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Circle Round


Storytelling, Books, Kids & Family, Story, Stories For Kids, Children, Kids, Storytime, Ages 4-10, Childrens' Story

4.4 • 12.9K Ratings


Created and produced by parents of young children, WBUR's Circle Round adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids ages 3-103. Each 15 to 25-minute episode explores important issues like kindness, persistence and generosity. And each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups.

362 Episodes

Encore: The Little Blue Pebble

In this magical story with worldwide roots, Broadway performers Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna (Broadway Husbands) play farmers who receive a little magic that leads to big transformations!

Transcribed - Published: 11 June 2024

Encore: The Bright Yellow Hat

Jona Xiao (Raya and the Last Dragon, Hightown) plays a flower peddler who makes gardens and goodness grow in this story with Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese, Moroccan, French, Canadian and Peruvian roots.

Transcribed - Published: 4 June 2024

The Crystal Story Box

Bashir Salahuddin (Top Gun: Maverick, South Side) plays legendary trickster Anansi in this West African tale about how stories first came to the world.

Transcribed - Published: 28 May 2024

Encore: The Troupe of Ten

Malia Baker (The Baby-Sitters Club), Kelly Jenrette (All-American: Homecoming) and Kenny Leu (Midway) headline a story about a troupe of actors who bring down the house until they're nearly brought down themselves.

Transcribed - Published: 21 May 2024

The Long Crimson Thread

Jessika Van (Seoul Searching, Awkward) and Mark Pellegrino (American Rust, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley) co-star in a Welsh tale about a girl, a drought, and a mouse with a life-saving secret.

Transcribed - Published: 14 May 2024

The Snow Eater

Cree Summer (Good Times, Abbott Elementary) headlines a Blackfoot legend about fast friends, warm winds, and why bears hibernate during the winter.

Transcribed - Published: 7 May 2024

The Laughing Bird

Kenny Curtis (Greeking Out) stars in a legend from Aboriginal Australia about dark days, light humor, and a little bird with a big laugh.

Transcribed - Published: 30 April 2024

The Rightful Heir

Oliver Stark (9-1-1, Into the Badlands) plays a clever king who concocts the perfect plan for telling a good egg from a bad seed.

Transcribed - Published: 23 April 2024

Encore: The Friendship Orchard

NPR veterans Linda Wertheimer and Susan Stamberg co-star in a Kazakh folktale about lifelong friends whose bond is tested by an unexpected discovery.

Transcribed - Published: 16 April 2024

A Bee in the Bush

Erika Ishii (Worlds Beyond Number, Apex Legends) headlines this Vietnamese tale about getting a bee in your bonnet, buzzing off, and feeling the sting.

Transcribed - Published: 9 April 2024

The Cleverest Person in the Room

Vanessa Aspillaga (Dora Saves the Snow Princess, Leave the World Behind) stars in this Puerto Rican and Chilean tale about baby basil, cuddly kittens, and how two heads can be better than one.

Transcribed - Published: 2 April 2024

The Whole Cart

Julia Chan (Bojack Horseman, Extinct) and Hrishikesh Hirway (Song Exploder, The West Wing Weekly) co-star in a story from India about matching wits, mincing words, and getting the upper hand.

Transcribed - Published: 26 March 2024

The Young Healer

Jonigan Booth (The Underdoggs, This Is Us) headlines this Angolan tale about flowing with your heart, and the healing power of dreams.

Transcribed - Published: 19 March 2024

The Polka-Dotted Pigeon

Adam Goldberg (The Equalizer) stars in this Portuguese tale about ambitions, imposters, and making the feathers fly!

Transcribed - Published: 12 March 2024

The Uncommon Commoner

Recorded live at The Cowell Theater in San Francisco, this story with roots in Europe and Asia proves that wisdom can be found in unexpected places.

Transcribed - Published: 5 March 2024

Grime and Punishment

Recorded live at The Cowell Theater in San Francisco, this Chinese tale shows why a good neighbor is priceless, and why a bad neighbor pays the price.

