Storyteller Odds Bodkin is Back with Live School Shows!

Storyteller Odds Bodkin is Back with Live School Shows!

There’s nothing quite like watching hundreds of children sitting spellbound while laughing, singing and using their imaginations. Odds blends soaring acoustic music with amazing character voices to create movies for the mind for young listeners.

Learn about his live school shows specially designed for K-2 and 3-5 audiences.

A Teacher’s GOLDEN RULE Review:

“My goodness, words cannot express our ENORMOUS thanks and gratitude for your time and talents on Tuesday… The students were absolutely awe-struck (as was I and the other adults!)! I’ve waited on writing you because I wanted to gather the feedback for you and the biggest feedback I’ve gotten is “He is AWESOME!!” “He needs to come back!!” — Christina Catino, Music Teacher

Learn more at:




Simple, beautiful spoken-word stories from peoples around the world, all told with original, culturally flavored acoustic music.

Storyteller Odds Bodkin’s classic audio stories. A mentally healthy, simple gift for your kids so that they can understand the wisdom literature of other people.

Age coded for appropriate listening for ages 4 to forever.

THE EPIC DRIVE: 19 full-length storytelling albums.

Plug it in. Transfer files to music software. Start to listen.

“a consummate storyteller”—The New York Times

White Dove

White Dove

It was part of what used to make me very happy. Sitting in a big empty multi-purpose room in a school with my harp, guitars and PA system, with a half hour left over just to play music before the hundreds of children arrived for the show. I’d feel the harp music ripple through my fingers, filling the space with glorious sound. I’d be sipping at my black coffee. Often teachers would come in and stand to listen for a minute or so, smile and wave. “Can you come here every morning?” many would ask, as the harp music echoed down the halls. “It’s just so beautiful and peaceful.”

The children heard that music, too, in their classrooms. A faint, magical whisper that something special was about to happen.

And then close to the hour the principal would come over, or the arts liaison (usually a nice mom) and ask, “Mr. Bodkin, are you ready for them?”

“Bring them on in,” I’d reply. The doors would open.

Like goslings following mother goose, the little kindergarteners would usually arrive first with their teachers and sit on the floor about three feet away from me, row after row of them. They’d finally see who was playing the harp, and that it wasn’t a recording. Then the grades above them would arrive, sitting next in extending rows. These were shows for two hundred to five hundred kids, a growing sea of young faces. Often they wouldn’t say anything, forgetting to chitchat with their friends because of the music.

I’d finish one extemporization in a major key with a flourish, and they’d wildly applaud. I’d bow slightly, winking and lifting my finger, as if to say, “All right. See if you like this one,” and then launch into another piece in what I call Fairytale Minor, which is really just B minor but played in a certain lilting way. If kids came into the space talking, others who were already seated would shush them, which I found charming, and the most effective crowd control I could ask for.

And so as often as not, there was no reason for the principal to call them to quiet before the show by doing the double hand clap, the universal training American kids learn in school to signal when it’s time to quiet down. Since they were already quiet, at a heightened state of attention–the music having primed them for the listening–it usually wasn’t necessary. This was much to the surprise of the teachers, who I could tell were archly eyeing their problem children. What would they do? Act out? Embarrass the school? Ruin the show?

Instead, the principal would repeat what I’d asked her to say: “This is Mr. Odds Bodkin, and he’s here to tell you some stories.” No preamble about empathy, kindness, or walking in others’ shoes. “The stories will explain themselves,” I’d usually tell her beforehand. “We don’t need to mention those things.” And then I’d pull the harp aside and pick up the 12-string for the introduction. It was always the same:

“Well how’s everybody? Good?”

“Good!” they’d reply in unison.

“Good. Well, it’s a pleasure to be here. As you heard, my name is Odds Bodkin. Can you say that?”

A chorus of Odds Bodkins, or something close, would follow.

