Synopses & Reviews
Run run run.
That's what twelve-year-old Annie loves to do. When she's barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating...
It's a rhythm that makes sense in a year when everything's shifting: Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is forgetful, and her best friend, Max, is always moody. Everything is changing, just like the apple Annie's been assigned to draw a hundred times.
Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech masterfully weaves this story about a young girl beginning to understand the many rhythms of life and how she fits within them.
"Seigfried's youthful, bright (but not overly chipper) voice proves a good vehicle for interpreting Creech's latest, a novel-in-poems about the swirl of momentous change that moves through 12-year-old Annie's life. An introspective artist and talented athlete who loves to run barefoot through the countryside, Annie truly embraces her free spirit. But the big picture of Annie's place in the world takes on complexity as Annie's mother becomes pregnant, her best friend Max urges her to conform and join the track team and her grandfather becomes increasingly forgetful. Through it all, Annie discovers ways to view things from new perspectives and follow her grandfather's advice to 'stick to your guns.' The result is a wholly satisfying emotional journey. Listeners will enjoy keeping pace with Creech's well-drawn Annie as Seigfried's effective narration makes her character even more memorable. Ages 8-up. FYI: Simultaneous Harper/Joanna Cotler hardcover. Storyteller Binder shines in this collection that contains favorite folktales and a handful of originals. Armed with a soothing voice and a gift for humor both broad and subtle Binder captivates with his versions of 'Jack and the Beanstalk,' featuring an enterprising and ever-enthusiastic Jack and incredulous Mama, and 'The Three Little Pigs,' starring a pizza-delivery Wolf and three overly confident porkers. On a more modern note, exasperated parents and picky-eater kids will have a good laugh at 'The Little Boy Who Hated Pizza,' in which Binder embellishes a gustatory experience with his son Max. Budding paleontologists may well have their funny bones tickled by the brief tale 'The Dinosaur and the Bone,' about a not-so-bright T-Rex named Billy. And the recording closes on a fitting and funny note with 'The Shaggy Dog's Bedtime Story,' about a daddy shaggy dog trying to reason with his wide-awake pup at bedtime. Ages 4-8. . (800-204-1598), CD $14.99Children's performer Rex (aka T-Rex, of course) makes his recording debut with a group of earnest, upbeat tunes designed to encourage imaginative play and the joys of reading. The title track expresses Rex's support for limiting children's television viewing with the refrain 'Television, Television can you dance?/ Television, Television can't wear pants/ Television, Television dumb as rocks,/ Your brain's way better than a big, glowing box.' And in what may be a record-setting number of book titles used in a song, 'Reading Books' covers much ground: 'Now important On the Road is a Breakfast of Champions,/Drink Frecklejuice, Eat Superfudge and of course Green Eggs and Ham.' Moving to the other side of the brain, 'The Scientific Method' enumerates step-by-step, well, the scientific method. Rex's folk-rock flavored vocals and acoustic guitar playing, paired with occasional back-up from child singers, make for a welcoming sound. And those who want more biographical information need only listen to the track 'Thaddeus Rex's Story.' Ages 4-11. Daddy a Go Go (aka singer/songwriter/musician/dad John Boydston) plugs in his amp once again with this rockin' follow-up to Big Rock Rooster. In traditional rock style, guitar, bass and drums lead the way here, serving as the foundation for Boydston's energetic, humorous lyrics. 'Of Mice and Mensch' captures good kids singing the praises of their upstanding behavior: 'We never pick our nose/and we'll never make a burp,/When we finish our sodas/you'll never hear us slurp./....Are we not mensch?' Harmonica appropriately distinguishes 'Scaredy Cat Cowboy Parts 1 and 2,' about a cowpoke afraid of cats, horses, new clothes, spurs, the Bee Gees and the fat lady who sings at the opera, among many other things. A cover version of 'Snoopy vs. the Red Baron' and an instrumental 'Linus and Lucy' provide a blast from the past for listeners of a certain age and a fresh look at Peanuts characters for kids. Consistently catchy songs and a feel-good beat that just won't quit make this a great choice for bopping around town or a family air-guitar jam session. Ages 5-10." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Known for writing with a classic voice and unique style, Sharon Creech is the best-selling author of the Newbery Medal winnerWalk Two Moons
, and the Newbery Honor BookThe Wanderer
. She is also the first American in history to be awarded the CILIP Carnegie Medal forRuby Holler
. Her other works include the novelsLove That Dog
, Absolutely Normal Chaos
, Chasing Redbird
, and Pleasing the Ghost
, and two picture books: A Fine, Fine School
and Fishing in the Air
. These stories are often centered around life, love, and relationships -- especially family relationships. Ms. Creech's first novel for children,Absolutely Normal Chaos
, was based on her own "rowdy and noisy" family. Growing up in a big family in Cleveland, Ohio, helped Ms. Creech learn to tell stories that wouldn't be forgotten in all of the commotion: "I learned to exaggerate and embellish, because if you didn't, your story was drowned out by someone else's more exciting one."
With a knack for storytelling and love of reading, a young Ms. Creech aspired to become a novelist: "To be able to create other worlds, to be able to explore mystery and myth -- I couldn't imagine a better way to live. . .except perhaps to be a teacher, because teachers got to handle books all day long." In college, Ms. Creech took her first writing courses and attended writing workshops. This renewed her enthusiasm for becoming a novelist. Following her studies in college and graduate school, Ms. Creech worked as an editorial assistant before deciding to become a teacher overseas. Now, after spending eighteen years teaching and writing in Europe, she and her husband have returned to the United States to live.