, it is a wizard training ground. The Headmaster, Dr. Leicester, is "linking" all of the student wizards (Alumni) to him in order to create massive power. When Seph won't comply, he is tortured until he is rescued by an enchanter who takes him to a sanctuary for wizards where he is taught and nurtured by characters from the first book. Leicester and the Alumni come after Seph. The final scene with the requisite battle and answers to questions raised will satisfy listeners. While the action scenes are filled with tension and drama, the third person subjective narration gets somewhat bogged down when Chima sets things up to reveal secrets and weir history; this might not be a problem for fantasy fans. Robert Ramirez brings suspense, tension, and drama to the narration. He perfectly voices a stutterer, a Southern Belle, and the diabolically evil Dr. Leicester. Fans of the first book and those who enjoy dark fantasy will appreciate this page-turner.—Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NYZen and the Art of Faking It (unabr.). 5 CDs. 5:29 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-7155-8. $45.
Gr 5–9—San Lee must reinvent himself at yet another new school. Skater dude? Jock supreme? Rich prep? Bible thumper? When Woody, a guitar-playing cutie, asks him if he's shy, San encourages Woody to believe he is a wise Zen Buddhist at peace with the world. In reality, the boy and his mother have moved to Pennsylvania, broke and alone, after San's father was imprisoned due to shady financial dealings. Soon the whole school is seeking the sage advice San doles out from his meditation "rock." San skims library books on the Buddhist faith which gives him just enough knowledge to keep up the image of a Zen master. He volunteers at a soup kitchen with Woody and teaches the basketball team to conquer their fears at the free throw line. But Woody's step-brother sees through the ruse and is determined to bring San down. Narrator Mike Chamberlain does an excellent job interpreting this story by Jordan Sonnenblick (Scholastic, 2007) and the humor shines through. A good choice for libraries serving middle school readers.—Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK
MusicBe the Tree. CD. 32:16 min. Boy in the Shade. 2007, 2008 release. $13.
PreS-Gr 2—The 12 songs on this excellent CD deliver positive messages with an emphasis on music appreciation, nature, friendship, and giving. The goal of the five-member band is to foster emotional intelligence in preschool children. Boy (Stephen Goldberg, a high school principal who wrote the songs), Daisy (Melissa Tong), Shi Guy (Tony Sion), Numbers (Dana Gold), and Trouble (Joe Brady) provide the vocals as well as perform on guitar, keyboards, violin, and drums. Other musicians perform on trumpet and flute. Musical styles range from pop and rock and roll to calypso and folk ballad. "Time for the Show," the opening song, introduces the band and celebrates music. "Nature Walk," "Be the Tree," "Wind," "Summer Sun," and "The Power of Flowers" extol the pleasures of the great outdoors. "Everybody Wants to Win" emphasizes good sportsmanship. Among the other tunes are "Playin' in the Bathtub" (winner of the 2008 Children's Music Web Award for Best Preschool Song), and "I Heard a Word," a funny song about homophones and strange English pronunciations. There is a lot here for both children and their parents to enjoy.—Beverly Bixler, San Antonio Public Library, TXBeautiful World. CD. approx. 35 min. Prod. by Dog on Fleas. Dist. by AV Café. 2008. $15.
K-Gr 3—Dog on Fleas—Dean Jones, John Hughs, and Chris Cullo—showcase their independent musical style with 15 original songs. The title tune is a Caribbean, laid-back celebration of our world. Among the other songs are "Star Tonight," a funk-infused number about pretending to be a star in the night sky; "Water Planet," a tribute to planet Earth; "Dumpling," a driving rock number; "Lima Bean," dominated by edgy harmonies on the refrain; and "Where Would You Fly?," a ballad full of synthesized sounds. Two standouts include the Bob Dylan-esque "Sitting in the Field" and the bluesy "Balloon Man." The group is joined here by a number of musicians who offer additional vocals and instrumentation, including flute and saxophone, giving the songs more depth and texture. Heavy use of synthesized music and sounds add punch throughout. An intriguing package for more sophisticated youngsters.—Stephanie Bange, Wilmington Stroop Branch, Dayton Metro Library, OHCome Dance with Us. CD. approx. 35 min. The First Wave. 2007, 2008 release. $12.99.
