Book Ears


We listened to a book on the way to school today.  We have been doing this with the girls since they were all very little and we love it.  I remember the days in which we would visit our local and wonderful library and load up with cassette tapes (and later, CDs) whenever we were starting a long car trip or just needing something to get their minds off of what was expected to be a difficult day (and sometimes a week) at school.

Today it was with my 14 year-old and our selection was the first couple of chapters in C.S. Lewis’ classic, The Screwtape Letters.  If you haven’t yet read this one, it is a fascinating what-if story and this particular audio version stars Andy Serkis, who has played Gollum so well through The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit epics at the movie theater.  He is masterful in this book role, as well.

Looking back, we have listened to such books as Chocolate Fever, Bud Not Buddy, Love Ruby Lavender, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Junie B. Jones, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Holes, Because of Winn Dixie, A Cricket in Times Square, Charlotte’s Web, The War of the Worlds, and Superfudge.

As the girls moved through a school year, it was so often settling to them on the drive to school to listen to these whimsical and often very funny stories read so well to them.  Many included sound effects and cast members, just like an old radio drama.  Others were a single voice using incredible talent in dialogue and character to bring the words of these wonderful authors to life right inside our car.

Books work their magic as few other things in life are able to do.  Whether by turning the page or turning up the volume, they linger somewhere inside us and they are ours.

P.S. Speaking of audiobooks, I ran across this ad campaign from a couple of years ago that was done by Penguin for classics such as Julia’s favorite, The Wizard of Oz.  There a few more to see when you click on the picture below:


‘A Car Full of Jokes’ – Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico


*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here.  Enjoy!

Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn and…staying up past midnight (12:03 to be exact) to celebrate the new year (he was asleep at 12:05 to be exact)!  Here is his story:

The Frederico family piled into the car for the two-hour road trip that would end in an exciting exploration of the old family farm. Baby Frederico always loved this adventure, but he did not always enjoy the long and boring ride it took to get there!

And then he saw a field covered in large, round hay bales and said, out of the blue, “I have a joke. What did one hay bale say to the other hay bale?”

Baby Frederico’s family made several guesses, but they were all wrong. Baby Frederico smiled as he replied, “They say, ‘hey!’ ”

Everyone laughed and commented on his fine creativity in joke-telling, and that gave Baby Frederico all the push he needed to come up with a whole list of new jokes! They included,

Q:  Why did the hay bale cross the road?

A:  To get to the other side, of course!

Q:  What does a hay bale have when he is sick?

A:  Hay Fever!

Q:  What is a cow’s favorite song?


Q:  What did one car say to the other car?

A:  I don’t know, his voice was muffled!

Q:  What did one car say to the other car?

A:  I’m exhausted!

Q:  What did one car say to the other car?
A:  I feel gassy!

Baby Frederico’s friend Rob Robin was on the trip with the family this particular day and quickly joined in on the fun with the best jokes yet:

Q:  What do you get when you cross a pig with a centipede?

A:  Bacon and Legs

Q:  What is the BEST thing about meeting a venomous snake?

A:  His poison-ality!

Q:  What was the number one dessert in 1776?

A:  Yankee Doodle Candy!

The jokes continued off and on throughout the trip and before Baby Frederico and his buddy Rob Robin knew it, they were at their destination.  From that day forward, a new tradition of joke-telling and laughing was born in the greatest JokeFest Car Trip of the new year!

Happy New Year everyone!