A road trip with munchkins does not have to be a test of your motherly mettle. Bring on the audiobooks.
Headed to Monterey
Build excitement for the beach, the ocean, and life under the sea with the silly cadences of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell ($7). The adventure-focused Dolphins at Daybreak ($8) is like dipping a toe in the vast waters of Mary Pope Osborne’s 45-volume Magic Treehouse series.
Wee listeners can get the drift of winter with Bear Snores On ($2), a collection of rhythmic prose poems with music and sound effects that build into a hibernation hoedown. Bigger sibs can delve deeper into the mysteries of the coldest season with the full-cast radio play of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe ($8).
Next Stop, Yosemite
If Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall loom a bit too large, train their expectations on the small creatures. Little ears will love hearing Peter Dennis ham up The House at Pooh Corner ($11) with an unforgettable voice for each of The Hundred Acre Wood’s denizens. Older kids will pass the time peacefully with Shelly Frasier’s reading of The Wind in the Willows ($19.50): The American actress pulls off distinct brogues for every member of the Brit pack (Mole, Ratty, Mr. Toad, Mr. Badger).
When it’s time to return, switch to an oldie that’s a goody: The Velveteen Rabbit ($10) read by Meryl Streep. The combo of her dulcet tones and George Winston’s lush piano will soothe you all — all the way home.
The secrets to a meltdown-free vacation revealed here.
LA LA LA
What: Octopretzel, Orange Sherbet, and VaST Theatre Troupe join life-size puppets in raising the roof for a groove-along concert.
Why: Little pitchers, big ears.
When: Sat., 11 a.m.
Where: Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St., b/t Milvia St. & Shattuck Ave., Berkeley (510-644-2020). Tickets online at ticketweb.com. Adults and children, $8.50 in advance/$9.50 at the door.
By George, You’ve Arrived
What: The Preschool Gallery Hour celebrates the new Curious George exhibition, plus stories, crafting, and music from Circus Finelli.
Why: There’s a good little monkey in your house.
When: Sun., 10-11:30 a.m.
Where: San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., b/t Third & Fourth Sts. (415-655-7800). Free with admission (adults, $10; seniors, $8; students, $8; 18 and under, free).
Banana Slug String Band
What: The Santa Cruz ecoband touches down in Laurel Heights for an up-tempo concert about caring for the planet.
Why: They’ve got the whole world in their hands.
When: Sun., 2-3:30 p.m.
Where: Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., b/t Presidio Ave. & Walnut St. (415-292-1200). Tickets at 415-292-1233 or online at tickets.jccsf.org. Public, $24; members, $20; under 12, $16.
Photo: Brit. / Flickr
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