When I was a kid, I thought fractured fairy tales were hysterical. And the book Wacky Wednesday was one of my favorites that I read over and over again. And my one (yes, one) Weird Al record was practically played on repeat (if that had been such a thing back then). (It is In 3-D for those curious. Still have it.) As you can see, I’ve always liked weird things that went against the norm and revisited traditional stories in new ways.
So it was pretty cool when I heard about a brand new podcast put out by a voice actor named Jonathan Cormur entitled Dorktales Storytime Podcast. The title sounds a bit general because the podcast covers a couple of different areas, namely:
- Dorktales: weird and geeky reimaginings of classic fairy tales.
- Hidden Heroes of History: stories of real-life heroes from history whose stories you may not have heard. These heroes come from science, technology, engineering, arts, math, and human rights.
There are a number of episodes already, and they’re appropriate for all ages, with plenty of silly parts for the kids and pop culture references for the grownups. The absolute best children’s media, in my opinion, provides something for everyone, both the kids and their parents (<cough>The Muppet Show<cough>).
The first episode of Dorktales Storytime Podcast is a very short intro to what comes later, so it’s a good listen to get you (and your kids) oriented. Episode 2 covers a retelling of “The Three Little Pigs,” Episode 3 is like “Little Red Riding Hood,” and Episode 4 is similar to “Rumpelstiltskin.” These episodes are between 22 and 27 minutes long and would be fun on a medium-sized car ride, or something fun to listen to at the beginning of bedtime to get the sillies out.
Right at the beginning of Episode 2, you first meet Reginald T. Hedgehog, Jonathan’s storytelling companion, who provides some comic relief throughout in the form of a serious character who analyzes and nitpicks aspects of each story.
Episode 5 is the first one to tackle history’s heroes and covers Mary Golda Ross, who was an engineer and one of the first women to make it big in her industry (spaceflight!), along with one of the first Native Americans in her field. This episode is nine minutes long, which is easy to fit in at just about any time. Reginald appears in this episode as well.
I found that this podcast was a perfect mix of education, fun, and family bonding time. I wish it had been around when my kids were little! The stories are entertaining and compelling, and Jonathan’s voice acting is varied and quite good. Each episode includes educational information and witty banter, and they’re just a good time. I found myself laughing out loud a number of times. Especially in Episode 3, “Little Red.”
Host Jonathan Cormur has worked for more than a decade as a voice actor and is a member of the SAG-AFTRA union. He works with a team of writers, along with an illustrator—Arthur Lin—who imagines each episode into a gorgeous, children’s book-ish illustration.
I highly recommend that you check out the Dorktales Storytime Podcast with your kids. There are already plenty of episodes to get started, and new episodes will come out every two weeks on Thursdays.