Listening to Pooh

Nearly 20 years ago I sat for hours reading Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner into the tape recorder, so that my youngest could listen to the stories at night after she got into bed. It was a challenge to find the time and to keep the lively house noises outside of my bedroom door, but I kept at it for many recording sessions, and she got at least one long cassette full of my sleep-inducing voice.

Before I completed the project, one tape broke and I became disheartened about the loss of so much work. Then we found a professionally produced edition of Pooh stories and young Kate made do with someone else’s voice in her ears as she drifted off. It was a long time before she got tired of this Pooh routine.

Now Scout has the homemade tape; you can see him wiggling before the sound system in this short video his mother made, listening beyond his years as she (not the one I made the tapes for) used to do. Pippin would stand by the radio to hear the adult program “Unshackled,” and sit patiently and attentively while I read books more on the level of the oldest children in our tribe.

Cassette tapes are antiquated now, and players not so available as they used to be. I’m sure my Pooh tape won’t live a lot longer. But now, by means of a digital camera, a minute of the story has been preserved against its demise.

12 thoughts on “Listening to Pooh

  1. how sweet! what a neat idea. I used to buy loose cassettes from unparnterned 'books on tape' sets from value village and the kids each had a tape recorder in their room. I think, I hope those old cassettes are still kicking around somewhere…


  2. that's lovely!

    you know digital recorders are not that costly – I have a Panasonic one – you could play the tape and record it on a new digital recorder and it would be in MP3 format, ready for use for what we call 'this current generation'…

    I think it is lovely that you had taped these!


  3. What a wonderful treasure! My parents got their wedding movie (it was on a big reel) transferred to a VCR tape. Now I wish we would get it transferred to a DVD. You could probably get your cassette tape transferred to a CD. What lovely memories for everyone!


  4. Loved this!!! You have a wonderful reading voice. It's funny you brought this up because my DIL asked me if I might be able to make a recording singing some of the old folk songs that I used to sing with my kids. She wants to play them for her kids. I really want to. And I'd like to read aloud some books for them too. I think I can record on the Mac computer using the built in microphone. Must investigate. You too? There are probably more stories for you to read aloud!



  5. This was a happy and pleasing pursuit, a gifting to your loved ones. Isn't it amazing how the simpliest pursuits may be the most weigthy.


  6. Jody, great idea! Grandma has the best songs and reading voice. C. was asking to “listen to Grandma” several times a week in the dreary days of winter; I know he would like more!


  7. Oh my goodness, this is wonderful! I've thought of reading books into tapes for my daughters but haven't ever done it. Now I want to try.


  8. Thanks to all your encouraging thoughts, I am planning to get one of those digital recorders Elizabeth mentioned. This morning I found a few more cassettes even older than the Pooh ones on which I had recorded myself reading our favorite library books and many Raggedy Ann and Andy stories, interspersed with songs from library LP's. Also another Pooh cassette. 🙂 God willing I'll re-record these, and make new ones, too!


  9. This is so familiar! My brothers had recorded me reading Prince Caspian to them when they were pretty little and would listen to it for hours too. I just found a recording of Pooh done by the BBC that my mom had saved from when we lived in England. I wasn't sure if it would work, since DVDs from the UK don't, but I gave it a go, and sure enough, my little ones were happily listening to a very traditional reading of the first Winnie the Pooh book.


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