Ostensibly I subscribed to Boomerang for my kids, but truth be told there were times when I’d pop a cassette* (a cassette!) into my car’s player and listen, even if the kids weren’t with me. Covering topics like the first amendment, the building of the great pyramids, globalization, and nanotechnology, each hour-long episode presents some really big ideas. Science, current events, history, economics, geography, and politics are all fair game. Voiced by youth as well as creator Dave Strohm, Boomerang presents some really big ideas in a kid-friendly fashion without dumbing down the content.
Dave is quick to point out that using the fine art of storytelling is a great way to capture kids’ attention. And so, tell stories he does. Tiananmen Square, Nikola Tesla, Mohandas Gandhi, and the stock market? Yep, he’s covered those.
In an interview segment, one of the Boomerang kids goes back in time to interview an important historical or political figure (portrayed by an actor). Listening to words that someone like Ada Lovelace or Emily Dickinson might have said is a compelling way to learn about what was going on in the world at a certain time.
There are fun and silly topics, too, as well as my personal favorite, reflections from Dave Schmave (aka Boomerang creator Dave Strohm). His dispatches are sometimes funny, sometimes ironic, and always touching. Plus? I absolutely adore his voice. You can listen to Dave talk about storytelling on the Boomerang site. Go ahead. See if you don’t love his voice as much as I do.
While Boomerang is intended for an audience aged 6-12, I can assure you that the whole family will love it.
*Today, the audio program for kids is downloadable right from your computer. Downloads, $8.95 per episode; CDs, $10.95 per episode. Or, order a bundle of nine episodes for $49.95.