Talking Book Topics

September-October 1998
Books for Children--Fiction

Books listed in this issue of Talking Book Topics were recently sent to cooperating libraries. The complete collection contains books by many authors on fiction and nonfiction subjects, including animals, geography, nature, mystery, sports, and others. Contact your cooperating library to learn more about the wide range of books available in the collection. Cassette books, labeled with the code RC, play at 15/16 ips. To order books, contact your cooperating library.

The Jungle Book RC 40928
by Rudyard Kipling
read by Margaret Anne Walterhouse
1 cassette (Reissue)
Seven short stories. Three present the adventures of Mowgli, a boy who is raised by a wolf pack in India and taught the laws of the jungle by a panther and a bear. Other stories include "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," "The White Seal," "Toomai of the Elephants," and "Servants of the Queen." For grades 5-8. 1894.

Bubble Trouble and Other Poems and Stories RC 40956
by Margaret Mahy
read by Marilyn Gleason
1 cassette
Rollicking collection of three poems and two stories. In the title poem, Little Mabel blows a bubble that "bobbled over Baby, and it wafted him away," over the garden, over the lane, over the shops, over the jogger, until "wicked treble Abel tripled trouble with his pebble." Runaway reptiles, a hiccuping baby, a gargling gorilla, and a springing granny have their own silly adventures. For grades 3-6. 1991.

Peace Crane RC 40978
by Sheila Hamanaka
read by Mimi Bederman
1 cassette
Poignant verse inspired by Sadako, a Japanese girl who folded one thousand paper cranes before dying from an illness caused by the bombing of Hiroshima. The crane becomes a symbol of hope to the African American girl telling the story as she wonders about street violence. But then she dreams that she flies with the Peace Crane and embraces its message of love. For grades 3-6. 1995.

Noticing Paradise RC 40990
by Ellen Wittlinger
read by June Carter
1 cassette
Sixteen-year-olds Cat Mancini and Noah Barker-Lowell meet on a cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Each has personal problems. Cat is shy and not very good with boys, and Noah is hurt and angry about his parents' upcoming divorce. In alternate chapters they tell their versions of what happens on their voyage of discovery. For grades 5-8. 1995.

Vampire Bugs: Stories Conjured from the Past RC 41000
by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
read by June Carter
1 cassette
Six short African American and Native American folk tales that incorporate historical characters and facts. The title story is a myth about the origin of lightning bugs. For grades 3-6. 1995.

Make a Wish, Molly RC 41820
by Barbara Cohen
read by Mimi Bederman
1 cassette
Molly is still adjusting to life in America when she learns about the custom of celebrating birthdays. But her first invitation to a birthday party comes during Passover, and Molly can't eat any of the beautiful cake. Embarrassed and unhappy, Molly feels left out until her own birthday produces several surprises. Sequel to Molly's Pilgrim (RC 21685). For grades 2-4 and older readers. 1994.

Christmas Spirit: Two Stories RC 42193
by Robert Westall
read by Jennifer Mendenhall
1 cassette
Set in England, these two stories tell of Christmases long ago. In "The Christmas Ghost," a young boy encounters a ghost in an elevator who warns him of impending danger in the factory where his father works. In "The Christmas Cat," an old woman tells about a childhood Christmas spent with her Uncle Simon, an Anglican priest, and his domineering housekeeper. For grades 3-6. 1992.

My Many Colored Days RC 42897
by Dr. Seuss
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
A rhyming tale in which a child describes his moods on different days. "Some days are yellow. Some are blue." The child feels different on different days, but always goes back to being himself. For preschool-grade 2 and older readers. 1996.

The Bus People RC 43529
by Rachel Anderson
read by M.E. DePalma
1 cassette
Bertram wouldn't swap places with any of the other school bus drivers even though they call his route the "fruitcake run." First we meet a girl who has Down's syndrome as she learns a heartbreaking lesson at her sister's wedding. Then there are more portraits of Bertram's special passengers: a child who uses a wheelchair, another who doesn't speak, and a boy who falls off his big sister's bike and damages his brain. For grades 5-8. 1989.

The Story of the Milky Way: A Cherokee Tale RC 43759
by Joseph Bruchac and Gayle Ross
read by Michael Kramer
1 cassette
Long ago there were not many stars in the sky. And in those days the people depended on corn for most of their food. One day an elderly couple discovers someone has stolen some cornmeal. When the villagers try to stop the thief, their actions result in many more stars to light the night. For grades K-3. 1995.

Iron John: Adapted from the Brothers Grimm RC 44081
by Eric A. Kimmel
read by John Lescault
1 cassette
Young Prince Walter is raised in the forest by a "wild man," Iron John. When Walter is grown, he leaves the forest to work as a king's gardener and falls in love with one of the servants. However, Walter keeps returning to the forest so that Iron John can provide special help in making his dream come true. For preschool-grade 2. 1994.

