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February/March 2018

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THE SEA LION Cynthia Rylant Read by Mark Nelson Mark Nelson narrates in a rich, upbeat voice as Pandora and the other mem- bers of the Lighthouse family welcome a young guest—a sea lion. When "Topper" is discovered sitting in a chair at the kitchen table one morning, amazement abounds. But it's not long before Topper is exploring the island with the children and, for his safety, learning to swim. Nelson maintains a leisurely pace and keen interest in the details of playing with scallops and filling a handmade basket with delicious treats. His characters are lively, and listeners will enjoy Pandora's motherly voice as well as the goose's news that Topper's mother is coming "baack" and the deep, throaty voice of the grateful mother sea lion. A.R. Recorded Books 14 mins. Unabridged Ages 4-6 Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781501963407 $15.75 (also DD) MAX AND BIRD Ed Vere Read by L.J. Ganser Narrator L.J. Ganser draws listeners right in as Max's forceful voice declares that he is a kitten; therefore, he would like to eat Bird. Bird utters in a high-pitched voice that he cannot be eaten since he has never flown before. Max and Bird decide that they'll work together t o l e a r n h o w t o f l y . Ganser's tone changes from dramatic to energetic as the two take on attempts at flight by flapping tirelessly and eventually seeking help from a cackling pigeon. Listeners will be engaged by this heartwarming story of a predator and his prey forming an unexpected friendship and conquering a challenge set before them. M.D. Recorded Books 9 mins. Unabridged Ages 4-6 Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781501963438 $15.75 (also DD) THE INFAMOUS RATSOS: Books 1-2 Kara LaReau Read by Mark Turetsky Mark Turetsky narrates tough—just the way the Ratso brothers like to be. In Book One, Louie and Ralphie do their best to do mean deeds, including taking the hat of a large rat, shoveling snow in front of a door, and soaping windows. As Big Lou, the boys' gruff and presumably just-as- tough father, Turetsky surprises listeners with a range of emotions and sage coun- sel. In Book Two, Turetsky depicts anxiety and remorse—new emotions for the two brothers. With their gang of buddies, the brothers come to grips with having made assumptions about a schoolmate and learning how to conquer fear while transforming an almost vacant lot. In both books, Turetsky is straightforward and evenly modulated as he enunciates the repetitions with relish that empha- sizes the humor. His young characters are distinctive, spunky, and spot-on. A.R. Listening Library 1 hr. Unabridged Ages 6+ Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525527381 $15.00 Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780525527398 $20.00 (also DD) February/March 2018 n 65 Children & Family Listening TOWN IS BY THE SEA Joanne Schwartz Read by Mark Turetsky Narrator Mark Turetsky lets the story of a young Cape Breton boy speak for itself. His day has familiar scenes—a morning spent watching the sea and swinging, an afternoon walk to the store for his mother and a visit to his grandfather's grave, and an evening that begins with the arrival home of his father, who has spent his day digging for coal under the sea. Turetsky has an even tone. Each word, phrase, and thought stands out as he describes the salty smell of the air and the dilapidated swings, undersea mining and the boy's belief that he will be a miner, too, when he is grown. An author's note about min- ing towns and the legacy they held for children completes the recording. A.R. Recorded Books, Inc. 8 mins. Unabridged Ages 4-6 Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781501971976 $15.75 (also DD)

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