PreS-K—With original music and lyrics composed by Dolores Ormandy, the CD is narrated, arranged, and performed by Rob Schwimmer who is joined by vocalist Teresa Williams. Cheery, catchy tunes are intended to help teach concepts such as time ("Sixty Seconds"), geography ("North America"), phonics ("The Letters," "Vowels"), and math ("Twelve Little Stars") to young children. Several movement songs are also included: "Star Dance," "Art Dance," and "Come Dance With Me." The songs are arranged as a story about a brother and a sister who live on a farm, attend school, and take a trip during summer vacation. Schwimmer has a pleasant, patient demeanor in the storytelling segues he delivers between songs. The vocalists capture the spirit of each song. While none of these tunes will become childhood classics, youngsters will enjoy listening to them during play time or in the car.—Stephanie Bange, Wilmington-Stroop Branch, Dayton Metro Library, OHDrum Like an Animal. CD. 31:11 min. Prod. by InstaGroove Music. Dist. by CDBaby.com. 2008. $14.99.
PreS-Gr 5—Tom Foote's debut CD blends African rhythms and melodies to create a unique musical experience with these 10 ethnic, yet familiar, songs. The styles are a blend of world music, influenced by jazz, funk, R&B, New Age, and pop. Original songs include "Drum Like an Animal" (inspired by the Malian rhythm, Dansa), "Africa Oh Africa" (derived from the Malian rhythm, Suku), and "Dance All Day" (a world-beat dance tune featuring a clavinova). Melodies for other songs come from places such as Liberia ("Funga Alafia"), South Africa ("Siyahamba"), Guinea ("Kakilambe" and "Kuku Ey"), Ghana ("Obwisana"), and Nigeria ("Ayiko Ayiko"). Percussion instruments (including Foote on djembe) in many of these pieces entice listeners to move to the beat. An intriguing African musical experience for the whole family.—Stephanie Bange, Wilmington-Stroop Branch, Dayton Metro Library, OHEmphatical Piratical. CD. 33:55 min. Captain Bogg & Salty. 2009. $15.
K-Gr 4—Twelve fun and entertaining songs for young pirates by the Portland-based buccaneer rock band deal with topics such as the dangers of salt water ("Don't Drink Sea Water"), pirate treasure ("Treading the Seas for Pirate Gold"), crocodiles ("Never Smile at a Crocodile"), walking the plank ("The Plank Walker"), and other pirate-related things. Captain Bogg (Loren Hoskins) and others wrote most of the songs, although the title song is set to Offenbach's "Galop Infernal" music, and includes sound effects of barking seals. The songs reflect rock and roll, sea shanty, bluegrass, calypso, waltz, and folk music styles and are performed with excellent vocals and musical accompaniment. This fifth album by Captain Bogg and his crew will be a welcome addition in most librarie.—Beverly Bixler, San Antonio Public Library, TXHeartbeat of the Future. CD. 55:26 min. Prod. by Talking Hands Talking Feet. Dist. by CDBaby. 2008. $15.99.
K-Gr 4—Beautiful harmonies are the hallmark of these 18 original folk and folk/rock songs by Paul Zeir. The album features wonderful performances on vocals, guitar, marimba, bell, flute, udu, gonga, conga, shakers, violin, viola, and trombone that enhance the lovely songs. However, the lack of variety in musical styles makes the album somewhat monotonous. The songs cover such topics as the future, water, geography, neighbors, America, the sun, rainbows, the body, and apple trees. "Seasons of New Mexico" and "Farolito, Farolito" are specific to New Mexico. Three songs include Spanish lyrics, and "Barrel of Monkeys" features animal sound effects. The goal of the album—to foster creativity and confidence in children through music and dance—is accomplished. Teachers, librarians, and children will find much to appreciate here.—Beverly Bixler, San Antonio Public Library, TXLulu and the TomCat: Fossil Rock. CD. approx. 41 min. Prod. by L. L. and T. C. Neufeld. Dist. by AV Café. 2008. $15.99.