“That’s right, and believe it or not, here at the dawn of the 21st century, I make my living telling stories. Now, I have a few for you this morning, but before I can tell them, I need to offer you a thought, and the thought is this: if instead of being here at your school, you were in a movie theater getting ready to watch a movie, all you’d need to do to see the story the movie told would be to look up at the movie screen, and there the story would be. Same thing with television: you look at it, and there it is. But in what we’re going to do today, you don’t have to look at anything. You don’t even have to look at me. But I hope you’ll consider this thought: think about looking inside something. It’s your power of imagination, or your Mind’s Eye, and it’s right up here.”

At this point I’d tap my forehead. Some of the kids would wrinkle their brows and touch their own foreheads, wondering if they really did have an eye in there. “Now, I can offer you words, character voices, music and sounds. But it’s going to be up to you to be the moviemakers here. To take those things and in your Mind’s Eye spin them up into a kind of movie of your own making, and if you do that, then the stories will come to life, I’ll probably disappear, and we’ll have a really great time. So what do you think, deal?”

At this point, they’d all thunder back, “Deal!”

“Good enough, then,” I’d say, setting aside the 12-string, which I’d have been playing in an upbeat way all during this introduction. “I’ll put away my 12-string guitar, which I’ll play for you later, because my first story comes from Africa, and in order to tell it to you, I need to use this.” I’d reach down and pick up my sanza, or kalimba, as some folks call it, and plink a few notes. Instant delight on their faces. “This is my sanza. Can you say that word?”

“Sanza!” came the chorus.

Holding it up so all could see, I’d explain the instrument. “All it is is a little wooden box with a hole in it to let out the sound. And there are strips of metal of different lengths along it. The long ones make the low tones (plunk) and the short ones make the high tones (plink). And with it, I’ll tell you my first story. This sanza was made in South Africa, and so, too, this first story. It’s called The Tale of the Name of the Tree.

I’d make the sound of dry, singing savannah wind, tinkle the notes, and begin the story.


The reason I bring all this up is because for two years, I haven’t done any of it. Haven’t set foot inside a school to perform for kids, haven’t asked where the adult bathroom is, haven’t dodged crowds of munchkins in their brightly colored jackets, haven’t been offered cupcakes or cookies– none of it, not since March of 2020. Been on Zoom plenty of times, and Facebook Live, and recently I’ve begun doing live shows again for adults in Cambridge at a club called Grendel’s Den, but I haven’t set foot inside a single elementary school in all that time.

But now that the masks are coming off and the fears are waning, lo and behold, the schools are calling to book shows once again. Live, in-person shows. Performances in schools I visited often in that life I lived before the world came apart.

Come May, I’ll be back with the little kids, playing my harp in those big empty rooms before they file in. As I write this—as much to remember how to do it as anything else—I’m getting a lump in my throat. I really missed telling stories to schoolkids, and wasn’t sure if I’d ever do it again.

It’s as if after two long years, a magician has pulled away his dark cape to reveal the same white dove I’ve always loved, still there, still alive.


–Odds Bodkin


To book a show, go here.








NOW IN STOCK: Odds Bodkin Story Drives

NOW IN STOCK: Odds Bodkin Story Drives. You can always download Odds Bodkin’s classic tales with original music from Odds’ Shop and get them instantly, or you can order a Story Drive to share with friends and family.

Click images for story details!

The Back-to-School Storytelling Motherlode

The Back-to-School Storytelling Motherlode is Odds Bodkin’s MASTER DRIVE.

Buy it, plug it in, and share these mp3 albums with your young children, elementary and middle and high school students, and you, the adults. All 19 albums are age-coded. There’s even Odds Bodkin’s The Water Mage’s Daughter, a 550-page epic poem for literate readers.

These award-winning storytelling albums include live acoustic music, character voices and stunning vocal sound effects, some with virtuoso whistling here and there. It’s all real.

100% natural storytelling. Classics as well, like The Odyssey, Hercules, David and Goliath and Beowulf.

Grow your family’s imaginations and knowledge with the Back-to-School Motherlode–

Odds Bodkin’s MASTER DRIVE.

