The Mason Jar: Audiobooks

I was recently a guest on Cindy Rollins’ podcast, The Mason Jar. Don’t miss this episode in which Cindy and I chat about the founding of Blue Sky Daisies, the impact audio books have made on my kids, and some ideas about preparing young kids for enjoying the Great Books when they are older.

If you have listened to our conversation, you might be interested finding some of the audiobooks we mentioned.

Charlotte’s Web, read by E. B. White himself, is a very charming. I love White’s introduction: “This is a story of the barn. I wrote it for children and to amuse myself…”

The Penderwicks and all the sequels are huge favorites with my daughters (and Tina’s as well!), but one of my sons has enjoyed it, too. When your kids tell you one day, “Mom, do you know how to say, ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire!’ in Latin? It’s ‘Mendax, mendax, bracae tuae conflagrant!'” And then, “They say that on The Penderwicks on Gardam Street,” what’s not to love?

All-of-a-Kind Family and the sequels are books that the kids love to listen to repeatedly, especially my ten-year-old son. (He loves Lord of the Rings, Percy Jackson books, Harry Potter, and other more stereotypical “boy” books, but All-of-a-Kind Family is still one he plays repeatedly.) In the podcast, I told how this book series gave my daughters some background to their visit to a Hebrew tabernacle in New York City.

The poetic justice in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is hilarious! Veruca is a spoiled child, and her parents do not escape punishment for their part in her spoiling.

‘Veruca Salt, the little brute,
Has just gone down the garbage chute,
(And as we very rightly thought
That in a case like this we ought
To see the thing completely through,
We’ve polished off her parents, too.)
Down goes Veruca! Down the drain!

The book really is better than the movie, so don’t miss it. This collection read by the author seems like a good deal for the price–

–but this one below, read by Eric Idle, is the one my kids have grown up hearing and loving.

And John Erickson’s Hank the Cowdog books are pure fun. Just last night in our dinner conversation, something came up and two of the kids said, “Hey, reminds me of the root stimulator in Hank!”

Farmer Boy is one that I started playing for my sons when they were three. They grew up to the sound of Cherry Jones reading about Almanzo’s childhood in New York. They especially like the chapters, “Filling the Ice-House” and “The Strange Dog.”


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4 thoughts on “The Mason Jar: Audiobooks

  1. Amy, Thank you for this interview. I had never heard of Blue Sky Daisies and am excited to see what it offers. I have two questions on Mother Tongue. What grade level would you say this is appropriate for and how do you break down the lessons?

    1. Hi April! We’re glad you have found us! The Mother Tongue is best for middle school and high school kids, and I would vary the pace depending on the student. Or, like Cindy Rollins did in her Morning Times, you could do a little at a time together orally (which could include a broader range of ages).

      In the front matter of The Mother Tongue: Adapted for Modern Students we have included lesson plan suggestions for three different paces: completing the book in one year, two years, and three years.

    1. Yes, Mother Tongue I preceded Mother Tongue II. Book I is a book aimed at younger children and includes copywork, reading assignments, poetry, and more basic skills, such as writing a letter.

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