PreS-Gr 3—Award-winning Canadian duo Tom and Lori Neufeld (Lulu and the Tom Cat) present 14 original, lively songs on their fourth album for children. While several of the songs are in rock and roll style, complete with wailing guitars, there are also a couple of folk and Latin style tunes. Topics of the songs include dinosaurs, fossils, and lake monsters. The album opens with "Fossil Rock," a lively, rocking dinosaur dance and closes with "Hush Baby Pterosaur" (to the tune of "Hush Little Baby"). A couple of songs celebrate Canadian attractions: "Pembina Diamond Mine" and "Go, Go Manipogo" (a marine creature in Lake Manitoba). The instrumental performances are wonderful. Vocal performances are also topnotch, including The Kiddens, four girls who join in on several tracks. A great resource for dinosaur story times and classroom activities, and a treat for young dinosaur fans.—Beverly Bixler, San Antonio Public Library, TXSoulville: Soul Stuff for Kids of All Ages. CD. 34:12 min. with board book. Prod. by Little Monster Music. Dist. by AV Café. 2008. ISBN 978-63122-8114-6. $16.98.
PreS-Gr 2—This family-friendly compilation features new arrangements of classic soul tunes from the 1960s and 1970s by performers such as Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye. Current soul and R&B artists RedRay Frazier, Tabitha Fair, and Chocolate Genius cover this collection, with a kids' chorus serving as backup singers. Among the 11 songs are "Dancing in the Street," "Stand by Me," "Lean on Me," and "How Sweet It Is"—standards not necessarily considered children's music. Although Fair's voice is not as strong as that of several of the original artists, she manages to make the female lead songs her own. Frazier is spot-on throughout. Packaged in a board book that includes a fact about each of the original songs, artwork by children, and an original poem, this is a pleasant introduction to soul music for young children.—Stephanie Bange, Wilmington-Stroop Branch, Dayton Metro Library, OHTell Me What You Want to Be. CD. approx. 34 min. Prod. by TSTen Prods. Dist. by CDBaby. 2008. $14.98.
PreS-Gr 3—Indiana-based Jetta and the Jellybeans offer a feel-good album of 12 songs. The title cut is an upbeat pop/rock song. Other tunes include "Good Pet Mommy" (a bluesy song that opens with scat, highlights the trombone, and describes the perfect pet owner), "Scat Cat" (a cool, jazzy tune that teaches how to sing scat), "Outer Space" (an upbeat 60s riff celebrating celestial bodies), "Medicine" (a Caribbean-influenced number describing appropriate times to take medicine), and "Caterpillar and Butterfly" (a story-song with a moral detailing the inevitability of change). A funky, upbeat tune ("Wiggle") and a march ("March Your Feet Up") encourage listeners to get up and move with the music. Most songs were either written or co-written by "Miss Jetta" Cruse, and they all deal with the concerns of young children. Miss Jetta's vocals are full-bodied, and the Jellybeans are a well-rehearsed back-up band that highlight her vocal talents.—Stephanie Bange, Wilmington Stroop Branch, Dayton Metro Library, OH
Social StudiesLincoln: A Photobiography (unabr.). 2 CDs. 2:29 hrs. Prod. by Listening Library. Dist. by Listening Library/Books on Tape. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7393-7257-9. $24.
Gr 5 Up—Actor Robert Petkoff reads Russell Freedman's Newbery Award-winning biography (Clarion, 1987) of Lincoln, which combines a well-written text with quotes from primary sources. About half of the book is devoted to Lincoln's childhood, education, and rise to the presidency. Freedman then covers Lincoln's presidency and assassination, emphasizing his leadership in the abolition of slavery and Union victory in the Civil War. He discusses how Lincoln's assassination affected the country, and closes with an examination of his legacy. Petkoff reads in a clear, authoritative voice that does justice to the excellent text. He wisely does not attempt to fully replicate Lincoln's frontier speech, using only slight accents for Lincoln as well as other speakers. The book's 80 outstanding photographs and prints are included in an interactive "photojournal" on this enhanced CD, as is an interview with Freedman, who discusses why he wrote the book and his views on Lincoln. Although this is a good performance of an outstanding biography, it would be best used as a companion to the book, which would give students the opportunity to peruse the photos at the same time that they hear the text. A solid choice for middle level collections.—Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO
Language ArtsPeek-a-Book School Edition. 4 CD-ROMs. System: Win 98/XP. Prod. by Peek-a-Book. Dist. by Highsmith. 2008. 3 copy lab pack: $495 (for up to 3 PCs); additional book previews (package of 6): $74.94.
