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Cody has been at Audible for almost three years working on our premium podcasts and original series, and grew up on storytelling. His father, Bill Gordh, is an award-winning storyteller and banjoist who teaches graduate courses in Storytelling and Literacy and has been a featured speaker at numerous educational conferences nationwide. For three years, Bill was a featured storyteller at the White House Easter Egg Roll. We asked Cody how (literally) living with spoken stories influenced his childhood, and what tips he has for sharing stories with children.

“Bedtime was not book time. It was story time. There is something special about opening up your imagination and not being distracted by pictures. Listening allows you to give all of your senses to a story. Kids are so quickly attached to story books and screens to go to bed. What time does a kid spend while their eyes aren’t on something? Listening to stories is a unique opportunity for kids to expand their imagination and immerse themselves in an adventure. As I listened, I remember creating animated movies in my head.”

“I was so excited to listen to a new story every night. As much as I loved hearing my dad, I listened to a lot of stories in audio, and I loved the diversity of voices and perspectives. I remember the stories from the Iroquois with their flute accompaniment and the immersive Greek myths that struck a familiar chord. Having a balance of male and female voices is nice as well as some level of musical accompaniment. My dad plays banjo and would accompany the stories.”

“One of the things I remember most is my dad bringing a globe into the bedroom. I would spin the globe and put my finger down, and whichever country my finger landed on, he would tell me a story from that country. It helped me understand that while the world is so big, humans have so many similarities. That informed who I am today and how I view the world.”