LIBRARIES ROCK! Sing-Along Tales with a Solid Beat this Tuesday in NH!

LIBRARIES ROCK! Sing-Along Tales with a Solid Beat this Tuesday in NH!

Odds Bodkin’s LIBRARIES ROCK storytelling show.

With a screaming Gibson SG electric guitar and stomp drum, a 12-string acoustic guitar and an African sanza I’ll be performing my three most musical tales at Fuller Public Library in Hillsborough, NH this Tuesday, June 26th 2018 at 6 p.m.

The show is free and fun for all ages. Three different stories with three different sing-along choruses you’ll learn instantly. Bring the kids and enjoy imagination and music together. An African chant. A rock ‘n’ roll version of The Three Little Pigs. And an Irish tale with a rollicking chorus.

Live storytelling with three different, infectious rhythms. Crazy character voices and vocal effects add to the magic!

FREE TO THE PUBLIC

A FAMILY FAVORITE FOR LONG TRIPS: Odds Bodkin’s THE ODYSSEY

A FAMILY FAVORITE FOR LONG TRIPS

Odysseus crouches with his men inside the Trojan Horse and listens. It is dawn, and Helios the sun has crested Troy’s walls. Peering out through the sunlit cracks, Odysseus’s lookout sees the gates of the city open. The Greek army has deserted the battlefield. All that remains is this gigantic horse built of wood.

So begins The Odyssey: An Epic Telling, a 4-hour masterpiece of storytelling by Odds Bodkin. With strains of 12-string guitar and the cries of seabirds, he’ll draw you into this feature film for the mind’s eye.

Even if they’re hungry, your kids won’t want to get out of the car until each episode concludes. There are 42 episodes in all. By the end, your kids will have effortlessly learned Homer’s great story, made human and vivid in this storyteller’s unique way.

The Odyssey: An Epic Telling is a download at Odds Bodkin’s shop. Free listening samples.

$49.95

SUMMER DRIVES WITH THE FAMILY: An Intelligent Solution

SUMMER DRIVES WITH THE FAMILY: An Intelligent Solution

“After sending the email, I wished I had written more. My daughter and I still listen to Little Proto 8 years later ( she’s 18 and I am 61!). We are both thrilled to have more works to surprise and inspire us cross-country…I have tried listening to other books on tape and find my mind wandering after 5 minutes. On the other hand, I am mesmerized by every word and sound on your recordings. I think seeing you perform in person helped fuel our admiration.”

—An Odds Bodkin Listener

Become your own Master of Family Stories! One Master Drive allows you to load any of Odds Bodkin’s storytelling albums onto your children’s media players, or into your car system. All age-coded for appropriate listening, ages four to adult. Includes great tales for teens!

National award-winning storytelling. Learn more here.

Odds Bodkin’s MASTER DRIVE

Long summer drives are coming. If you want quiet, utterly absorbed kids in the car listening to stories and building their imaginations, here’s the answer.

 

Get it here. Ships fast via Priority Mail.

“one of the great voices in American storytelling”–WIRED

SUPER-FAN CHARLOTTE PEZZO PLANS A CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP WITH HER MASTER DRIVE

SUPER-FAN CHARLOTTE PEZZO PLANS A CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP WITH HER MASTER DRIVE

A True Story

At Odds Bodkin HQ we received an order for a Master Drive, but then, very quickly, a follow-up email from the customer wondering why she couldn’t download her purchase. We wrote back explaining what a Master Drive was (a heavily loaded flash drive of Odds Bodkin’s collected works) and offered her a refund, but she wrote back:

Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I want all of his works so I will wait for the flash drive. DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING!

I need it by May 15 at the VERY latest for a long road trip. I will pay more for expedited shipping to ensure it arrives on time if it is necessary. Please advise!!

Thank you and please relay the message about how excited we are to have his entertainment on our road trip. The Odyssey and Proto made our last road trip so much more enjoyable.

It will be so nice to have his whole collection. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you!!

Smiles,

Charlotte Pezzo

 

As you can imagine, when Odds saw this email he was delighted, and so he wrote to Charlotte personally to ask whether he could share her letter to let others know about the Master Drive. Charlotte wrote back.

 

Dear Mr. Bodkin,

I was so pleased to receive this email and find out that they did indeed share my excitement with you.

Yes- it is completely fine to quote me and to use my name. After sending the email, I wished I had written more. My daughter and I still listen to Little Proto 8 years later ( she’s 18 and I am 61!). We are both thrilled to have more works to surprise and inspire us cross-country.

I have tried listening to other books on tape and find my mind wandering after 5 minutes. On the other hand, I am mesmerized by every word and sound on your tapes. I think seeing you perform in person helped fuel our admiration.

Anyway, I now have a year old granddaughter that I can’t wait to share your stories with too.

Thanks again from a lifelong fan!! 🙂

Smiles,

Charlotte Pezzo

 

So if you’ve got a long road trip coming this summer—no matter what your age–grab yourself a Master Drive!

Over 2 gigs of road-worthy storytelling.

