I recently interviewed director and narrator Dion Graham, winner of Booklist‘s 2012 “Voice of Choice,” along with Arnie and Debra Cardillo, owners of independent, family-owned Live Oak Media about the recording of H.O.R.S.E: A Game of Basketball and Imagination, which also features the vocal talents of H.O.R.S.E.‘s author and illustrator Christopher Myers.
The complete H.O.R.S.E. interview in Booklist’s “ALA’s 2015 Bests Lists” issue captures some of the joyful enthusiasm of the recording—but you can hear a taste of the audio on the Live Oak website. Live Oak Media is the winner of THREE Odyssey Awards for Excellence in Audiobook Production. What is it about the creative process developed over 25 years of thoughtful artistry that results in the very best in read-along audiobook production?
Also, check out my earlier interview with Arnie Cardillo about Live Oak’s Jazz, written by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers, and narrated by James “D-Train” Williams and Vaneese Thomas, winner of the very first Odyssey Award in 2008. Cardillo goes in-depth about the five-month process to create Jazz, an amazing audio that provides original music for Myers’ poetic history of America’s homegrown art form in a production for all ages.
“This production might be just 19 minutes,
but those 19 minutes can change a child’s life.”
Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken was the second Live Oak production to win an Odyssey, in 2010. That year, I interviewed Arnie & Debra Cardillo; author Kate DiCamillo and Harry Bliss, author and illustrator of the book; and narrator Barbara Rosenblat, querying them about the artistic process. Rosenblat, winner of Booklist’s 2009 “Voice of Choice” and familiar to many as Miss Rosa on “Orange is the New Black,” sums up the importance of Live Oak’s meticulous detail when crafting an audio + book read-along experience for children, “This production might be just 19 minutes, but those 19 minutes can change a child’s life.”
Thanks to Live Oak for twenty-five years of life-changing excellence!