Though that may not be the most engaging title, the fact that I have started and successfully completed recording an audiobook overwhelms me with pride. You see, while narrating the wonderfully well-written middle grade novel "It All Started with a Bicycle," I felt my role as a storyteller, a storyshower, expanding. Frequently I did check with the author to ensure that my creative ideas matched what she had envisioned, but as I explored the availability of character development and vocal expression, I became very aware of the fact that my voice was building another dimension to the novel, as it would happen if the book became a play, a cartoon, or a live action movie. Please don't read this as an assertion of my role bettering the book. I strongly believe that the book can stand entirely on its own, but how interesting it is that by horizontally, vertically, diagonally building upon an already successful piece, there actually creates more room for imaginative exploration. And I believe an audiobook is the best medium for this to occur.
A friend from grad school (and, I should add, a school librarian) explained the need for audiobooks on my storytelling Facebook page recently. She said that students seeking good material to immerse themselves into will often choose an audiobook/physical book pairing because it gives them a chance to relax into a book and read with the narrator, overcoming literacy challenges by simply listening. That right there, to me, is enough of a reason to continue recording children's literature audiobooks. But unlike a movie or cartoon, an audiobook leaves room for the reader to visually fill in parts of the book that an audiobook or the printed words themselves can't fulfill. In fact, paired with an audiobook, the reader can then make more detailed visualizations of the characters, conflict, and resolution, allowing for better predictions and cause and effect.
Truthfully, I do not know everything about audiobooks, but, based off of my experience inside the recording booth and once as a child that enjoyed audiobooks herself, I believe this first project is a wonderful start to a continous journey. There is so much more to explore.
Click here to check out the audiobook through Amazon.
"What's a 'toogy?' It's Mackenzie Vanover, or at least the nickname given when she was young, and represents the distinctive and even quirky storyteller she is today. Mackenzie is delightful, funny, and by adding a little theatre and loads of joy, she wows!" -Sheila Arnold, VASA Storyteller and Historical Character Interpreter