FUN FOR KIDS IN COLORADO: Magical Stories with Odds Bodkin in May

FUN FOR KIDS IN COLORADO: Magical Stories with Odds Bodkin in May

It’s Friday night, May 25th and you’re sitting in Sunrise Ranch’s auditorium with your kids. Onstage sits a Celtic harp, an African sanza and a 12-string guitar.

“What he going to do, momma?” asks your child.

“He’s going to tell stories about trees.”

“But trees don’t do anything, momma.”

“I have a feeling that in Mr. Bodkin’s stories, trees do all kinds of things. They even talk.”

“Who plays all those instruments?”

“Odds Bodkin.”

“While he’s telling stories?”

“Yep.”

COME CHILD AND SIT WITH ME BENEATH THE WISDOM TREE. A family storytelling concert. Don’t miss it.

Tickets: $15

Odds Bodkin’s Complete Works: Audios, Epic E-Book, Video and Pure Music

Odds Bodkin’s Complete Works: Audios, Epic E-Book, Video and Pure Music

They all come on the MASTER DRIVE, a small electronic gem loaded with magic. An epic poem e-book as long as Homer’s Odyssey, adults only. Symphonic and acoustic musical compositions. A video of The Iliad: Book I. And, of course, this master storyteller’s complete audio collection of spoken-word family tales with music for ages 4 to forever.

A $269 value for $175.

Explore it here at Odds Bodkin’s Shop.

A NEW STORYTELLING COLLECTION AT ODDS BODKIN’S SHOP

A NEW STORYTELLING COLLECTION AT ODDS BODKIN’S SHOP

“a consummate storyteller”–The New York Times

For parents with kids 8-11, here’s some solid imagination entertainment and non-screen learning for cognitive development of a deeper kind. The APPRENTICE DRIVE contains The Wise Little Girl: Tales of the Feminine; The Odyssey: An Epic Telling; Earthstone: The Eco-Musical; Giant’s Cauldron: Viking Myths of Adventure; The Hidden Grail: Sir Percival and the Fisher King; Stories of Love; and David and Goliath: The Harper and the King.

Nine hours of award-winning audio. A $119.50 value for $79.95.

Visit Odds’ Shop to hear audio samples of everything.

Apprentice Drive (Ages 8-11)

 

 

STORYTELLING LOVERS DISCOVER THE EPIC DRIVE

STORYTELLING LOVERS DISCOVER THE EPIC DRIVE

Fans of storytelling have discovered Odds Bodkin’s EPIC DRIVE, the product that contains all this master storyteller’s musical spoken-word works. From adventure epics to titles for young children, the flash drive, loaded with mp3s and cover art, arrives in the mail. Plug it in and load eighteen widely varying titles, from The Odyssey for teens to The Little Proto Trilogy for young kids.

Meaningful, ethical stories with a plus: original music, character voices and vivid vocal effects!

Support creativity and mental health in your family by listening together and discussing these classic stories. Kids never forget. Get yours today.

THE EPIC DRIVE: All Odds Bodkin’s Stories!

“THE BEST ANTI-BULLYING ASSEMBLY WE’VE EVER HAD, HANDS-DOWN”

“THE BEST ANTI-BULLYING ASSEMBLY WE’VE EVER HAD, HANDS-DOWN”

A school principal wrote me recently, commenting on GOLDEN RULE, my storytelling assembly for elementary kids. Sure, I tell stories for adults, but it’s close to my heart, this empathy issue. Kids raised without notions of civility and simple human kindness toward others––no matter what somebody else looks like or where they come from––just makes the bullies feel that power. In the long run, though, it hurts them just as much.

Although many Americans follow faith traditions, just as many don’t these days, and with that change has come a loss of religious teaching stories, traditionally told to kids by adults in their lives. In their absence and in the presence of cynical cartoons and visual games, the fabric of civility has worn thin in lots of children. It’s not their fault. They’re kids. They’re not born civil; they need to be taught why it’s important.

Be kind. Treat others honorably. Yes, you can say those things to kids, but nothing penetrates the cruelty they see in media like a spoken-world story told by an adult. Instead of saying “do this,” a good Golden Rule story simply offers a lesson about power and its uses. Kids can’t help but internalize its impact because they’ve been opened up. They’ve been opened up because their minds are overwhelmed. The boys. The girls. The ADHD kids, all attentive. With the voices, music and wild sounds, the storytelling is too evanescent for them to ignore.

At a public school in Massachusetts the other day, my young audience looked like the United Nations. Kids from everywhere. Never knowing what religions, if any, their families practice at home, I tell stories from non-religious wisdom traditions. Folktales from Japan, Ireland, Africa, India and Italy. And Aesop’s Fables from ancient Greece, which is about all I can fit into an hour. But I always ask the kids the same questions about them afterwards, and about the Golden Rule.

And if they’ve never heard “Treat others the way you would like to be treated” before they’ve attended a GOLDEN RULE assembly, they certainly know it by the time it’s over.