K-Gr 3—Like previews at the movies, Peek-a-Book introduces youngsters to terrific books, old and new, and gives them a sneak peek at what the book is about. Each preview features illustrations from the book and a lively summary of the plot that ends with a cliffhanger, leaving students wanting to read the book to find out more. The program comes with an installation disk and three preview disks; it is not compatible with Windows Vista or non-Windows operating systems. Each CD-ROM includes three one-time use serial numbers, so that it can be installed on three computers; additional licenses can be purchased for $49.94 per PC. Installation includes an older version of Quick Time player, and the user will be prompted to uninstall more recent versions. After installation, a desktop icon is used to launch the program, and the CDs must be loaded in order for the previews to run. Each CD contains six book previews. The 18 titles in this set feature some terrific old favorites such as Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Erica Silverman, Pinduli by Janell Cannon, and Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh. Scattered throughout are library mini-lessons. For example, Billy the Bookworm teaches and demonstrates that fiction books are shelved in alphabetical order by the author's last name. Over 200 titles are available, including many Spanish ones, and additional book talks of books that are selected for their popularity and quality are added monthly (listed at Peek-a-Book.com). Although the previews sometimes stray from the actual text of a story, the lively and exciting presentation, sound effects, puppets, and artwork provide an effective appetizer to lure young readers to the library shelves.—MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann Elementary School, Binghamton, NY
American Feud, 716 Chesapeake Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910; americanfeud.org
Bolinda Audio, 186 S. Long Swamp Rd., Jackson, ME 04921; 888/235-2019
Boy in the Shade, BoyintheShade.com
Bullfrog Films, Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800/543-3764
Captain Bogg & Salty, boggandsalty.com
CD Americana Productions, cdamericana.com
Chip Taylor Communications, 2 East View Dr., Derry NH 03038; 800/876-CHIP
Cinema Guild, 115 W. 30th St., New York, NY 10001; 212/685-6242
Crystal Productions, Box 2159, Glenview, IL 60025; 800/255-8629
DVD Bookshelf, dvdbookshelf.com
Disney Educational Productions, disneyshopping.go.com
Film Ideas, 308 North Wolf Rd., Wheeling, IL 60090; 800/475-3456
Films Media Group, 2572 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648; 800/257-5126
First Wave, 424 West End Ave., Suite 16F, New York, NY 10024; 212/787-4717
Full Cast Audio, Box 6110, Syracuse, NY 13217; 800/871-6152
Green Planet Films, Box 247, Corte Madera, CA 94976; 415/377-5471
Hawkhill Associates, 125 E. Gilman St., Madison, WI 53703; 800/422-4295
Highsmith, 800/558-2110; highsmith.com
Human Relations Media, 41 Kensico Dr., Mt. Kisco, NY 10549; 800/431-2050
Listening Library/Books on Tape, Box 25122, Santa Ana, CA 92799; 800/243-4504
Little Dizzy Home Video, littlediz zyhomevideo.com
Lois Duncan, loisduncan.arquettes.com/DuncanDVD.htm
Organic Kids Co., 760/603-0202; OrganicKidsCo.com
Recorded Books, 270 Skipjack Rd., Prince Frederick, MD 20678; 800/638-1304
Scholastic Audio, 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012; 800/724-6527
Spoken Arts Media, 195 S. White Rock Rd., Holmes, NY 12531; 800/326-4090
Tom Sawyer Audio, tomsawyeraudio.com
VEA, 10 Mitchell Place, Suite 103, White Plains, NY 10601; 866/727-0840
Victory Multimedia, 460 Hindry Ave., Unit D, Inglewood, CA 90301; 301/590-1388
Visual Learning Company, 25 Union St., Brandon, VT 05733; 800/453-8481
WGBH Boston, 125 Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134; 800/949-8670
Weston Woods, 143 Main St., Norwalk, CT 06851; 800/243-5020