Hello, Orlando!

ALA HaikuWe’re looking forward to seeing all our library friends later this week at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, in Orlando. Here’s an overview of what we’ll have to share with you, and an invitation to visit us at Booth 2239, where you know that, no matter who you are, we have smiles and good wishes to share with you.

The exhibits open on Friday, at 5:30. come join the festivities during this ribbon cutting reception! Our booth will be fully staffed all exhibit hours, which are are 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday, and 9-2 on Monday. Ellen, Jackson, and Claire Myrick, Along with Mary Burkey and Sharon Grover,will be on hand, with Francisca tweeting from various corners of the conference and booth events.

Oh, and booth events! We have in-booth signings scheduled throughout the weekend, booksignings adand staff will be participating in other exhibit happenings as well, including the Paizo
program in the Gaming Parlor, Saturday at 10:30, and a program focusing on diversity at 3 that afternoon.

Oh, and the books! We’ll be showing and talking about new titles from AMMO, Two Little Birds, Scotland’s Floris from Steiner, Flying Start, and Free Spirit Press; from Gannon& Wyatt, New Zealand’s Gecko Press, and Karadi Tales, Canada’s Pajama Press, Dutch publisher Lemniscaat; from No Starch Press, Phaidon, Tilbury House, and Tiger Tales. Then there are the audio publishers: L. A. Theatre Works, Live Oak Media, and Brilliance Audio, along with the Sound Learning literacy program from the Audio Publishers Association. Amazon imprints Thomas & Mercer, Lake Union, and Montlake Romance Authors, all for adults, and Two Lions, for kids, will also be at our fingertips–and could be at yours.

Follow us on Twitter @pubspotlight throughout the conference. Our first tip as you pack is to be sure to bring rain gear as showers and thunderstorms are predicted, right now, for every day of the conference.

And bring a smile and a hello! We know Orlando needs both right now and we always enjoy them ourselves and bet you do, too!


The Audie Awards and Sound Learning Update

Audie MedalWe had a wonderful time at Thursday night’s Audie Awards Gala, the premier event of the audiobook publishing world!  Among the winners of the evening’s Best Of the Year announcements is our good friend Live Oak Media’s H.O.R.S.E., that wonderful audiobook package that just keeps collecting trophies!  You can listen to a clip from it here to understand why it’s collected both the 2015 Odyssey Award and now the 2015 Audie Award for Children Up to Age 8 too!

Audiobooks are becoming increasingly–and deservedly–popular as means to access literary experiences.  With summer on the verge of arriving full strength, the Audio Publishers Association has also expanded its Sound Learning initiative with 37 new titles suggested for kids as great summer ear-reading. You can refer to that site, too, for information about the many connections between listening and literacy for readers of all ages.

So find those ear buds–or better yet, sit down with a child and listen together. Audiobooks are magic doors  for the imagination.

Live Oak Media supports AudiobookSYNC–and you can benefit!

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Each summer for the past several years, the partnership of AudioFile Magazine and OverDrive has worked with audiobook publishers to get them on board with AudiobookSYNC, a program that builds teen literacy through the summer months. Live Oak Media is pleased to be a part of this effort, donating free download access to selected titles for a week at a time during the 14-week-long “SYNC season.”

Starting today, Live Oak Media’s Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices is featured for free downloading through AudiobookSYNC. This multi-actor performance of Walter Dean Myers’ response to Spoon River Anthology offers listeners the opportunity to meet the people of Harlem as the author knew it in the 1930’s and 1940’s. As with each Live Oak Media production, a stellar cast is supported with a musical sound bed that further evokes the period with jazz strains and street sounds.

Here in Harlem is available for free downloading by individuals ages 13 and up through next Wednesday night. Downloads made during SYNC can be kept forever by the participant, another way to start growing teens’ personal libraries. If you’re not already a fan of AudiobookSYNC, it’s a grand opportunity to discover it. Teachers, librarians, and others who work with teens can read about the program’s documented success in teen literacy support, and access the Toolkit that can used for publicity on library, school, and club websites.

Thank you, Live Oak Media, for participating in this effort to reach kids with audiobooks of high quality and instant popularity!

SYNC logo

Take along some listening on Earth Day!

For many of us, it’s been a long winter. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to get outside, and what better activity than to listen to some Earth-celebrating audiobooks while you walk or sit and enjoy the spring scenery!

Live Oak Media has a lot to offer to fit this bill!  We can start with Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table, a true story picture book Readalong celebrating a basketball star’s second career as a farmer…and worms!

Or how about Deep in the Swamp, celebrating the Okefenokee marshland? Tom Chapin performs this one,as he does Out on the Prairie,featuring the animals and plants of South Dakota’s Badlands, another natural Earth delight to celebrate today.

There’s plenty more to choose among, including Tortuga in Trouble, an animal tale sure to stretch your imagination.

So, drop what you’re doing and go outside and listen!

Happy Earth Day from all of us!


