Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus
By Tom Angleberger
Narrated by Mark Turetsky, Tom Angleberger, Ali Ahn, Julia Todd Gibson, Jennifer Ikeda, Jonathan Ross, and Greg Steinbruner
Ⓟ 2014, Recorded Books
CHILDREN 8-12/MIDDLE GRADE/GENERAL FICTION
The final installment in Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series, sees kids from McQuarrie Middle School go on a field trip to Washington, DC. For those unfamiliar with the series, it centers around a loser named Dwight who folds a paper Yoda figure that dispenses wisdom and advice to his classmates. Seemingly divorced from Dwight himself, the paper figure achieves a certain mystic aura among most students, suspicion to some (’cause there’s always at least one person like that,) and frustration for all of the teachers. As the series goes on, more paper figures are introduced, all from the Star Wars cast of characters. It’s fun, and while the print books are heavily illustrated, the audio works surprisingly well on its own. The production value across the series is a little uneven (splicing the different narrators’ sessions together seems to be a recurring issue resulting in some extra long pauses in some of the titles); but “Emperor Pickletine” seems to have had a better post engineering on it than the other titles.
Tommy, the principal chronicler of the series is voiced by Mark Turetsky, who, as always, turns in a performance great for capturing the tone of a middle-grader (as opposed to sounding like an adult mimicking a child.) He does an awesome Chewbacca impression (check out The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee), which sadly wasn’t called for this time; but to make up for it, Dwight actually speaks in this book, and he is perfectly rendered by Tom Angleberger himself!
Even if you haven’t listened to the others in the series, the book is entertaining and fun; and I’m sad to see it end.
Great for family listening 🙂
Recorded Books’ Interview with Tom Angleberger and Mark Turestsky:
Tom and Mark talk about the fun of narrating an audiobook, the imagination sparked by the Origami Yoda series, and of course, we geek out on some Star Wars trivia.
OTHER: I received a CD library edition of Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (by Tom Angleberger; narrated by Mark Turetsky et al) from Recorded Books in exchange for a review. I receive no monies, goods (beyond the audiobook) or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. I have donated my copy of the audiobook to Ashland Middle School in Ashland, OR which is currently rebuilding their audio collection. If you have a middle grade audiobook (CD edition(s)) in good or better condition that you would like to donate, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
EDIT: 02/03/2015 – To add Tweets from Mark Turetsky and Tom Angleberger; To add Sound Cloud link to Recorded Books’ Interview