Andy’s Wild Amphibian Show!
Spring 2016 Storytelling
Ages: 4 – 10 yrs.
Producer: Andy Offutt Irwin Storyteller
CD Price: $15.00
Until now, noted storyteller, singer, musician, and master whistler Andy Offutt Irwin hadn’t turned his talents to a children’s CD, despite his many years of work in schools and libraries. Here’s hoping the first won’t be his last. With zany sound effects, colorful character voices, and deftly integrated educational snippets, Georgia-based Irwin, 53, spins two tales that are mined, he says, from his “free-range, bicycle childhood” during “the before time,” when “the telephone was tied to the kitchen wall” and Tonka Trucks were “made out of a material called metal.” Performing live, Irwin warms up his giggling audience with the first track, “I Have a Loose Tooth,” and then launches into the title story involving aquarium envy, a bucket full of tadpoles, the training of bullfrogs, sister trouble, and a brother’s revenge. Without breaking humorous stride, Irwin acknowledges kids as worthy of respect, integrates life lessons, and chaffs the adults in the audience. Irwin rounds out the CD with a lovely, life-affirming lullaby, “The Light Went Away,” and the jaunty “I Love to Whistle” (harmonies and yodeling by veteran folk and children’s music duo Cathy Fink, who is also one of the album’s producers, and Marcy Marxer).
Lynne Heffley ©2016 Parents’ Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.
ANDY’S WILD AMPHIBIAN SHOW!
by Andy Offutt Irwin |
Read by Andy Offutt Irwin
Storytelling • 1 hr. • Unabridged • © 2015
Storyteller Andy Offut Irwin’s performance for listeners of all ages begins and ends with songs and is packed with stories of his childhood, jokes, and wordplay. As narrator, Irwin is charismatic and engaging, his voice full of expression, which he enhances with an array of impressions and self-generated sound effects. Listeners will find themselves instantly drawn in, grinning and laughing along. The performance is recorded before a live audience, and their genuine bursts of laughter add to the humor and make Irwin and his stories about things like catching tadpoles and terrorizing his sister sound all the more real. Families will enjoy listening to this again and again. A.F. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2015]source:
ANDY’S WILD AMPHIBIAN SHOW!
ANDY’S WILD AMPHIBIAN SHOW! is a tale of the last day of summer vacation, complete with tadpoles, ridiculous parental questions, a five-gallon pickle jar and a kitty cat named “Bootsie”. Think Sea World, but with free-range frogs. Other tales talk about the Tooth Fairy, a bubblegum disaster and some very clever math. Andy’s soft side shows with the beautiful sing-along, “The Light Went Away”. The recording ends with Andy’s superlative whistling on a Fats Waller song paired with Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer’s twin yodeling.
source: NewSound Kids enewsletter
Andy’s Wild Amphibian Show! – Andy Offutt Irwin
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.