Minds Behind the Magic: Favorite Children’s Authors in Audio and Film

Chances are, you’ve been spending a good bit more time with the kids recently. Are you struggling just to remember how it feels to be a child, let alone figuring out how it feels to be one in the middle of a global crisis? If so, you might turn to some old friends for inspiration–writers who, Peter Pan-like, never seemed to lose their passports to the realm of childhood, and who have made the lives of their readers all the richer for their magic.

If you’d like to get to know these remarkable personalities better, why not have a listen to the biographies curated in a brand-new hoopla audiobook collection: 2020 APL Minds Behind the Magic Audio? Here, you’ll find portraits of imaginations born out of the crisis of World War I in books like A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and the Great War by Joseph Loconte or Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle Earth by John Garth. (To enjoy a glimpse of Tolkien’s own parenting approach, you might also take a look at his playful Letters from Father Christmas, a richly-illustrated ebook available on hoopla.)

In a similar vein, Louisa May Alcott’s life and writing were undoubtedly shaped by crisis: childhood privation and the Civil War loom large in her biographies. For a well-rounded study, try Susan Cheever’s Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography; to observe the strong mother-daughter bond that shaped Alcott, listen to Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eva LaPlant. 

In the memoirs of Christopher Robin Milne, we have a different sort of perspective: the complicated influence of famous children’s author A. A. Milne and his works on his own son. While the two-part autobiography (The Enchanted Places and The Path through the Trees) is not all sunshine, it offers some fascinating windows onto Winnie-the-Pooh’s world and its creator. Even more compelling is The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest That Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood, a biography-cum-ramble through rural England.

For further insight into the minds behind the magical worlds of classic children’s literature, have a look at a companion film collection in hoopla, available here.

What’s All The hoopla About?

Have you noticed all the hoopla lately? No, we’re not talking about the hourly coronavirus updates. We here at the virtual APL are celebrating the launch of our brand-new online media service called—you guessed it, hoopla! Browse more than 39,000 audiobooks, 11,000 movies, nearly 30,000 music albums, 11,000 comics, more than 108,000 ebooks, and nearly 2000 seasons of popular TV series now! All absolutely for free!

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You’re entitled to up to 5 borrows per month. But with all this exciting content to choose from, you may want more—and you can have more. hoopla is currently offering thousands of Bonus Borrows in various adult and children’s categories. These special borrows do not count towards your monthly total, so you can read/listen/watch with abandon! This special promotion will be active through April 30, 2020.

One of hoopla’s fabulous features is the option to use Kids Mode. When browsing or searching in this mode, you and your kids will find fascinating content appropriate to children 12 and under. Parents, this could save your sanity right now!

We’re especially excited about hoopla’s music streaming content. You can access brand-new albums for free, anytime, anywhere. Have a look here for music that just hit the virtual shelves within the last week.

Signing on to hoopla is quick and easy. All you’ll need is your email address, any password you choose, and your Marblehead library card. Go here and click on the big blue button in the center of the page to get started! If you need a library card, learn how to register for a card here.