Artist: Andy Offutt Irwin
Album: Andy's Wild Amphibian Show!
Age Range: 5 through 10
Review: With a blurb from king of the kindie storytellers Bill Harley (and a figurative push from longtime occasional touring partner Cathy Fink), this was a pretty safe bet when I put the CD in and hit "play." Sure enough, the first kids CD from the Georgia-based storyteller hits the same pleasant storyteller notes as Harley -- the feeling that childhood is every bit as adventurous as adulthood, empowerment in small bites, and, of course, the occasional silly voice. Most of the album is taken up by two stories told in front of a live audience, "I Have a Loose Tooth" and the title track. It also features a live recording of the sweet sing-along lullaby (not an oxymoron) "The Light Went Away" and a studio rendition of "I Love To Whistle," which features Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. (Did I mention that Irwin's a whistler? He's a really good whistler.)
Unlike Bill Harley's tales, in which many of them I've often felt a bit of wistfulness, these stories stick to a more triumphant tone. Which is also fine. Just a bit different. Irwin is just as engaging with the kids, regardless of whether it's through the occasional encouragement to repeat a loooong vocabulary word or just through his silly voices or compelling narrative. Worth a spin if you're looking to expand your family's storytelling collection. Recommended.
Note: I was provided a copy of this album for possible review.