Andy's Wild Amphibian Show!Spring 2016 Storytelling
Until now, noted storyteller, singer, musician, and master whistler Andy Offutt Irwin hadn't turned his talents to a children's CD, despite his many years of work in schools and libraries. Here's hoping the first won't be his last. With zany sound effects, colorful character voices, and deftly integrated educational snippets, Georgia-based Irwin, 53, spins two tales that are mined, he says, from his "free-range, bicycle childhood" during "the before time," when "the telephone was tied to the kitchen wall" and Tonka Trucks were "made out of a material called metal." Performing live, Irwin warms up his giggling audience with the first track, "I Have a Loose Tooth," and then launches into the title story involving aquarium envy, a bucket full of tadpoles, the training of bullfrogs, sister trouble, and a brother's revenge. Without breaking humorous stride, Irwin acknowledges kids as worthy of respect, integrates life lessons, and chaffs the adults in the audience. Irwin rounds out the CD with a lovely, life-affirming lullaby, "The Light Went Away," and the jaunty "I Love to Whistle" (harmonies and yodeling by veteran folk and children's music duo Cathy Fink, who is also one of the album's producers, and Marcy Marxer).