Madeline RC 44292
by Ludwig Bemelmans
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette (Reissue)
A story in rhyme about a little girl in a Paris boarding school who manages to have a lively time in spite of appendicitis. For grades K-3. 1939.

Madeline's Rescue RC 44293
by Ludwig Bemelmans
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette (Reissue)
Another story about little Madeline in Paris, this time being rescued from the Seine by a dog named Genevieve. Madeline and her schoolmates fight over who gets to sleep with the beloved dog. Companion to Madeline (RC 44292). For grades K-3. Caldecott Medal 1954. 1953.

Madeline and the Bad Hat RC 44294
by Ludwig Bemelmans
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette (Reissue)
The Spanish ambassador moves next door to Madeline's Paris boarding school. Instead of being a good playmate to the twelve girls, the ambassador's prankish son, Pepito, is what Madeline calls a "bad hat." Companion to Madeline (RC 44292). For grades K-3. 1956.

Strega Nona RC 44296
retold by Tomie dePaola
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette (Reissue)
In the town of Calabria, a long time ago, there lived an old lady known as Strega Nona, who owned a magic pot. One day, when Strega Nona went visiting, her helper, Big Anthony, almost destroyed the village by disobeying Strega Nona's warning not to touch the pot. For grades K-3. 1975.

Strega Nona Meets Her Match RC 44297
by Tomie dePaola
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
Nothing much has happened in the town of Calabria since Big Anthony let Strega Nona's pasta pot boil over. Then Strega Amelia comes to visit and, finding Strega Nona still doing things the old-fashioned way, decides to go into business for herself in Calabria. But she isn't prepared for Big Anthony's help. For grades K-3. 1993.

Strega Nona: Her Story RC 44298
retold by Tomie dePaola
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
It all began a long time ago, in the hills of Calabria, when a little baby was born. The minute Grandma Concetta delivered her grandchild, she named her Nona and declared she would become a strega. So Nona had to spend years learning the mysteries of herbs and the secret of the pasta pot from Grandma Concetta. For grades K-3. 1996.

Count Silvernose: A Story from Italy RC 44299
retold by Eric A. Kimmel
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
Story of a mysterious, silver-nosed man who asks an old washerwoman to send each of her three daughters to be his servant. When the two foolish younger daughters are reported to be dead, the clever eldest daughter agrees to work for the count to rescue or avenge her sisters. For grades 2-4. 1996.

The Faithful Friend RC 44324
retold by Robert D. San Souci
read by L.J. Ganser
1 cassette
Retelling of a tale from the French West Indies, in which a native boy falls in love and sets off with his best friend, a boy of French descent, to bring home his intended bride. But along the way, they encounter several weird obstacles set in place by the girl's uncle, who does not approve of the marriage. For grades 2-4. 1995.

God's Mailbox: More Stories about Stories in the Bible RC 44360
by Marc Gellman
read by John Stratton
1 cassette
Eighteen stories about the first five books of the Bible. Poses questions and spins humorous answers about the Garden of Eden, the plagues of Egypt, and the Ten Commandments. The tale of Noah introduces the concept of Rainbow People like Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, and maybe you. Sequel to Does God Have a Big Toe? (RC 32181). For grades 4-7. 1996.

When Will This Cruel War Be Over? The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson RC 44424
by Barry Denenberg
read by Annie Wauters
1 cassette
Gordonsville, Virginia, 1864. A few days before Christmas, Emma Simpson watches as her brother's body is returned home. Over the next year, Emma's diary tells how her family is affected by the war, the death of her mother, and the taking over of their home by Yankee soldiers. An epilogue follows the family up to the early 1900s. For grades 4-7. 1996.

Penrod RC 44569
by Booth Tarkington
read by Jack Fox
2 cassettes
The classic story of an eleven-year-old boy and his numerous misadventures with his dog, family, and school friends. Only his Aunt Sarah seems to understand and endure Penrod's boisterous, mischievous ways. For grades 5-8. 1914.

Under the Blood-Red Sun RC 44654
by Graham Salisbury
read by Gary Tipton
2 cassettes
Tomi is a thirteen-year-old living in Honolulu in 1941. His parents and grandfather are Japanese immigrants, and his best friend Billy is white, a haole. Much to Tomi's dismay, his grandfather persists in calling himself Japanese and even flying Japan's flag. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, soldiers accuse Tomi's family of being spies. Even Billy begins treating Tomi differently. Some strong language and some violence. For grades 5-8. 1994.

