Aug 12, 2011

Cosmic Skellig Carol


Living books, classic books, talking books...

"Greatest effect you can have on your child's life is in reading aloud quality books"
"15 minutes a day will change your child's educational path"
"Increase your child's intelligence, and get them to do the washing up, no more untidy rooms, all with the power of the book..."

Okay, I made the last one up, but there are a lot of experts out there stating the very obvious - reading is good, reading aloud is even better, and make it a good book and it really will work.

As eclectic home schoolers using a little bit of Charlotte Mason, a little bit of Classical, books are the bees knees. But sometimes you are just too tired to read, or you are in the car, or you aren't interested in the same book as your child (heaven forbid! it happens ; )).

Best in show
Here are our top 3 talking books - also known as books on tape, audio books, unabridged recordings, and a wonderful break for a parent's voice! We get them from our local library.

The theme for this top 3 is

  • entertainment with a twist
  • positive spins on homeschooling and/or gifted
  • and just the enjoyment of listening to stories where good people and quirky wins the day.

Frank Cottrell Boyce - Cosmic
Liam Digby is normal-ish (well, he is in the "gifted and talented" group at school) but extraordinarily tall and with facial hair. He is 12 but everyone thinks he is an adult...but really he is a kid with a penchant for fast gravity-defying rides. This is the story of how he ends up orbiting Earth, lost with the first kids in space.

David Almond - Skellig
In this recording, read by the author, the book is especially tender, beautiful, and haunting. There was something wonderful knowing that the Geordie accent you are listening to is the same voice that tried out the prose, sounding and testing words from the beginning of the creation of the book.

Michael is a boy whose family is in turmoil with a tiny baby sister who is unwell. They have moved to a run-down house far from their old neighbourhood, trying to make a new happy life. In the overgrown garden is a derelict garage, full of discarded junk and...well, an incredible being also run-down, derelict.

Enter Mina, the sparky home schooled girl who lives next door. She knows her own mind, quotes poetry, is compassionate and cares for Michael. And Skellig...

The film version of this book is also wondrous.

Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol - read by Miriam Margolyes
Yes, Dickens. But unlike any Dickens we have ever heard before...

Miriam Margolyes is so utterly convincing in every character in this old chestnut. The raspy Scrooge, the piping voice of poor Tiny Tim; resonant and deep one moment and all colours in between.

This recording makes Dickens accessible and intriguing - just shows the power of a good story well told.

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