The Ultimate Back to School Storytelling Collection: Give Your Child the Imaginative Edge

Got a kid in kindergarten? You’ll want this. Got an elementary age child? You’ll want this. Are you yourself someone who values high-quality adult storytelling? You’ll probably want this, too.

Odds Bodkin’s EPIC DRIVE, a collection of 19 full-length storytelling albums. The New York Times calls him “a consummate storyteller.”

The Evergreens: Gentle Tales of Nature for the youngest of listeners.

The Odyssey: An Epic Telling, a fabulous introduction to Homer’s world (when you order the drive, we’ll include a free autographed Odyssey Adventure Map of the Mediterranean Sea that tracks Odysseus’ journey): great for 5th graders on up.


The Little Proto Trilogy, three musical dinosaur tales the entire family will enjoy. Parents’ Choice award-winners.

And much more. Paul Bunyan tales. Funny Folktales. Fairy Tales. Beowulf. Hercules. On and on.

Just plug in the drive and drag the mp3 files onto your computer, then share them with your family. And you can share the drive with others, too.

An award-winning treasure trove of musical tales, filled with unforgettable characters.


Give your child the imaginative edge.


Odds Bodkin’s Live and Zoom Shows Now Booking for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022

Odds Bodkin’s Live and Zoom Shows for Are Now Booking for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022!

Fully vaccinated and delighted to be back performing for live audiences, storyteller and musician Odds Bodkin is now booking live assembly performances for K-12 schools in New England and beyond. Plus a host of other incredible offerings for adult audiences. All shows are also available on Zoom.

Last year, Loyola University Maryland opted for their annual Iliad/Odyssey performance via Zoom, and 200 Classics and Honors students tuned in. That was Odds’ 13th annual September show for Loyola. But this year, he’ll be flying down in person with his 12-string guitar to regale his college audience once again. That’s 14 years in a row!

Special thanks to Gavin Bodkin, Odds’ son, for building a Zoom studio for his dad and engineering a host of appearances during the pandemic. Full day GOLDEN RULE residences for elementary schools in Merrimack, NH, complete with custom workshops, were completed to rave reviews (watch video). A Halloween show of Dark Tales of the Supernatural for Syracuse University. An Odyssey: Belly of the Beast performance for Old Greenwich School in Connecticut. An adult concert for a Long Island library. All took place on Zoom.

But now Odds is back live with his 12-string guitars, Celtic harp and other instruments. He’s ready to travel once again.

What is he offering?


GOLDEN RULE: World Stories About Empathy for K-2 and 3-6

FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS: Two Long Fairy Tales told with voices and 12-string guitars

DARK TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL adult scary concerts for Halloween

DANIKA THE ROSE: A Blend of Dvorak’s Moravian Duets with an original Odds Bodkin fairy tale performed with sopranos Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer, available for concerts nationwide (the next show is for The Groton School on Jan. 9, 2022!)


STORYBLAST! Family concerts for libraries, churches and museums are also available.

Be sure to check out the storyteller’s amazing family recordings at Odds’ Shop!






11 Days Left in MASTER DRIVE Sale! Ends July 30th!

11 days remain in Odds Bodkin’s MASTER DRIVE sale at the storyteller’s online shop.

Get $50 off the price of his MASTER DRIVE this July. This flash drive features his complete audio stories, his epic poem The Water Mage’s Daughter (550 pages pdf), a live performance video plus original musical compositions.

Just plug it in and distribute the stories to your family’s devices! All mp3 audios.


Regular price: $199.95. Now $149.95!

Perfect for Family Travel!