First Apple RC 44707
by Ching Yeung Russell
read by Annie Wauters
1 cassette
In the 1940s, nine-year-old Ying lives in a village in southern China with her beloved grandmother, Ah Pau. Discovering that, like herself, Ah Pau has never tasted an apple, Ying decides to get enough money together to split a piece of the expensive fruit with Ah Pau on her seventy-first birthday. For grades 3-6. 1994.

Little Bear's Friend RC 44899
by Else Holmelund Minarik
read by Suzanne Toren
1 cassette (Reissue)
Little Bear helps a girl find her way home, and they become good friends. They spend a happy summer with Owl, Duck, Hen, and Cat and are sad when the time comes for the girl to return to school. Companion to Little Bear (RC 44738). For grades K-3. 1960.

A Kiss for Little Bear RC 44900
by Else Holmelund Minarik
read by Suzanne Toren
1 cassette
Grandmother is so happy with Little Bear's picture that she sends him back a kiss. The kiss is passed from Grandmother to Hen to Cat to Little Skunk to a pretty little girl skunk, who passes it back to Skunk, before it finally gets to Little Bear, and the skunks have a lovely wedding. For preschool-grade 2. 1968.

Harry and the Lady Next Door RC 44905
by Gene Zion
read by Suzanne Toren
1 cassette
Harry, a white dog with black spots, loves all of his neighbors, except the lady next door. She sings so high and loud that it hurts Harry's ears. Harry tries many ways to get the lady to stop, but none seems to be successful. For grades K-3. 1960.

The Dare RC 44909
by R.L. Stine
read by Nona Pipes
1 cassette
Johanna Wise lives on Fear Street next door to her teacher, Mr. Northwood. Mr. Northwood seems to have it in for a group of Johanna's wealthy classmates. When she begins dating one of them, they dare her to kill their teacher. For grades 6-9. 1994.

Orson RC 44938
by Rascal
read by David Palmer
1 cassette
Orson the bear is so big he can't join the other animals in their games. One spring he wakes up from hibernating to find a little stuffed bear outside his cave. Orson isn't lonely anymore, but he wishes his new friend would come alive. For preschool-grade 2. 1995.

Harry the Dirty Dog RC 44939
by Gene Zion
read by Jack Fox
1 cassette
Harry buries his scrubbing brush and spends a glorious day getting dirty before he finally realizes that soap has its uses, after all. For preschool-grade 2. 1956.

Rooster's Off to See the World RC 44940
by Eric Carle
read by Madelyn Buzzard
1 cassette (Reissue)
In this book about counting, Rooster decides to travel, so he sets out to see the world. But before he goes very far, he gets lonely. Then Rooster spies two cats and asks them to join him. Before long, Rooster has fourteen animals with him. For grades K-3. 1972.

Aunt Isabel Makes Trouble RC 44941
by Kate Duke
read by Madelyn Buzzard
1 cassette
Aunt Isabel mouse and Penelope have been playing in the park all day, and Aunt Isabel declares it is time to go home and listen to a story. Penelope wants to help tell it. So when Aunt Isabel begins, Penelope keeps but-but-butting in to create a lot of trouble and many surprises. For grades K-3. 1996.

Harry's Pony RC 44967
by Barbara Ann Porte
read by Anne Hancock
1 cassette
Harry's entry in an essay contest wins him a pony. Unfortunately, Harry's father won't let him keep it: the neighborhood isn't zoned for horses and ponies are expensive to take care of. Now what is Harry to do? For grades K-3. 1997.

Some of My Best Friends Are Monsters RC 44969
by Bruce Coville
read by Susan Nardone
1 cassette
Stuart has been at camp for about five weeks, and many strange things have happened. Robert, his ghostly friend, continues to hover around. When Lucius Colton, the camp bully, turns into a hairy monster, Stuart begins to wonder if Robert is up to something. For grades 3-6. 1988.

Monster of the Year RC 44974
by Bruce Coville
read by Susan Nardone
1 cassette
Mike McGraw's mother owns a billboard advertising company. One summer when Mike and his best friend, Kevver, are bored, she allows them to work for her. When they come up with an idea for using an empty billboard to advertise a "Monster of the Year" contest, they are completely shocked by the results. For grades 4-7. 1989.

The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express RC 44975
by Andrew Glass
read by Lindsay Ellison
1 cassette
Thirteen-year-old Will Cody joins the Pony Express with the hope of some time delivering mail on horseback. Although hired as a stablehand, young Will unexpectedly gets the chance one cold November day in 1860 to make a very important mail run. For grades K-3. 1996.


Next section of Talking Book Topics | Previous section of Talking Book Topics | Talking Book Topics Home Page


Go to the NLS Home Page