Rowell’s follow-up (2013) to the fabulous Eleanor and Park (2013, both St. Martin’s Griffin) doesn’t disappoint.
Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids. Performed by Alastair Moock and others. CD. approx. 38 min. CDBaby.com. 2013. ISBN unavail. $14.99.
K-Gr 5–When Alastair Moock’s five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago, he began singing and writing songs with her. Hek realized how much the music brightened Clio’s mood and the result is this album, the goal of which is to bring joy to kids with cancer. Joined by several guest performers (Elizabeth Mitchell, the [...]
My Cup of Tea. Performed by Heidi Swedberg and the Sukey Jump Band. CD. approx. 43 min. Sukey Jump Music. 2013. ISBN unavail. $15.
PreS–Gr 3–Heidi Swedberg and the Sukey Jump Band’s second album is a diverse mix of original songs and traditional children’s music. The ukulele is featured throughout and pairs well with the guitar, bass, drums, and other nontraditional instruments such as the slide whistle, jaw harp, clave, and doumbek. Swedberg’s pleasant, expressive voice is often joined by others [...]
Gravity Vacation. Performed by Marsha Goodman-Wood. CD. 27:22 min. Marshagoodmanwood.bandcamp.com. 2012. ISBN unavail. $12.
PreS-Gr 4–Goodman-Wood makes quite a splash with her debut album. The nine original songs are a unique blend of science and positive social messages encompassed within toe tapping melodies and sing-along worthy lyrics. This combination allows for numbers such as “Sheep Don’t Wear Shoes,” which teaches about self-confidence and the importance of non-conformity without being the least bit didactic. Science is highlighted in tunes about the make-up [...]
Gotta Be the Pants! Performed by Mike and the Mighty Magic Pants. CD. approx. 55 min. AV Café. 2013. ISBN unavail. $12.97.
PreS-Gr 3–Veteran children’s performer Mike Mennard’s new group, Mike and the Magic Pants, delivers a debut album filled with music, poetry, and fun to delight the entire family. By combining clever, easy-to-follow lyrics with fantastic vocals and harmonies, each song in this collection is a joy to listen to. Each number has its own flavor and tells a story [...]
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp. By Kathi Appelt. 5 CDs. approx. 6 hrs. Simon & Schuster Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781442366121. $29.99.
Gr 3–7–Appelt’s latest work (Atheneum, 2013) features a host of eccentric characters including two raccoon scouts, Bingo and J’miah; a 12-year-old boy named Chap who is grieving his grandfather’s death; and the Sugar Man, a Yeti-type creature who has been asleep for 60 years. The raccoon brothers are tasked with waking the Sugar Man if the swamp [...]
Matilda. By Roald Dahl. 4 CDs. 4:30 hrs. Penguin Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781611761849. $29.95.
Gr 3–6–Matilda is the star of Dahl’s delightfully far-fetched tale of a girl remarkably precocious and strong. She has no idea how advanced and insightful she is since she has had to cope as best she could on her own. Finally allowed to attend school, Matilda faces evil head teacher, The Trunchbull. She finds solace in sweet, surprisingly brave Lavender and perfect Miss Honey. In the end, [...]
Love in the Time of Global Warming. By Francesca Lia Block. 5 CDs. 5:27 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781469270715. $54.97.
Gr 9 Up–Imagine the world ending as a result of earthquakes followed by tsunamis and flooding, wiping out most living things. Combine it with Homer’s Odyssey, and you’ll have Block’s novel (Holt, 2013). Los Angeles has been destroyed, and 17-year-old Penelope has lost her family in the apocalypse. Like a female Odysseus, she takes off into the wasteland to find [...]
P.S. Be Eleven, Rita Williams-Garcia’s sequel to her Coretta Scott King award-winning One Crazy Summer, offers offering insight into the African-American experience of the 1960s as seen through a young girl’s eyes. Sisi Aisha Johnson’s narration of the audiobook is spot-on. Check out the starred review.