Reynolds, Aaron, et al. Creepy carrots. New York: Weston Woods Studios, Scholastic, 2013. Audio.
Audience: Ages 4-8, Grade PK-3
Summary: Jasper Rabbit loves carrots and he eats them everywhere. Until the carrots start following him, or do they? He starts to see carrots creeping everywhere! But whenever a grownup gets near, it seems like it’s just Jasper’s imagination playing tricks on him. Then Jasper comes up with a plan to keep the carrots away from him by fencing them in, but in the end the carrots have the last laugh since Jasper finally stops stalking them!
Strengths: The audio effects are masterful, including background sounds of spooky music, sinister laughter, and even a few sound effects that could remind the listener of the movie Psycho. James Naughton’s skillful narration brings a suspenseful mood to the story with a mysterious tone. The “thunk, thunk” of the carrots creeping along is sinister enough to put a tingle down the listener’s spine. Any child who enjoys a scary, but not terrifying story, would love this audiobook.
Weaknesses: The story could be too scary and dark for some children who are extra sensitive to these things. The print book is accompanied by amazing illustrations that earned the book a Caldecott honor, so my suggestion would be to purchase both the book and the recording.
Uses: Audiobooks can be used with ESOL students, learning disabled students, and struggling readers for support so that they can read the same material or similar material as their peers. They also provide an example of fluent reading and appropriate phrasing, intonation, and articulation, as well as practice for critical listening. Many teachers use these books in reading centers, book backpacks, and book clubs. Students can answer questions about key details in the text (CCSS ELA:SL.2 Grades K-6). For this book, upper grade students could listen to it and begin discussion about mood and tone (CCSS ELA: RL.7 Grades 4-6).
· Leonardo, the Terrible Monster – Mo Willems (a monster who can’t seem to scare anyone)
· Joey Fly Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime – Aaron Reynolds (Joey Fly is trying to find a stolen pencil box for his butterfly customer, same author)
· Where the Wild Things Are CD - Maurice Sendak & Tammy Grimes (audio of Sendak’s books)
· The Halloweener – Dav Pilkey (Oscar the Weiner dog becomes the hero in this pun-filled story)
· Monster Hug – David Ezra Stein (two monster kids have a sleep-over and playdate)
AudioFile Earphones Award
Other: Starred review in Booklist