Age-Coded Stories Include:

The Adventures of Little Proto (audio)

Little Proto’s T-Rex Adventure (audio)

Little Proto and the Volcano’s Fire (audio)

The Teacup Fairy: Very Old Tales for Very Young Children (audio)

The Evergreens: Gentle Tales of Nature (audio)

With Twinkle in your Eye: Funny Folktales from Everywhere (audio)

Rip Roarin’ Paul Bunyan Tales (audio)

The Winter Cherries: Holiday Tales from Around the World (audio)

The Blossom Tree: Tales from the Far East (audio)

The Wise Little Girl: Tales of the Feminine (audio)

Earthstone: The Eco-Musical (2 hour audio)

The Odyssey: An Epic Telling (4 hour audio)

Giant’s Cauldron: Viking Myths of Adventure (audio)

Hidden Grail: Sir Percival and the Fisher King (90 minute audio)

Stories of Love (audio)

David and Goliath: The Harper and the King (audio)

The Myth of Hercules (audio)


Plus Rare Works:

Beowulf: The Only One (live audio recording)

The Iliad: Book I (50-minute video)

The Water Mage’s Daughter: a 13,000-line epic poem. (PDF e-book)


Plus Odds Bodkin’s Original Musical Compositions on Acoustic Instruments and Kurzweil synthesizer:

Rapunzel’s Window

At Beauty’s Door

Black Irish

Soft-Hearted Men in the Good Old USA

Little Paws

Christmas Morning

The Great Irish Elk


Order yours today!

THROUGH A TEACHER’S EYES: Odds Bodkin’s Zoom Storytellings for Schools/Watch Video

THROUGH A TEACHER’S EYES: Odds Bodkin’s Zoom Storytellings for Schools work well for 2021.

I’d just finished a long day on Zoom visiting a school full of 5th and 6th graders. Beginning with an hour-long show, GOLDEN RULE II–three fun and absorbing musical stories filled with conversation points about kindness and empathy–I followed up with six workshops. Laura Piccolo, the school’s Language Arts Coordinator, had sent me a list of topics she wanted covered. She’d even requested a workshop about how music enhances emotions in stories.

Here’s a video of our conversation that afternoon.

With the pandemic easing, not only am I always available via Zoom for schools, but I’ve decided to journey forth into the world again to do live shows.

Her school also purchased an EPIC DRIVE for its library–a collection of all my audio stories.


as well as copies of THE CRANE WIFE, one of my children’s picture books.

It was a full arts and literary experience for her school.

Visit to learn how you can bring such a program to your or your child’s school.


Tonight at 5 pm…Live on ZOOM…Odds Bodkin’s Fairy Tales for Smart Girls!

“a consummate storyteller”–The New York Times

Join Odds Bodkin tonight for four amazing and fun fairy tales about smart girls. Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and Bodkin has created this special show–including a new story from Italy–for the event. You can sing along with two of the tales, so get your voice ready.

The show comes to you via ZOOM at 5 pm EST. Grab your ticket and log in for a full-screen storytelling performance with characters, sound effects and live music on 12-string guitars and Celtic harp.

And if you have a question for Odds after the show, he’ll stay online to chat.


SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST on ZOOM

Tickets: $25 per screen



Back when Odds Bodkin was creating his folktales and fairy tales collections for young children, he first issued them on cassettes. As an audio technology, they were soon replaced by CDs. Next came digital downloads, mp3s and other formats, where the audio music business still exists today in the streaming world.

Odds Bodkin’s early recordings are now available on Amazon Alexa. Just ask her to open “Bedtime Stories”, buy a subscription (it’s not much) and find a treasure trove of child-safe stories, all told with characters and live music.

Just ask for an Odds Bodkin story.

What will Alexa choose?





“Alexa, open Bedtime Stories.”

That’s all you have to say to your Amazon Alexa to open a trove of Odds Bodkin’s audio stories for kids. The Evergreens. The Teacup Fairy. The Little Proto Trilogy of dinosaur adventures. The Elf of Springtime. The Rock n’ Roll Three Little Pigs. 38 stories in all, each told with beautiful music, wild characters and amazing vocal effects.

Yes, Odds Bodkin’s ancient craft is now available on the most high-tech of platforms. Parents’ Choice Awards. Indie Awards. Storytelling World Awards. The Dove Award. The Golden Headset Award. These timeless tales have won them all.

Of course, you don’t have to rely on Alexa when you own these stories, plus The Odyssey, Beowulf and Bodkin’s other tales for adults and teens. Just purchase an EPIC DRIVE, the complete collection of Odds Bodkin’s audio works.

Happy listening!