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Children's Audio: Stories, Music, & Poems
Welcome to Shoofly!
Shoofly: An Audio magazine for Children is a unique children's audio publication designed to delight kids ages 3 to 7. Each issue (45 to 60 min in length) is a fun-filled, engaging collection of children's music, stories, storytelling, and poetry. Issues can be purchased as CDs or MP3 downloads
Explore each issue below - listen to and enjoy highlighted stories, poems, and songs.
If you prefer to see the thumbnails icon page, click here.
Shoofly: An Audiomagazine for Children: Stories, Music, & Poetry
V O L U M E -1
Volume 1, Number 1 While “Summer pops like a green balloon,” in Barbara Crooker’s poem “Surprise,” musical performers Uncle John & Mikey narrate another balloon contretemps in their song “Hardley, A Clown in the Sky.” Gail Picado’s story, “I Want and Buy Me” tells the tale of two sisters who use those expressions so often that people have forgotten their real names; and writer Erica Orloff introduces us to Russian snow fairies and an irascible czar in “Princess Alexandra and the Morning Frost.”
Volume 1, Number 2
Who ever heard of a pirate having a Fairy Godmother? Or a snaggle-tooth witch who yearns to go trick-or-treating with the neighborhood kids? Who’s hiding in the Joshua tree at night? And just what is that creeping up the staircase? There’s more than a hint of Halloween in this fun-filled issue, which also includes two longer stories. When you’re wearing “The Magic Green Goggles” you not only see underwater, but you can hear and speak with the fish as well — and they, we discover, are very concerned about pollution in our oceans. Then author Barbara Sheen takes us along with “The Traveling Animal Mariachi Singers” as they journey toward Mexico to fulfill their dreams in this clever retelling of the Bremen Town Musicians.
Volume 1, Number 3
Ella the Elephant loves to look good! And she especially loves “big, flashy earrings.” Find out what happens to Ella when she chooses a pair of glass chandeliers as the perfect wardrobe accessory in this comical narrative poem by Phil Siegel. Then follow the long journey of an evergreen tree through the holiday season — from the tree’s point of view! — in E.M. McMahon’s beautiful story, “Evergreen.” New songs by Willa Brigham and Uncle John & Mikey, as well as more poems and lyrics, lead up to David Hope’s light-hearted adventure, “The Christmas Bicycle,” in which Max (the youngest Magi) discovers that his journey is not measured by when he arrives, but rather by how he relates to others he meets on the road.
Volume 1, Number 4
Do you know Grummel? And do you know what grummeling is all about? Well, you will after listening to this issue. This puckish pup (Grummel) and all his animal friends are introduced in three vignettes by author Angela Consolo Mankiewicz. Meanwhile, poet Fay Robinson explains why centipedes don’t wear shoes, and Kirby Congdon describes the ethereal voyage of our very own sun. Among the four new songs featured on this issue, Tommy Hartley and Sherman Tate (who sing the “Shoofly” theme on each issue) perform “The World Is Filled with Black and White.” And no one ever told Princess Lucinda that it would be easy for her to marry Jonford the Gardener (even though they are madly in love), but wait till you hear what her father, the King, proposes in Jerry Siders' fairytale, “A Flower for Lucinda.”
V O L U M E -2
Volume 2, Number 1
It’s an introduction to the blues — Piedmont style blues — as blues artist Lightnin’ Wells sits in as our guest musician. Lightnin’ performs such classics as “John Henry” and “Ain’t Gonna Rain No More,” as well as two more guaranteed toetappers — “Jump Little Children” and “The Old Familiar Tune.” Meanwhile, poet Hazel Morrow takes us all along for a fun ride in “I Want to Drive a Dump Truck,” and Dava Jo Walker illustrates the pitfalls of an overactive imagination in her poem “Just Counting Sheep.” “The Grummel Stories” by Angela Consolo Mankiewicz continues. And “The Magnificent Wizards” by Charles Schaeffer and Art Cosing follows the mischievous antics of two overly competitive sorcerers.
