Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer is a Time for Stories! Don't Miss These...

Giveaway time! What have I got to make that summer road trip a little bit easier?  Story Recordings!

I've partnered with Greathall Productions to give away three Jim Weiss Storytelling CDs!

My SUMMER GIVEAWAY STARTS TOMORROW, but today I want to introduce you to Jim Weiss and review some of his recordings.

"Jim Weiss is a master narrator especially when it comes to 
conversation…he takes on persona easily, 
male or female, young or old…" 

Jim Weiss brings stories to life with his voice, which is at once soothing and spellbinding.  He doesn't have the benefit of costumes or props, yet he has no trouble holding kids' (or their parents') attention. And he plays the part of a wide range of characters!
As I listened recently to Jim Weiss' skillful telling of The Jungle Book I was transported to Kipling's jungle - Jim does all the voices, of course: Mowgli; his "brothers" the Wolves; Bagheera; Baloo the Bear; Shere Khan; Messua (Mowgli's human mother); and more! 

Our family first came across Jim Weiss' stories back in the 1990's, through our homeschooling connections. The audio recordings (cassettes in those days!) were perfect to listen to on summer road trips. Our kids were entranced! 

Jim and his wife started Greathall Productions ("Intelligent entertainment for the thinking family") in 1989 and to date have produced over 47 storytelling recordings! You can navigate their website and not only find CD recordings grouped by age listening level, but also hear samples of many of the recordings.

Our family's favorite Jim Weiss storytelling recordings:
ARABIAN NIGHTS (ages 5 and up) We were definitely transported by these eloquently told tales of Scheherazade, including Jim's retelling of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves".
SHE & HE: ADVENTURES IN MYTHOLOGY (ages 5 and up)  This collection of several well-known Greek Myths was a perfect compliment to our unit study of Greece.
SHERLOCK HOLMES (ages 8 and up).  My husband and I were as entranced by Jim Weiss' retelling of these Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson stories as our kids!

Not to be Missed:
THE JUNGLE BOOK - If you think you know the whole story from the Disney movie, guess again!  Your kids will love Weiss's tellings of the stories of Rudyard Kipling: "Mowgli's Brothers"; "Tiger! Tiger"; "Red Dog"; and "The Spring Running". (ages 7 and up)
AMERICAN TALL TALES - These uproarious American folk stories will have you laughing out loud...You'll meet Paul Bunyan, taller than the trees and mightier than the rivers; Johnny Appleseed, whose gentle generosity make him a beloved legend; and Pecos Bill, whose outrageous Texas-sized exploits make him the greatest of all cowboys. (ages 5 and up)
BEST LOVED STORIES IN SONG AND DANCE - Three favorite tales (for girls and boys): "The Twelve Dancing Princesses"; "The Sleeping Beauty"; "Snow White and Rose Red".

Unabridged Narrated Books (these will not be included in my Giveaway, but I had to mention them!):
CARRY ON, MR. BOWDITCH (unabridged, ages 8 and up). A Newberry winner, the book is based on the the real life of Nathanael Bowditch, inventor of a new method for sea navigation: lunar reckoning. The story is set during the American Revolution, and is a touching biography of a worthy hero. I read this book to my kids, but I wish we would have had this recording! (6 1/2 hours on 6 CDs)
COME ON, SEABISCUIT!  - This is not the Hollywood version of this remarkable story! read my past post here.  (3 1/2 hours on 4 CDs)

Be sure to stop back by my blog tomorrow for details about how to enter my SUMMER GIVEAWAY of Jim Weiss Storytelling Recordings (giveaway runs 6/25 - 7/2/13)...  good luck!


  1. Jim Weiss is great! We LOVED Carry On, Mr. Bowditch - he's done so many great books...

    My friend and I were just talking about how much we love audiobooks. There are times we just cannot read a story aloud as well as the narrator on the audiobook can - Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was my example. I tried reading it to my children, but I could not get the right accent. The audiobook is beautifully done. Her examples were A Long Way From Chicago, and its sequels, by Richard Peck - I don't think I would have laughed so hard if I hadn't listened to the audiobook.

    Audiobook - the best vacation accessory EVER!

  2. Jim Weiss is one of my family's favorites, too. His Abraham Lincoln CD is fantastic. My kids say The Adventures of Robin Hood is their favorite Jim Weiss recording.