Laughter is good medicine and kids stay so healthy because they take huge doses of it daily. The two series recommended in this blog post offer a cure for adults as well, since they are designed to delight young and old. Listen and read with the young people in your life and have a blast as you LOL.
“Jungle Jam and Friends” began as a radio program, with humorous plots teaching fundamental life lessons such as sharing, friendship, procrastination, and facing fear. About twenty years ago, creative giants Phil Lollar (of “Adventures in Odyssey” fame), Nathan Carlson, David Buller, and Jeff Parker collaborated in an effort to create colorful audio stories of an imaginary jungle world populated by animals with memorable voices and personalities which first aired in 1993.
A parallel set of characters and stories is set on Razzleflabben Island to which human children, Marvy Snuffleson and his sister Katie, are sent to learn life lessons the funny way with the help of the island’s endearing and whimsical inhabitants. Our family listened to every Jungle Jam story and we are still quoting favorite characters years later. An added bonus in the Jungle Jam experience is the musical contribution of songwriting team Buddy and Julie Miller.
Jungle Jam fans wrote in the website guestbook: “My favorite character from Jungle Jam and Friends the Radio Show is Millard J. Monkey. He is to Jungle Jam what Daffy Duck is to Looney Tunes: egotistical, self-absorbed, and hilarious. I love how he makes such a good foil to the mild-mannered, sweet-natured, naive Sully the Aardvark.” Rebecca
“My favorite character is Sully – his funny dialogue with the other characters, his naiveté. We love “Where the Bears Are”. My husband & I laugh a lot at that episode and are always taunting each other Gruffy/Sully style when we play a game (“You’re goin’ down, Bear”, “You’re gonna cry in your lemonade, Aardvark”). We’ve listened to Jungle Jam in the car for ages, but now that our son is old enough for the stories, we listen to them as part of bedtime routine.” Tammy
It is my understanding that the stories are only available now as downloads online, although some CD sets may be still floating around for purchase. These stories are a must for children 4-12 years old and their parents and grandparents. I can not comment on the quality of the books that were produced after the audio stories, since we never read them. Suffice it say that the vocal talents and witty dialogues of the audio stories must not be missed! My favorite stories are: “ Sully Makes a Friend”, “Pogo A-Go-Go & The Terrible Truth About Lying”, and “The Great Coconut Clunking Debate”.www.fancymonkey.com
In my opinion, the best endorsement of this audio series comes from Katie, a mom of four active boys, who says: “…my favorite thing is that no one is fighting or talking because they’re listening to Jungle Jam!” Enough said.
Another wonderfully funny children’s book series stars “Little Wolf”, the goody-goody nephew of Uncle Bigbad (aka The Big Bad Wolf). Melissa Mcavoy reviews the first in the series, Little Wolf’s Book of Badness in goodreads.com and provides this summation: “Little Wolf is sent away by his parents because he has not been behaving badly enough. In disconsolate and hilarious letters home, Little Wolf chronicles his journey to Uncle Bigbad’s Cunning College For Brute Beasts and his efforts to learn the Nine Rules of Badness. Ross’s ink drawings perfectly capture the charm of Little Wolf as he struggles to be bad enough to come home. Whybrow’s text is full of great real, and imagined, vocabulary. This is one of the funniest, most irreverent and charming stories I’ve read. Kids will adore the humorous reversals of a world where parents want their cub to be bad. Little Wolf’s resourceful and mischievous responses to his adventure are perfectly complimented by Ross’s illustrations.”
I would add that the series continues to captivate the heart, as Little Wolf’s letters, cunningly strewn with misspellings and ink splotches, ooze his perspective and personality onto each page of the series: Little Wolf’s Book of Badness, Little Wolf’s Diary of Daring Deeds, Little Wolf: Forest Detective, Little Wolf: Pack Leader, Little Wolf: Terror of the Shivery Sea, Little Wolf’s Hall for Small Horrors, Little Wolf’s Handy Book Of Poems. How impressive that author Ian Whybrow has published over 100 children’s books since 1989. May he continue to delight children for years to come. If you want more from the delightful Little Wolf, check out his blog complete with illustrations, misspellings, and his own brand of quirky humor.http://littlewolfwrites.com
P.S. Ian Whybrow kindly mentions this post on his website. Authors have feelings too and need to be appreciated! http://www.ianwhybrow.com/2013/10/01/october-1st-2013-reasons-to-be-cheerful/
The Jungle Jam and Friends radio program used to air on a local radio station every Saturday afternoon, and I came across it. I’m an an illustrator and animator with a “cartoonybrain,” so I was mesmerized. Riveted. Adventures in Odyssey are slendid, but these were zany and splendid. The songs were joyous and catchy. Even the character names are terrific (e.g., “Anita and Bonita Cheetah”).
The storylines and dialogue were exceptionally well-written and clever, not to mention LOL funny. The characters were endearing. The narrator’s pleasant, matter-of-fact, straight-man’s voice enhanced each episode tremendously. The Marvy Snuffleson episodes were charming and engaging as well. And one can’t overlook their value in teaching Biblical truths via first-class entertaInment.
I tuned in every Saturday until that sad day when someone at the radio station made the decision to replace the program with something far less energizing and imaginative. I was bereft. Saturdays were a few shades grayer.
I searched and searched online until I found a website whereby I could purchase the CD’s. I bought just about every episode because I felt it nothing short of a tragedy to have this program fade into history with no evidence of its marvelous existence. They are treasures.