A Trio of Tales

Sometimes nothing beats a short dose of audio. Three recently released collections from HarperChildren's Audio just may fill the bill.

Fans of Judith Viorst's picture book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day know that things look grim when Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair. Now listeners can relive Alexander's adventures and hear other selections including Rosie and Michael and The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, all found on Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day and Other Stories and Poems by Judith Viorst, read by Blythe Danner. (One CD, one hr., $13.95 ISBN 0-06-072331-9, ages 4-up, Apr.)

On this pleasant blast from the past, the late author-illustrator Arnold Lobel narrates the CD reissue of Mouse Tales Audio Collection, featuring Lobel's books Mouse Tales and Mouse Soup. In Mouse Tales, Papa tells seven gentle bedtime stories, one for each of his seven mice. Mouse Soup finds Mouse thinking fast to avoid becoming a weasel's dinner. Lobel's playful upbeat delivery charms. (One CD, 1.5 hrs., $13.95, ISBN 0-06-074389-1 ages 4-up, Apr.)

If these dolls could talk... well, they can (sort of), on the reissued Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle, read by Cicely Tyson. Spunky Raggedy Ann takes charge of all the dolls in young Marcella's nursery and creates a series of adventures that include venturing to the pantry for a snack, rescuing Fido, the family dog, from the dogcatcher, and surviving a trip through the boiling-water washer—and a good scrubbing on the washboard. (Two CDs, three hrs., $17.95 ISBN 0-06-074482-0 ages 4-up, Apr.)