June/July 2012

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Children & Family Listening THE MIGHTY MISS MALONE Christopher Paul Curtis Read by Bahni Turpin The Malone family faces the tribulations of the Great Depression, but 12-year-old Deza never loses heart. Narrator Bahni Turpin captures Deza's youthful exuber- ance and handles the despair of poverty with a hopeful undertone that matches Deza's undaunted attitude. Turpin main- tains focus and intensity in this detailed portrait of African-American commu- nity life during the 1930s. A versatile narrator, she develops many characters, including some standout male personal- ities. She even sings a few Depression- era songs in the role of Jimmie, Deza's older brother. It's surprising that Turpin does not utilize her signature smooth- ness to create transitions within Curtis's sometimes choppy prose. But, overall, Turpin's range is well suited to this char- acter-driven story, rich in history, culture, and emotional power. C.A. Listening Library 8 hrs. Unabridged Ages 10+ Trade Ed.: CD Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780307968227 $44.00 (also DD ISBN 9780307968241 $44.00 MR. AND MRS. BUNNY— DETECTIVES EXTRAORDINAIRE! Polly Horvath Read by Polly Horvath Polly Horvath successfully merges unique human and animal characters in a story loaded with wit. Madeline seeks normalcy on a small Canadian island, where she lives with her hippie parents. She must give that up when her parents are kidnapped by TV- watching foxes and she teams up with Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, newly minted detectives, to find them. Listeners know they're in for something special when Horvath's reading begins in rapid "Rabbitese" and she must be reminded that her audience is human. Her somewhat-squeaky narration moves at a fast clip as Horvath strad- dles worlds, immerses listeners in adventures, and embeds this silly romp with a tone that is just right for her playful satire of pretense. S.W. Listening Library 4.5 hrs. Unabridged Ages 8+ Trade Ed.: CD Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780307942630 $30.00 (also DD ISBN 9780307942654 $30.00 ) ) THE CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT: A Dickens of a Tale Carmen Agra Deedy, Randall Wright Read by Katherine Kellgren, Robin Sachs Katherine Kellgren is the perfect narrator for this children's book. With her lively, versatile delivery and distinct pronunciation, not one bit of clever anthropomorphic wordplay is missed. Skilley is a street cat who doesn't like to eat mice, but he does like cheese, so Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese shop in London is the perfect home. Skilley strikes an alliance with the mice, especially the literate Pip. With his Cockney accent, Skilley sounds down on his luck, but he's got a heart of gold; Pip's softer tone makes him sound cultured and educated. Kellgren's portrayal of Maldwyn, an injured Queen's raven who is living in the attic, is genius— imperious, condescending, but still a squawk. Robin Sachs pops in now and again to portray Dickens, who notices Skilley catching the same mouse over and over while he searches for the opening lines for his otherwise-complete new novel, A Tale of Two Cities. A.B. Listening Library 4 hrs. Unabridged Ages 10+ Trade Ed.: CD Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780449010266 $30.00 (also DD ISBN 9780449010280 $30.00 ) Katherine Kellgren is the perfect narrator for this children's book. MARTY MCGUIRE Kate Messner Read by Cassandra Morris When the teacher announces that the third-grade class will present its own version of "The Frog Prince," little does anyone know how true those words will turn out to be. Marty McGuire is disgruntled with third grade. She has lost her best friend to her nemesis, the overbearing and princess-like Veronica Grace. Now Marty has no one to share her naturalist interests with. To top it all off, Marty's been awarded an unex- pected key role in the play. Cassandra Morris narrates with all the exaspera- tion, pluck, and (eventually) pride of a third-grader. Morris uses tone and speed variations to render a totally believable and amusing Marty as she handles the tribulations of daily school routines. Characterizations of Marty's classroom compatriots are distinctive as well. A.R. Scholastic Audiobooks 1.75 hrs. Unabridged Ages 6+ Trade Ed.: CD Library Ed.: CD (also PRE ISBN 9780545321440 $19.99 ISBN 9780545321464 $29.99 ) GUYS READ: FUNNY BUSINESS Jon Scieszka [Ed.], Mac Barnett, Eoin Colfer, Jack Gantos, et al. Read by Michael Boatman, Kate DiCamillo, John Keating, Jon Scieszka, Bronson Pinchot Jon Scieszka once again proves his expertise in humor and hooking boys on reading by choosing 10 hysterical stories, many of them written by the funniest children's book writers in the field. The audio adds top names in narration. Their timing and tones make each story, whether slapstick or slightly disgusting, even stronger. The range of hilarity is wide. There's Jack Gantos's disgust ing tale of inventive wart removal, David Yoo's slightly spooky story of a boy who goes toe to claw with a homicidal turkey, and the dark humor of Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka's story of the correspondence between a jaded writer and an A-seeking student. A great family listen, this audio is guar- anteed to get giggles and guffaws. S.W. Harper Audio 5.75 hrs. Unabridged Ages 8+ Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062007667 $18.99 June/July 2012 s 59 S C Y N

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