The James Thurber House

We are excited to report “In the Wake of the Willows” is officially being considered for The Thurber Prize for American Humor, one of the highest and only major recognitions of humor writing in the United States.

Yes, the authors share the same last name, and a distant familial connection. While Fred’s writing style beautifully compliments that of Kenneth Graham, his humor and whit are so very Thurber.

Don’t forget your daily dose of the chuckles. It’s good for your soul.

– AT

AudioFile Magazine

We were pleased to see this review of In the Wake of the Willows in this month’s AudioFile Magazine!

“Narrator Madeleine Barker takes on this New England version of England’s WIND IN THE WILLOWS. She delivers a variety of accents and tones for a group of inhabitants that includes its own Rat, Mole, Badger, Otter, and Weasel families. Barker’s lively narration adds to the sense of adventure, making her the perfect fit for this lyrically written tale. Barker’s voice rises in surprise in her portrayal of Mr. Rat’s inquisitive daughter, who solves a mystery and is part of a thrilling journey. Barker’s personifications of the other resident animals are executed perfectly: a fast pace for a warbler whose excited words run together, squeaky voices for chipmunks, an upbeat tempo for a wren’s Pollyanna preaching, and a high pitch for a mockingbird’s repetitive statements.” — A.L.C. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: AUGUST 2021]

The audio version is available through Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

For more reviews of great Audio Books check out AudioFile Magazine online:

Snarky Advanced Praise

When Fred first showed me the advanced praise he intended to include at the beginning of the book, I thought “Hmm, are readers going to get this?” But then a friend pulled me aside during a farmer’s market, after just starting his new copy of In the Wake of the Willows, and exclaimed, “This is wonderful! Fred has me in stitches.” Another professional editor exclaimed, “Best Advanced Praise ever!” Okay, so I was wrong. It sets the stage for the sense of humor, and intriguing characters to come.

Fred was eager to have Madeleine perform the advanced praise to share with all of you, since it could not be included in the audio book. We hope you enjoy it.

In the Wake of the Willows audio book is available through, and iTunes.


Advanced Praise for In the “Wake of the Willows”
Madeleine Recording in her father’s closet over winter break.

The Show Must Go On!

During the hot summer months of covid-19, actress Madeleine Barker created a delightful performance of In the Wake of the Willows from inside her converted closet. Ordinarily, she would have recorded in a professional sound booth, using their mics and recording equipment.

Through determination, perseverance, creative thinking and the help of sound engineer Joel Thibodeau, Madeleine was able to create a sound booth in her apartment. Joel and Madeleine worked together to replace her mic with one better suited to her needs, then tweaked, and re-tweaked settings until they achieved the professional results they were looking for.

Removing all extraneous noises from motors and electrical devises meant no fans or air conditioning. Madeleine braved the closet recording sessions during the hottest August on record.

She then sent the each clip to Joel for editing, to us for review, and then headed back into the sound booth. In the end, Joel sent us the finished chapters, and Amy submitted them to Audible for review. Two months later, the audio book went live.

We are so grateful to Madeleine and Joel for transforming Fred’s words into this magical performance.

At Long Last, the Audio Book is available!

It’s alive with the characters of the Riverfront; full of humor, hauntingly beautiful songs, quirky birds, and boastful toads.

Over the summer we had the pleasure of working with actress Madeleine Barker, and are thrilled to share with you the audio production of In the Wake of the Willows.

Madeleine brings her extensive talents to the book. Currently an MFA candidate at Brown University/Trinity Rep Theater Arts Program, she has appeared in many productions throughout the US. See for a list of her theatre credits. She has produced a highly polished and professional audio book with the help of Audio Producer Joel Thibodeau, and under the guidance of voice coach Tom Jones.

The audio book is available through Audible, Amazon and iTunes.



As the promised 30 business days, turns into 50, we have been given no clue as to when the audio version of In The Wake of the Willows will be released. ACX the Amazon and Audible giant has a huge backlog of submissions. Great! lots to listen to. But announcements have been published in Brown Alumni Magazine and on printed promotions, and a slew of reviewers are standing by for the first glimpse (or listen).

Patience and understanding, safety and good health, fortitude and gratitude are only some of the lessons to be learned during this time of covid.

Author’s Preface

Audition Clip #3

While we wait for Audible, iTunes and Amazon to release the audio book, we thought we’d share a new audition clip each day for “In the Wake the Willows”. It is taking longer than expected for it to be released. Covid-19 patience is yet another new skill we must learn. We’ll keep you posted.

Here is Mr. Otter coaching Toady: