Paying Tribute

This bright recording of the late Paula Danziger's funny and empowering tale of misfit Marcy Lewis's early-teen traumas marks the 30th anniversary of The Cat Ate My Gymsuit's publication. Young Caitlin Brodnick (helped by a group of upbeat players) skillfully captures Marcy's roller-coaster of feelings and emerging sense of self-esteem. As a poignant extra, the afterword recorded by Danziger was one of the author's last pieces of work before her death last July. In it, she discusses her inspiration for writing the book that has become a YA classic. (Full Cast Audio, unabridged, three CDs, 2.75 hrs., $28 ISBN 1-932076-56-5, ages 10-14, Dec. 2004)

Twinkle Toes

Noel Streatfeild's beloved "shoes" series about children following their "gotta dance" dreams comes to audio for the first time with adaptations of Ballet Shoes and Dancing Shoes, read by Elizabeth Sastre. Sastre's pleasant British-accented delivery is perky in the right places and sprinkled with inspiration and determination. All told, these productions are bound to please aspiring hoofers and their encouraging supporters. (Listening Library/Imagination Studio, each, unabridged, four cassettes, six hrs., $26 ISBN 1-4000-9139-X; 1-4000-9884-X, ages 8-up, Jan.)