Volume 2, Number 2
Poet Holly Davis tells us about a boy named Jason who’s afraid of just about everything — in fact, he finds a certain upright vacuum cleaner particularly “roar-acious.” Michael Shorb introduces us to his cat, Tiger Stripe, who takes imaginary trips around the world while no one’s looking; and Joelle Anthony describes a royal basketball game that lasted nine years, nine months, nine hours…well, a long time. Shoofly is also very proud to feature Guest Singer/Songwriter Lui Collins who performs “Storyteller,” “Bearline,” “Joyful Noise,” and “Sedna.” And we include our last installment of “The Grummel Stories” by Angela Consolo Mankiewicz.
Volume 2, Number 3
Nationally acclaimed storyteller Jim Weiss weaves some magic of his own as he treats Shoofly listeners to four marvelous tales, including “The Shoemaker and the Elves.” Lightning strikes, dew sparkles, and hail crashes as poet Gene Fehler’s dramatic quatrains “All Kinds of Weather” thread their way through this lively issue. Musical highlights include sea chanties performed with a flare by singer and multi-instrumentalist David DiGiuseppe, as well as new tunes by Lightnin’ Wells and Uncle John & Mikey.
Volume 2, Number 4
Edith Tarbescu introduces us to the eccentric characters of a small Hungarian village in “The Promise,” who manage to liberate a waggish boy’s tongue from a frozen iron gate. Then venture with Pib the Hippo as he searches for a new home amid a harsh and sometimes scary environment. You’ll find this issue packed with fun new poems as well. And we are very excited to feature the musical talents of singer-songwriter Anna Moo!
V O L U M E - 3
Volume 3, Number 1
Music and entertainment critics agree that “Red Grammer is one of the best voices singing for children today.” Red joins us in this issue to share four terrific original tunes! In addition to Red Grammer, this issue features a wonderful series of five baseball poems from a new collection by Gene Fehler. These poems perfectly capture the atmosphere of the game for small players — from the power of being a pitcher; to nervous, superstitious rituals before swinging the bat; to silly ballpark humor. Other audio delights on this Shoofly issue include a singing crocodile, a leaky hose, an altruistic fir tree, and a magical Native American dreamcatcher.
Volume 3, Number 2
L. Flynn wants to become an apprentice leprechaun, but for some reason his magic just doesn’t work. Find out why in Donna Lee Houle’s amusing yarn of leprechauns, magic, and positive thinking! Guest performer David DiGiuseppe returns to Shoofly with his own very rich renditions of “Michael Finnegan” and “Rattlin’ Bog.” And the poetry’s absolutely buzzing with images of dragonflies, centipedes, summer days — and one particularly disgruntled fly! All leading up to Lois Grambling’s offbeat tale of a petulant young princess and Griselda, The Out-Of-Practice Witch.
Volume 3, Number 3
What if you were blowing a bubble and…well, things just started getting out of hand? That’s exactly what happens in poet Marilyn Helmer’s comedic saga “Bubble Trouble.” Anna Lee Webb’s story, “Good-bye, June Bug,” paints a picture of warm summer evenings, childhood reminiscences, charming eccentricity, and pet insects. Other stories include Treva Jenkins’ “Why Dragons Don’t Like to Eat Their Dinner in the Dark,” and a new fable by Mercedes Lawry entitled “The Princess Who Loved Baths.” This issue also offers more of Gene Fehler’s “All Kinds of Weather” quatrains, and includes four original songs from the very talented singer/songwriter Katherine Dines.
Volume 3, Number 4
Highlights include Grace Reilly Tierney’s comic morality tale of a jewelry store robbery and a boastful beaver (“Benny and the Bag of Gold Chains: A Fable”); Kelly Cunane’s “Tea in Africa” (a warm, meandering story of an American girl’s experiences one afternoon in a village in Kenya [a Swahili/English glossary is provided for parents and teachers]); and Lisa Cowman’s retelling of “Anansi and the Turtle” (in which the famous spider tries to trick his slow-paced friend out of a meal). We welcome back one of our favorite musical groups, Uncle John & Mikey, who perform five very unique tunes, including the hygiene anthem “Don’t Put Your Finger in Your Nose.”