The little audiobook company that does…win Odyssey Awards, that is!

The Odyssey Award, a national distinction calling out superior audiobook production for youth, is just eight years old–and already Live Oak Media has walked away with the crown three times!  That’s truly remarkable, as this award is bestowed by an annually changing collaborative committee with members of both the Association of Library Services for Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), meaning that the the winner meets criteria adjudged by professionals who work with everyone through age 18.

While the Audie Awards are granted by the audiobook industry to its own–through a vetted process of independent judges–the Odyssey Award is handled by librarians and other library staff who work with children and teens, select audiobooks for large and small, public and school collections, and listen specifically for production excellence when selecting the award winner. For a production company where fewer than two dozen titles can be created a year, to walk off with the declaration of “best” so many times certainly says a lot about quality.

And the audiobook industry, especially for youthful listeners, is getting better and deeper all the time. So the competition is not only expanding in number but also in range.

Congratulations, Live Oak Media! You did it again!

PS You can hear a sound clip from this year’s Odyssey Award winner, H.O.R.S.E., here.

Thank you, ALSC and YALSA!

For Immediate Release

Contact: Debra Skiver Cardillo                                                                                          Email:debra@liveoakmedia.com

Updated 8 February 2015

H.O.R.S.E. A Game of Basketball and Imagination


-Third win for Live Oak Media-

February 2, 2015 The Live Oak Media audio recording of the award-winning book written and illustrated by Christopher Myers, and read by Dion Graham and Christopher Myers, has won the 2015 Odyssey Award. This is the third Odyssey Award for the company, including the inaugural award in 2007 for JAZZ, also illustrated by Christopher Myers and written by his father, the late Walter Dean Myers.

The Odyssey was created to honor the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults and is co-sponsored by the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). The Odyssey Award announcement was made at the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference this morning during the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Chicago, along with other significant awards for children’s literature, including the Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

Live Oak Media Producer Arnie Cardillo said “Chris Myers’ H.O.R.S.E. gave Dion, Chris, and everyone else who worked on the audio production the opportunity to let go of the everyday world for awhile and, like the characters in the book, let our imaginations soar. I’m glad that the Odyssey Committee joined in on the fun! It was great being in the studio with Dion and Chris, who perfectly personified the spirit and banter of the two friends. We’ve been honored over the years to work on several recordings with Chris and also with Walter and their editor Regina Griffin, and this feels especially rewarding.”    “Having directed and, along with Chris Myers, narrated H.O.R.S.E it’s a thrill to learn of this prestigious award,” said Dion Graham. “That this follows our previous collaboration, WE ARE AMERICA, written by the great Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Chris…let’s just say it’s great to be on the H.O.R.S.E together again. It’s particularly gratifying to receive this honor along with my dear friends Arnie and Debra Cardillo of Live Oak Media. For many years they have consistently produced excellent creative work for children (and us others) that dares to think outside of the box. H.O.R.S.E is all that AND a bounce pass to the moon! A great surprise. What an honor.”  Located in Hudson Valley, New York, Live Oak Media is a small, family-owned audio publisher with a 35-year-tradition of producing recordings of classic and award-winning children’s literature.

In addition to this third win of a prize from the committee formed of membership from both the Young Adult Library Services Committee (YALSA) and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)–a prize that is only seven years old–Live Oak Media also earned kudos and recognition  via the ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings List this year. Live Oak Media has three titles on this list:

Betty Bunny Didn’t Do It, written by Michael Kaplan, and performed by Katherine Kellgren

Deep in the Swamp, written by Donna M. Bateman, and performed by Tom Chapin

H. O. R. S. E., written by Christopher Myers, and performed by Dion Graham



Right Sized Listening for Pre-readers

Live Oak Media has a new series of Readalongs featuring titles from National Geographic that are just right-sized for the youngest nonfiction crowd! Weighing in with four to six minute recordings, these titles about puppies, coral reef fish, a sloth’s view of the rain forest, and more give kids the chance to hear excellent performance as well as discover the world beyond their home.

The award winning Dion Graham narrates Safari, Gail Tuchman’s contribution to the series, with Emily Eiden taking on Jump, Pup, by Susan B. Neuman, who also wrote Swing Sloth!: Explore the Rain Forest and Swim, Fish!: Explore the Coral Reef. So, already between cute doggies, bright fish, and big jungle creatures, animal fans are sure to be thrilled. Then there’s Tuchman’s second book in the series, Race Day, performed by Tim Pabon, that’s a sure win with small motor heads.

Debra and Arnie Cardillo, the creative engine for Live Oak Media, sent along some studio shots taken while these Readalongs were being recorded. Below, you’ll see the voice of that swinging sloth, Joe Towne, and Erin Cardillo, who guides us through that coral reef. Sharing photos of people at work is another great way to expand nonfiction: these National Geographic books might inspire a young listener to follow her pursuit of natural science…or that dramatic talent into the world of audiobook narration!