One of my favorite picture books when I was very little was Richard Scarry’s “Busy Busy World” (first half of the hardback “Going Places). I know my little not-yet-born niece won’t be ready for it for a couple of years, but I recorded it for her anyway, and YOU get to listen to it too! I really hope you can buy or borrow the real book, ’cause the pictures are half the fun. Of course it’s out of print and VERY pricy used on Amazon. Sigh.
Which stories are your favorites? :) I’m very fond of Glip and Glop, the Greek Painters; Schtoompah, the Funny Austrian; Schmudge, the German Chimney Sweep; Mario, the Venetian Gondolier; and Hans, the Dutch Plumber. Oh and Dr Krunchchew the Russian Dentist!
I’ve just updated my “Kayray Reads to You” page to include The Grey King, Bagthorpes Abroad, The Sweet Smell of Christmas, and The Adventures of Little Bear. As always, if you like these stories please buy copies of the actual books.
What most of you are wondering is — am I recording anything for you? And the answer is yes! I’m just finishing up Elizabeth Enright’s “Then There Were Five” for the “Kayray Reads to You” podcast, and I’m also working on “Just William” for LibriVox.
I finished this big warm sweater back in November and wore it all winter, but then I decided it needed a shawl collar and pockets, so I ripped off the button band and reknit it, and added lovely big patch pockets.
Also, when I was looking for something one day, I found a set of four vintage linen napkins with cutwork designs stamped on them that I bought from ebay 8 years ago and never finished! So I’ve finished them. They make wonderful hankies.
A couple weeks ago a listener (Heather) suggested that I record a solo version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” so I did that :) Aravis was my MC and Proof-Listener extraordinaire. She did ALL the tedious LibriVox tasks and let me do just the fun part — recording!
Someone asked in a comment how to find my recording of the Sherlock Holmes story, “The Red-Headed League”. I link to my solos (and duets) on the “Librivox Recordings” page here on my blog, but if you want to see a list of all the individual chapters and poems I’ve ever recorded for LibriVox, go here:
I started this as a duet with Annie in 2008. She drifted away from Librivox before we finished and the project lay dormant until I asked Laurie Anne if she’d finish it with me. It took us about a year but we did it! I read the even chapters and then when I got to the end I worked backwards for a while, so the end of the book is just me. So — three different readers but all excellent (if I say so myself) and most of volume 3 is just me.
I’m so happy this is finished because I’ve been wanting a new book for my all-night audiobook playlist but I have strict requirements: it must be a book I already know really well, and it must be read by me or a reader with a similar style.
Many thanks to Aravis for proof-listening and cataloging!
I just found some very old recordings to share — The Hobbit and book 1 of The Fellowship of the Ring! I must have recorded these when Henry was seven or so. The Fellowship was first and it’s actually my second recording of the book.
When Henry became obsessed with Tolkien at age six I recorded the whole Fellowship (and The Two Towers, I think) onto cassette tapes which then wore out with daily listening, so when Dan gave me my first iBook with a built-in mic I re-recorded The Fellowship digitally. After we did book 1 we decided to do The Hobbit, and I guess after that we branched out to other authors and never got around to book 2. But don’t worry — I want to hear it so I’ll record it soon! Recording quality will be much higher but there won’t be a little person asking questions and reading the poems :)
It’s a collection of children’s stories and rhymes, and includes:
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
The Old Woman and her Pig by Sara Cone Bryant
The House that Jack Built by Randolph Caldecott
Mother Goose by Eulalie Osgood Grover
The Old Man’s Bag by T. W. H. Crosland
Struwwelpeter: Merry Stories and Funny Pictures by Heinrich Hoffmann
Johnny Crow’s Garden by L. Leslie Brooke
Johnny Crow’s Party by L. Leslie Brooke
Book About Animals by Rufus Merrill
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Androcles and the Lion by Joseph Jacobs
The Master Cat, or Puss In Boots by Charles Perrault
The Little Red Hen by Florence White Williams
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
The Slant Book by Peter Newell
The Rocket Book by Peter Newell
The Mythological Zoo by Oliver Herford
They’re almost all picture books (except for a few that are chapters from larger books) and you can find them online at Project Gutenberg if you want to look at the pictures.
Thanks for proof-listening and cataloging, Elli! :)
The Internet Archive believes that it is critical to protest and raise awareness of pending legislation in the United States: House Bill 3261, The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S.968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
Archive.org is going dark from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm PDT on Wednesday January 18 (14:00 – 02:00 GMT) to drive a message to Washington. We need your help to do this.
Legislation such as this directly affects libraries (pdf) such as the Internet Archive, which collects, preserves, and offers access to cultural materials. Furthermore, these laws can negatively affect the ecosystem of web publishing that led to the emergence of the Internet Archive.
These bills would encourage the development of blacklists to censor sites with little recourse or due process. The Internet Archive is already blacklisted in China—let’s prevent the United States from establishing its own blacklist system.
For United States residents, please take action.
For non-US residents: Sorry for dragging you into this, and if you are willing, sign a petition to the State Department to express your concern.
Here is the Congressional Switchboard Telephone Number:
Be sure you have your ten-digit zip code so the switchboard can direct your call to the correct congressperson who represents you. You can find your ten-digit zip code on any piece of junk mail that reaches your home.
Also published as “Three Men and a Maid”. The maid of the title is red-haired, dog-loving Wilhelmina “Billie” Bennet, and the three men are Bream Mortimer, a long-time friend and admirer of Billie, Eustace Hignett, a lily-livered poet who is engaged to Billie at the opening of the tale, and Sam Marlowe, Eustace’s dashing cousin, who falls for Billie at first sight. All four find themselves on an ocean liner headed for England together, along with a capable young woman called Jane Hubbard who is smitten with Eustace, and typically Wodehousian romantic shenanigans ensue.
Although in general I’ve been feeling better lately, I still haven’t really felt up to doing much recording. I was scrolling through iTunes one day and realized I have a large number of old recordings, from when Henry was little, that I might as well share with you. I’ve just uploaded my recording of “By The Great Horn Spoon!” by Sid Fleischman.
Brimming with riveting adventure, the story is set during the Gold Rush. The fast-moving plot follows the high spirited young Jack and his aunt’s faithful butler, Praiseworthy, as they set out to strike it rich in order to support the financially strapped and beloved Aunt Arabella.
It’s a lot better than that description makes it sound, I promise :) If you like it, please buy a real paper copy!
I’ve wanted to record myself reading a few picture books for a long time now, and since today is Elli’s birthday, and she loves my recordings, I asked Dan for help last night. He set up a tripod and pointed my lovely Olympus PEN E-P2 camera over my shoulder, and made sure everything looked and sounded good. And afterward he even converted the video to a reasonably-sized format that would look good on Elli’s iPad. I’ve just put it up on youtube in case anyone else wants to hear the story too. Happy birthday, Elli! :)
The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper:
I read this book 4,728,759,276 times to Henry when he was little, and of course my mom read it to me. I love the illustrations, especially the cheerful food. I don’t know if you can see the illustrations clearly enough, but all the food has happy faces, and the milk bottles are marching along while the spinach dances. I also love it that a jack-knife is included in the list of toys.
A couple of weeks ago, Elli found a cute little picture-book biography of J.S. Bach on Project Gutenberg. She showed it to me, and then we noticed that the same author, Thomas Tapper, had written a number of these little biographies, and that Gutenberg has ten of them. So I made them into a collection and recorded them all. Elli did the administrative stuff and the proof-listening. And here they are!