Classics Corner

Noted storytellers Bill Harley, Carol Birch and Angela Lloyd join forces with Grammy-winning musician David Holt for the sunny Sandburg Out Loud: A Selection of Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories, Poetry and Folksongs Collected in The American Songbag. On several selections, the storytellers alternate or share lines or passages; on others they perform solo. This lively mix of 15 spoken-word and seven musical tracks includes "The White Horse Girl and the Blue Wind Boy," "The Two Skyscrapers Who Decided to Have a Child" and the tunes "Chicken Reel," "Liza Jane" and "Red River Valley," which feature Holt's fine guitar, banjo and harmonica playing. The release coincides with the 75th anniversary this year of The American Songbag. (August House [800-284-8784], CD $16.95, cassette $12, all ages ISBN 0-87483-676-X; -677-8; Dec.)

Mark Twain, long revered for his ability to spin a yarn, would likely give approval to storyteller Jim Weiss's (see The Queen's Pirate, above) vibrant interpretation of The Prince and the Pauper. The novel also makes a rich audio theater adaptation in Monterey SoundWorks's dramatization featuring the St. Charles Players. Via both these engaging listening experiences, children will meet all the key players in the famous trading-places tale, and may one day be inspired to explore Twain's original. (Greathall Productions [800-477-6234], CD $14.95, cassette $10.95, ages 5-up ISBN 1-882513-79-7; -54-1; Oct.; Monterey SoundWorks [800-424-2593], two cassettes, 1.5 hours, $16.95, ages 9-up ISBN 1-56994-537-3; Oct.)

Further extending its classics repertoire, the St. Charles Players troupe brings spunky orphan Anne Shirley to vivid life in its rendition of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. (Monterey SoundWorks [800-424-2593], two cassettes, 1.5 hours, $16.95, ages 9-up ISBN 1-56994-533-0; Oct.)

From CD to Shining CD

Woody Guthrie's folk song "This Land Is Your Land" remains a staple in America's patriotic sing-along canon. Two new audio recordings pay Guthrie and his tune credit. Little, Brown has reissued the picture book This Land Is Your Land, illus. by Kathy Jakobsen, featuring a tribute by Pete Seeger with a CD recording of the title tune as well as eight other Guthrie songs performed by father and son Arlo Guthrie. (Little, Brown, hardcover book and CD, $19.95, all ages ISBN 0-316-06564-1; Sept.)

Music for Little People aims to encourage tolerance and respect with This Land Is Your Land: Songs of Unity. The recording contains poetry by Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, narration by Danny Glover and fellow actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, and Guthrie's folk song performed by a cast of musical artists including John McCutcheon, Tom Paxton and Willie Nelson. Among the other songs are Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer," performed by various artists, Sylvester Stewart's "Everyday People" performed by Taj Mahal, Emma Jean Fiege and the Cultural Heritage Choir, and "Like Me and You" by Raffi. A portion of the proceeds from the CD will benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Teaching Tolerance" program. (MFLP [800-346-4445], CD $15.98, cassette $9.98, all ages, Oct.)

Great Brains Sound Alike

Listeners can almost hear a smile in actor Ron McClarty's voice as he reads the humorous misadventures of 10-year-old Tom D. Fitzgerald (aka the Great Brain) and his younger brother J.D. John D. Fitzgerald's popular novels about the boys and their schemes, set in Utah around 100 years ago, shine on audio as funny and fresh family entertainment. Listening Library recently rolled out audiobook versions of the first two of Fitzgerald's eight books, The Great Brain and More Adventures of the Great Brain. (Listening Library, unabridged, each, three cassettes, four hours, $25, ages 8-up ISBN 0-8072-0734-9; -0745-4; July)