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APL kicks off kids’ and teens’ summer programs with master storyteller Odds Bodkin

A published children’s author and award-winning recording artist, Bodkin combines dramatic voices, vocal effects, and live music to create imaginative experiences for his audiences.

Auburn Public Library will kick off its 2019 summer programs for kids and teens, themed “A Universe of Stories,” with two events featuring Master Storyteller Odds Bodkin. The first, for children and their families, will be on Monday, June 24 at 6 p.m.; and the second, for teens and adults, will be on Tuesday, June 25 at 1 p.m.

The Children’s Summer Reading Program will kick off with “Rip Roarin’ Paul Bunyan Tales” on June 24 at 6 p.m. Introduced with six-string guitar, Odds Bodkin will bring forth Sourdough Sam, the inimitable chronicler of Paul Bunyan’s astonishing feats. Sam tells the stories, leaving Odds somewhere behind. Not only do characters speak, but vocal sound effects for roaring wind, crashing trees, mooing oxen, bull whips, giant bumblebees, and other crazy things fly past, adding vivid imagery to Bodkin’s high-energy telling.  This evening of American tall tales will have you holding your sides with laughter!

The Teen Summer Program will kick off with “Hercules in Hell: A Greek Myth” on June 25 at 1 p.m. This compelling, rugged tale explores the genuine myth of Hercules, the ancient Greek hero, from his early murders and madness through his 12 Labors to his bizarre death. Odds Bodkin accompanies the tale with a full score on 12-string guitar and tells it using voices for Hercules, Hades, Persephone, and a host of other gods and mortals. Ultimately a tale about learning empathy and self-control, it also includes a solid exploration of Greek mythology for young people.

This program for teens and adults is not recommended for listeners under 11 years of age.  

Since 1982, professional storyteller Odds Bodkin has combined dramatic voices, vocal effects, narrative, and live music to create imaginative experiences for audiences. During those decades, he has created hundreds of tales that range from a four-hour version of “The Odyssey” to children’s musicals. Using only 12-string guitars, Celtic harp, and folk instruments without electronic effects, he transforms his voice into heroes, giants, villains, and animals while playing live music to create vivid, cinematic soundscapes. He also creates realistic effects with his voice – water droplets, wind, galloping hoofs, crashing waves – to add imagery to his tales.

A published children’s author and award-winning recording artist, he has toured Great Britain, performed twice at the White House, been called “a consummate storyteller” by The New York Times for his off-Broadway shows at Lincoln Center, and been a Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival. His recordings and books have won Parents’ Choice, Indie, Golden Headset, Storytelling World, Pick of the Lists, Editors’ Choice, and Dove awards.

For a full schedule of the library’s programs for children’s and teens this summer, call 333-6640 or visit their events calendar by clicking on “Events” at

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