For the last week, due to a camp mix-up, a friend of my son’s has been spending every day with us. The two boys have gone on adventures, explored a tree house, built a fort, made huge messes and just general played. The only wrinkle in their time spent together was that my son loves listening to audio books during lunch. He was terribly excited to share his favorite books with his friend and asked to start with Barbara and James Howe’s BUNNICULA.
“I don’t understand,” his friend said ten minutes in. He’s a very bright boy who reads well so I wasn’t sure what was going on. I tried to explain the story as they went along but sensed him getting more frustrated. So we turned off the story and went swimming.
As the week progressed we tried various books but he kept saying her didn’t understand. Explanations didn’t help. Finally he asked “Do you have anything spooky?” I couldn’t think of anything in particular that was appropriate for children until I remembered Bruce Coville’s short story, BISCUITS OF GLORY.
He loved it and not once did he say he didn’t understand. When I was later talking to my sister, a teacher, I asked her what she thought.
“Does it have one narrator or different voices?” she asked. “Different voices,” I said, since it was done by a group called Full Cast Audio. She assured me that when children first heard audio books it helped for them to be able to differentiate characters easily.
I looked over our other audio books and found a whole series of Bruce’s books done by the Full Cast Audio people. Within in moments of starting the first one, THE DRAGON OF DOOM: MOONGOBBLE AND ME, I knew my sister had been right. Both boys, who were so tired from a morning of adventuring that though they were hungry they were too cranky to eat, settled down and ate their lunches.
Each day they have eaten their lunches and listened to a new MOONGOBBLER book (they take about an hour). And as soon as the book is done my son’s friend asks anxiously if there will be another tomorrow.
We got him!