V O L U M E - 4
Volume 4, Number 1
Highlights include Ellen Newmark’s “Helga, The Green Gargoyle” (a hilarious narrative poem about one charming Gothic curiosity’s quest for Beauty); Jan Ritter’s “Nakhio’s Choice” (the story of a young Anaszi boy who learns to overcome both a physical disability and a daunting fear when a crisis confronts him); and “A Different Thanksgiving” by Merrily Kutner and Crystal Mandell (in this tale Turkey and his barnyard friends concoct an elaborate masquerade in order to survive the holiday). We also welcome back one of our favorite musical guests, Piedmont bluesman Lightnin’ Wells, who performs five songs, including “I’m My Own Grandpa.”
Volume 4, Number 2
Literary highlights of this issue include poet Jill Hawkins’ “Frog’s the Name” and “Toad’s Retort,” companion poems re-examining the age-old debate over the relative ranking of these tailless, leaping amphibians. Paul Riordan’s “The King of Athabar” is a grand adventure that carries us along with Christopher through the mysterious tunnels below the city of Athabar as he tries desperately to save his younger brother. Kathryn Winograd’s story “When Winter Comes” introduces us to Little Goose, who has been left behind this winter and must discover her own place in the world. The Bugaboos (Gerard McHugh and Melanie Hammet) are our featured musical guests, whose tunes explore the themes of nature, the environment, and the proper method in which to converse with a gorilla.
Volume 4, Number 3
For those who relish good music and eat up fun…The Dinner Dogs, from Rochester, NY, are just the tasty treat you’ve been waiting for. Literary highlights include Addie Adam’s “The Night Trotter” (a mystical poem putting young listeners on the back of a black stallion for a wild ride through a powerful midnight storm); Joyce Sidman’s “Guwol and the King of Fish” (a retelling of a Yap Island folktale in which Guwol, in order to retrieve his father’s prized fish hook, must confront the Fish King in his underwater kingdom); and “The White Rose” by Katherine Rollins (a story in which Princess Marta puts aside petty envy and befriends a neighboring princess).
Volume 4, Number 4
From the village of Chelm (“located somewhere in the Jewish imagination") to the Wild West via “The Ballad of Tiny the Turnip,” this issue takes listeners on a trip like no other, as we are privileged to highlight Guest Artist, Joel ben Izzy, Traveling Storyteller, from Berkeley, CA. Joel’s stories come from faraway places, yet his casual style makes these stories and characters seem like old friends. Each tale, whether it be about the simple people of Chelm, a conniving Irish King outsmarted by his storyteller, or Solomon the Wise who saves a poor beggar woman from ruin, is enchanting. If the storylines aren’t captivating enough, ben Izzy’s subtle humor is irresistible. The entire family will be hanging onto every word.
V O L U M E - 5
Volume 5, Number 1
Our featured musical guests are New England troubadours Rick McKinnney and The Parallel String Band, who blend Robert Louis Stevenson’s poems from A Child’s Garden of Verse with traditional acoustic accompaniment including guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and bass. The result is truly exceptional. Stories include Tara Masih’s “Raj and His Magic Elephant Bean,” the tale of a young boy’s magical journey to India and the grandparents he has never met. Mercedes Lawry returns with her story “Gone Fishing” and author Cynthia Jones introduces us to a young prince on his quest for the most precious treasure in the world, which he discovers is friendship. This issue is also peppered with some really fun poems!
Volume 5, Number 2
The inimitable storyteller Jim Weiss returns to Shoofly, recounting four classic tales in his own uniquely engaging style. Jim treats us to “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “Stone Soup,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and the Native American folktale, “A Guest Who Ran.” And along with some terrific original poems by Jennifer Jesseph and Kris Aro McLeod, among others, Shoofly sound engineer and Blues maestro Randy Friel lays down the boogie with such original tunes as “Dogs Don’t Like to Wear Hats” and “Barnyard Boogie.”
Volume 5, Number 3
Sure, we’re all familiar with the dubious classic ballad “One Meatball,” but in this issue we present the only known recorded version of its musical antecedent, the infamous “One Fishball” (or simply, “Fishball,” as we like to call it). Chris Frank (a member of the Red Clay Ramblers band since 1987, and Broadway and film veteran) uncovers this musical artifact, dusts it off, and serves up a strangely appetizing dish that will have all the kids dancing around the dinner table.