If kids don’t get these kinds of stories from adults in America when they’re young, stories that buoy up their best angels and sink into their souls, when they get to high school, more and more of them are so fragile and full of violence that they misuse their power and end up thinking it’s okay to bring guns to class, and all to often these days, in the ultimate act of bullying, to use them.

 

–Odds Bodkin

 

 

YOU SAVED US FROM BABY BELUGA

YOU SAVED US FROM BABY BELUGA

Sunday night I was down in Cambridge at Grendel’s Den warming up my harp and 12-string onstage for a telling of Beowulf when a tall gentleman with silver hair came over, looking somewhat shy. The place was full and new faces were in the audience. Along with the usual crew of fine fans, Harvard students and curious twenty-somethings, I’d noticed husbands and wives in their fifties or early sixties at the tables. Obviously this gentleman had something to say. I stopped playing and smiled at him.

“Am I interrupting you?” he asked. He was fit and had a nice smile.

“No, not at all. I’m just warming up. Good evening.”

“Good evening,” he replied and we shook hands.

“I just wanted to tell you, Mr. Bodkin, that you saved us from Baby Beluga,” he said in a sort of admiring seriousness. It didn’t take too long for me to process that, and so I smiled wryly and chuckled, suspecting I knew what he was saying. He went on. “My kids are in their thirties now and are jealous they can’t be here.”

“Why, thank you.” I’ve had similar conversations with other nice people like him.

“No, thank you,” he said.Your stories got us through a lot of long trips when our kids were little. We had all your cassettes. Got them from Chinaberry Book Service.”

I used to do business with Chinaberry, a kids’ media operation out in California. Sold tens of thousands of recordings through them. This nice man’s wife, probably, had bought them, back when their kids were little. “Ah, yes,” I replied. “I’m glad your kids liked them. Tonight’s story is very different from those children’s recordings.”

“I expect so.”

“This one’s rather bloody,” I replied, thinking how in The Evergreens: Gentle Tales of Nature and The Teacup Fairy, some of my earliest kids’ albums, there is no blood.

“Can’t wait to hear it,” he said, sounding ready for some Viking wildness.

“Well,” I said, hitting a chord on the 12-string, “enjoy the show.”

“We will.” He returned to his seat at the bar next to a woman about his age. His wife, I assumed. The mother of the children he spoke of.

Baby Beluga! Baby Beluga!

The refrain from the song by Raffi echoed in my mind. I once met him, the man who wrote and sang that classic children’s song. A troubador from the Nineties, Raffi’s most famous song was Baby Beluga. He was the best-known of many musicians for young kids back then, a man who sang sweet, reassuring songs. I think of him as the Mr. Rogers of children’s music.

Back then I was selling recordings for young kids, too. Raffi always outsold anything I ever did, but then again, I wasn’t singing songs, which had a huge kids market before the advent of cellphones and iPad games. Instead I was telling stories, but even though they were for young children, they weren’t kiddie stories per se––stories about puppies and baby hedgehogs and so on. Nevertheless, lots of young children, including this gentleman’s who’d come up to say hello, apparently, had listened to them and had talked about them with their parents. I always tried to produce children’s media that didn’t make moms and dads lose their minds while listening to them, over and over again in their cars.

After the show I posed for photos with the man and his wife, along with a few other couples who proceeded to buy EPIC DRIVES. They wanted to send them to their grown children, they said, who now had kids of their own. Two young women in their twenties had listened to the Little Proto stories and loved them. A couple with their kids kept talking about The Blossom Tree, a Tibetan tale I tell, and I mentioned how I’ll be performing it in May as part of a weekend dedicated to the magic of trees, out in Colorado.

And so these stories I made a generation ago continue to make their way into the lives of a new generation, accomplishing a goal I always strove for: to make something that doesn’t quickly become marked as genre material of a former time.

I recommend Baby Baluga, too.

An Ancient Knowing of Trees

An Ancient Knowing of Trees

As modern people who with a chain saw can fell a sequoia eight feet thick in a few minutes, it’s hard to imagine the awe ancient people felt for big trees. Especially in a climax forest that stretched in Roman times from England’s north all the way to its south, covering all except hunting trails. To this day, the famed Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood remains a small patch of that vast woodland.

It was the same everywhere across the planet, of course, wherever trees grew. Different people walked beneath different ones, but it was the same awe. So it’s no surprise that myths honoring trees are universal.

In South America, the first palm tree grew from the body of a buried maiden. In India, trees were thought of as sentient beings. Living beneath massive oaks in Britain, the Druids were named after them, while further north, Vikings believed a giant ash tree held up the universe. Everything in the Garden of Eden was edible, except for the fruit of one tree. When the Buddha attained nirvana, he was seated beneath the Bodhi Tree.

To celebrate this parade of archetypes, I’ll be telling my best stories about trees for kids and parents this coming May 25th at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. Some tales are funny, filled with animal characters, while others run deeper. All are filled with characters, naturalistic sounds and music on 12-string guitar, Celtic harp and more.

It’s an ideal family show for any parent who wants their child to respect living things.

Check it out here and get your tickets early!

 

–Odds Bodkin