My family spends a lot of time in the car. Since my oldest is only eleven, I figure we’re only at the beginning of years I’m going to spend chauffeuring.
Thankfully, I keep finding great resources to maximize our hours on the road. With some healthy mind food to listen to, the time spent doesn’t seem to bother me so much.
My latest find is Storynory.
Storynory is a podcast put together by two or three professional British actors. Each week, they share a new story with their audience. Some weeks, they read or dramatize a fairytale or folktale. Other weeks, they share a story that they have written themselves (many are in serial format). Recently, they’ve also started reading longer works that in the public domain–such as The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.
I love Storynory for lots of reasons.
- They don’t dumb down the language. If they’re doing Rudyard Kipling’s “The Elephant’s Child” from Just So Stories, they read the story in its entirety. Every silly, high-level word soaking into my children’s brain.
- They have a great selection. They’re podcast has been going for several years, which means they have many, many stories to chose from.
- They’re short sections. If we only have fifteen minutes to travel, we can still get through many of the stories from start to finish. (This is particularly important since not everyone is in the car every time we go somewhere.)
- They’re geared to different ages. They’ve really hit a range of ages. They have nursery rhymes and Aesop fables. They also have Sherlock Holmes and some fairly scary stories. I love that I can pick the appropriate age level based on who is in the car.
- It’s FREE. I don’t have to pay a cent to enjoy these great stories. How awesome is that!?!
- They speak with a British accent. This probably shouldn’t matter, but the truth is I could listen to the phone book if someone from England were reading it to me. It somehow feels more cultured that way. (Must be all the Masterpiece Theater from my childhood.)
My only frustration with Storynory so far is that when I downloaded the files, they weren’t cleanly downloaded into my Windows Media Player. Because they aren’t all labeled the same, this has caused me some frustration as I have tried to assemble albums and make sure I have all the files I need to listen to a serial story in order. However, for those of you who do podcasts on Ipods or are listening straight from the web, this shouldn’t be a concern.
And in the end, that’s a small complaint for something that is turning into one of my favorite ways to spend time in the car.
I think I might just run some errands tomorrow.