Vivid Adventures that Build Imagination

Imagine a family vacation where the kids in the back are listening, instead of viewing. For ages 4 to forever. Odds Bodkin’s fun, amazing storytellings!

Vivid adventures that build imagination.

Two ways to get the full collection.

THE EPIC DRIVE

ALL COLLECTIONS + BUNDLE (instant delivery)

 

All Collections + Bundle

 

A Childhood Dinosaur Storytelling Epic

Imagine you’re four to seven years old and you love dinosaurs. You’ve seen movies like Land Before Time and The Good Dinosaur, but there’s not much else other than books full of dinosaur pictures and fluffy cartoons where nothing happens. You’re still a little too young for Jurassic Park. Still, you love T-Rexes and Stegosaurs because they’re so huge, and you don’t mind dinosaurs who talk like people because, well, you’re a kid.

Still, with all that, nothing has prepared you for The Little Proto Trilogy, once your parents buy it for you. Suddenly you’re in a sonic world of dinosaur sounds, voices and 12-string guitar music. And these dinosaurs don’t just talk, they have endearing personalities and even sing songs. They’re funny, at least the civilized ones. They’re named Tex, Colette, Old Wrinkles, Bump, Ankles, King Geoffrey and Plessy. But your favorite voice, the young hero of all three adventures, is Little Proto.

He’s a Protoceratops. He’s not very big, but he’s gutsy, funny and compassionate.

As Proto grows up, he befriends Old Wrinkles the Triceratops, although Proto’s never quite sure if his wise mentor really is the Vanished One-Horned King of the Great Migration herds. King Geoffrey the T-Rex has sworn off eating dinosaurs as long as he has plenty of fish brought to him. Despite King Geoffrey’s aloof manner, he burps horribly and has terrible bad breath. The two old dinos, former enemies, now grumpy old friends, save Proto’s life more than once in the tales.

But Proto’s best friends are Plessy the Plesiosaur, who lives in the sea and swims up Big River to play with the boys, Ankles the Ankylosaur, who wants to swim but can’t because of his armor plates, and Bump, the Pachycephalosaurus. Proto meets Bump just after Proto escapes the winged thieves of Pteranodon Gorge. Bump has a bone dome on top of his head and likes to bump things with it. He’s an orphan, and so Proto’s mom and dad have adopted him and he’s like Proto’s silly brother. They all live together in the Sea Forest, a protected world of peaceful dinosaurs. But things don’t stay peaceful for long, just like in real life.

If you’re that kid whose parents buy The Little Proto Trilogy (no CDs, just mp3s), you won’t know or care that the stories are Parents’ Choice award-winning storytelling audios. You’ll just enter a world of pure imagination and you’ll fall asleep listening to them, over and over again.

PS: at 3 hours and 20 minutes across all three tales, it really is an epic. Hear a sample and buy it here.

A Storyteller’s Terrible Mistake

Thirty-five years ago I was a young guy on a mission. I lived in Manhattan and worked with well-heeled independent schools like Spence and Ethical Culture, developing story-based programs for exploring nature in Central Park and beyond.

But I longed to just tell stories––to be a real storyteller. I knew very few tales then, maybe four or five, and my best, I thought, was Sedna the Ocean Mother. It’s a haunting Inuit creation myth about a marrying-age girl and her old father alone on their windy beach. The problem is, Sedna is very picky about a potential husband. One’s too fat. Another puts too few fish on the beach to ask for her. Others have rotten teeth.

Yes, it’s an Eskimo myth. Courtship was like this.

I once told Sedna at an environmental conference and that performance led to an offer from Antioch University New England to teach storytelling and imagination graduate courses, which I did for seven years.

In the story, Sedna’s fed-up father finally forces her to choose a stranger in a kayak who brags about how rich he is.  He won’t take off his snow goggles, however, so she can’t see his eyes, and he won’t stand up, so she can’t see how tall he is. Off she goes, huddled in the back of his kayak. But when they slide up onto his home beach and he steps out, he reveals bird legs and burning red eyes. He’s no man at all. He’s the spirit of the storm petrels, an arctic bird, a powerful supernatural being.

Spooky, right? It gets even worse, much worse. Terrifyingly worse. Treated badly by him, she starves and freezes. At the story’s end, Sedna’s father drowns her in a whirlpool created by the husband who’s found them trying to escape. Her severed fingers become the seals, whales and walruses and she becomes the ocean mother, the goddess who provides food to the Inuit. She’s now supernatural herself. A typical Eskimo origin myth. Scary and elemental.

So what was my terrible mistake so long ago?

I told Sedna to an audience of kids too young to hear it. They were Lower School students at the Fieldston Ethical Culture School. Little kids. As an artist, I thought everyone would be entertained by the music, the wind sounds and the characters. Especially the kids.

Instead, the next day, angry parents demanded to know who this stupid young man was who’d told their children this story. I’d terrified their kids so badly––tears in the car and nightmares in bed––that the parents were up in arms. I’d hurt their children. For weeks I felt awful. Still do, looking back on it.

So after I recovered emotionally, I swore to myself that I would never be at a loss for an age-appropriate story again. Instead, I’d learn to tell many more of them, gentle and beautiful ones, tales that even pre-kindergarteners would love and feel safe within.

And that’s what I did. You can find them here. All with age-recommendations.

Sedna is nowhere to be found.