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The Odyssey Award
Team Live Oak Media
A Word From the Odyssey Chair
More Chickens
A Fly, a Spider and a Worm
Black History Month
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E-news                                                 February 2010

We get the call ... 
Odyssey sealWhen we received the phone call from the Chair of the Odyssey Committee telling us we had won the 2010 Odyssey Award for Best Production of an Audiobook for LOUISE, THE ADVENTURES OF A CHICKEN, we truly thought we had misunderstood. "What??! You're kidding, right? Seriously?!?" was our brilliant response. When it finally sunk in, we were in shock -- to receive such recognition a second time in the three years that the award has been bestowed was overwhelming for us.
Since we aren't always able to attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting it was especially exciting that we were in Boston to be able to meet the committee members after the press conference, and to share the good news in person with so many of you! 

Once back in the office and studio, the buzz of winning was quickly replaced with our routine responsibilities - planning and recording a new list of productions, updating the website, managing inventory, planning future conferences and attending an educational meeting - in other words, back to reality!

There are so many demands involved in keeping a small audio publishing business viable that we often feel like we operate in our own little cocoon, so being able to share this award with all of you who have supported us in our efforts over the years has been inspiring. There will be much celebrating at ALA Annual in Washington, DC so be sure to stop by our booth! More information about our plans for the conference will be forthcoming in future newsletters. Many thanks to all of you!
Debra and Arnie Cardillo
Team Live Oak Media
We asked the team involved in creating LOUISE for their reactions and comments about the Odyssey win.

Narrator, Barbara Rosenblat:

"Well, ya coulda knocked me ovah wid a feathah when I hoid!" was Barbara Rosenblat's reaction.  "Arnie and I seem to have an extraordinary relationship with poultry. His 'audio-cinemascope' vision is what 'laid' the groundwork for fearless fowl language. It is another feather in our collaborative hats!"
Production Engineer, Rory Young:
"Two years out of three... Not too shabby!" When asked what was unique or different in the creation of this production, he responded, "Well, of course, Barbara is great--as always. Her read was so evocative that the music and sound effects just flowed right in. Our main problem was choosing between all the wonderful takes! Most of the time, it is pretty clear what we don't want... But when ALL the takes are so good, and yet, so full of character and wit, it becomes quite hard to leave any of them on the cutting room floor."
Original Music, Chris Kubie:
"I was delighted and honored to be recognized as part of a great group of people involved with the production; receiving the Odyssey Award means a great deal to me as a composer.  I believe that music plays an integral part in all of Live Oak's productions .... I especially enjoy composing music for young listeners and offering them more complex music than they might otherwise hear in other product. Louise is on an adventure that takes her to places of diverse cultures and exotic locations [and] my challenge musically was to represent each diverse scene with music that flavored each location with music of appropriate diverse musical genres. We're always striving to produce something that will be stimulating, exciting, educational and, of course, fun for the readers.  ...  Inspiring children to love books is a noble cause, and helping to grow their appreciation of music is especially meaningful for me as a composer."
"That audio production is the quintessence of joy and fun. I feel lucky that I got to go along on the ride." 
Mary Burkey, librarian and longtime audiobook fan, who blogs at Booklist's Audiobooker, has written an in-depth article about the Odyssey Award. It will appear in the March 1 issue of Booklist.

A word from the Odyssey Chair
"For the nine listeners on the Odyssey Committee, everything is measured by the criteria that, in the end, are summed up by this statement: "The committee must consider technical and aesthetic aspects, including the effective use of narration as well as music and sound effects when they are incorporated into the production. These elements must come together to create a unified whole." Committee members are listening for the audiobook that brings it all together and Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken, really exemplifies that "unified whole." The production amplifies Kate DiCamillo's story by marrying it in a new way to Harry Bliss's illustrations. Barbara Rosenblat's fully-voiced performance embodies the comic seriousness of the text while the lively background music and the droll sound effects draw the reader-listener's eyes and ears to each aspect of narrative and image, making this read-along more than the sum of its parts."

Sharon Grover
Chair, 2010 Odyssey Award Committee
Once a chicken ...
LOUISE isn't the first chicken that Barbara Rosenblat has given voice to - check out The Chicken Sisters by Laura Numeroff  for another funny "fowl" story!
Chicken Sisters
"...Another silly story by Laura Numeroff is brought to life with the slow, easy pace and wonderfully diverse voices of Barbara Rosenblat. Over soft clucking sounds in the background, Rosenblat gives each character a distinct, identifying voice." - AudioFile Magazine
He reads too!
Harry Bliss isn't just an amazing artist - he, too, has narrated a number of sweet and humorous stories that he also illustrated. Discover what it's like being a FLY, SPIDER, and WORM -
Diary of a Fly    
Diary of a FlyBliss captures listeners with his falsetto fly-girl voice, and he has fun to the very last words he reads from the back cover of the book's illustrated captions. ...Bliss shows he's a talented performer with a great sense of pace, tone, and comic timing." - AudioFile Magazine
Diary of a Spider 
    Diary of a Spider
"[Harry Bliss] reads everything, including the back cover and the end papers, with tongue-in-cheek humor and excellent pacing. Occasional sound effects and music enhance the text. THis is a delightful book that will charm listeners in this auditory format." - School Library Journal
  Diary of a Worm

"Bliss brings Worm himself to life with the cadences, enthusiastic tones,and simple statements of a young boy who meets the joys and opportunities of each day with sometimes wistful, sometimes deadpan humor." - Audiofile Magazine

A Fine Fine School

And, check out the perfect school story - A Fine Fine School by Sharon Creech.

"This outstanding readalong begins with lively music that, combined with Bliss' energetic reading, alerts youngsters that they are experiencing one silly, playful story... Music and school noises are heard just under his reading, and these background sounds, especially the students' groans when the principal declares another 'fine, fine idea,' are really funny." - School Library Journal
More is on our website ...
Visit our website this month for more information about: new titles just released for 2010; pertinent recordings for Black History Month -- including the remarkable Jazz by Walter Dean Myers, the 2008 Odyssey Award winner; and to learn more about new Readalongs on PLAYAWAY* (and a chance to receive a free unit!)
*If you aren't familiar with Playaways, you'll want to check them out.  A Playaway is a small audio player that comes preloaded with an entire audiobook, regardless of length. You don't need a separate player, and you don't have to worry about several cassettes or CDs... just press play!
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Debra and Arnie Cardillo
Live Oak Media
Live Oak Media has a 29-year tradition of producing distinctive readalong recordings of classic and award-winning children's literature for ages 3-12. As a small, family-owned company, we are dedicated to providing our young listeners with meaningful reading and listening experiences.