Transcribed - Published: 27 February 2024

Encore: The Basilisk’s Stare

In this tale inspired by a Polish legend, Nabiyah Be (Black Panther, Daisy Jones & The Six) and Evan Whitten (The Resident, Ahsoka) face off against a fantastical creature whose gaze turns people to stone.

Transcribed - Published: 20 February 2024

The Weeping Witness

Brittany Ishibashi (Runaways, Hawaii Five-O) stars in a Japanese and Persian tale about facing the music and changing your tune.

Transcribed - Published: 13 February 2024

The Lone Dragon

Ellen Wong (Beacon 23, GLOW) headlines a Chinese legend about how the dragon came to be a powerful symbol of prosperity and luck.

Transcribed - Published: 6 February 2024

Something Fishy

Jorma Taccone (The Lonely Island, Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse) stars in a tale from Hawaii about a fisherman whose magical gift leads to a fishy situation.

Transcribed - Published: 30 January 2024

The Seal of Fate

Ahmed Mawas (Human Resources, Rescuing Christmas) plays a king with a knack for finding the truth and sealing the deal in this tale from Persia.

Transcribed - Published: 23 January 2024

The Sharpest Tack

Negin Farsad (Fake the Nation, Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!) and Stacey Vanek Smith (Planet Money, The Indicator) face off in a battle of wits in this tale with roots in North America, China, and the Middle East.

Transcribed - Published: 16 January 2024

Rhyming Rhino

Kel Mitchell (Good Burger 2, Kenan and Kel) plays a hungry rhino with a gift for trickery and poetry in this African tale from the savanna.

Transcribed - Published: 9 January 2024

Encore: The Nine Sticks

Maulik Pancholy (Phineas and Ferb; Mira, Royal Detective) and Nikesh Patel (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Devil’s Hour) headline this Indian story that asks what's more precious: glittering jewels, or good friends?

Transcribed - Published: 2 January 2024

The Forest Folk

Recorded live at CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center in Boston, Mass., this German tale about unconditional love explains the enchanting origins of a classic holiday tradition.

Transcribed - Published: 26 December 2023

Encore: The Horse of a Different Color

Christina Anthony (Mixed-ish, Key & Peele) and Tony winner Lindsay Mendez (Carousel, Merrily We Roll Along) play a one-of-a-kind horse and rider in this enchanted tale from across the Spanish-speaking world and beyond.

Transcribed - Published: 19 December 2023

Encore: Coyote's Flame

Brittany O'Grady (Little Voice, The White Lotus) stars in a Native American tale about a cunning creature who uses teamwork to bring light, sun and fire to the dark, cold world.

Transcribed - Published: 12 December 2023

The Secret of Success

Helen Hong (Family Switch, The Thundermans) stars in a tale with English, Welsh, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indian roots about how imagination and effort affect supply and demand.

Transcribed - Published: 5 December 2023

The Valley Visitor

NPR’s Ailsa Chang (All Things Considered) headlines a Chinese tale about a mysterious guest, a raging storm, and the true fruits of kindness.

Transcribed - Published: 28 November 2023

Encore: The Red Leather Shoes

Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show, Evil) and Madhur Jaffrey (Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Nation, I Feel Bad) co-star in this Indian story about a wise king, a generous shoemaker, and a priceless pair of shoes.

Transcribed - Published: 21 November 2023

Riches to Rags

Veteran Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! panelists Tom Bodett and Roxanne Roberts co-star in a Dutch tale about a treasure so precious, it's priceless, and so valuable, it's invaluable!

Transcribed - Published: 14 November 2023

The Upside-Down Tree

Comedian Alonzo Bodden (Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!, Heavy Lightweight) headlines this African legend about how one animal’s mischief created the savanna’s most majestic, magical trees.

Transcribed - Published: 7 November 2023

The Four Winds

Kimberly Guerrero (Spirit Rangers, Reservation Dogs) stars in a tale from the Lakota people about one thieving fox and four wise winds.

Transcribed - Published: 31 October 2023

The Crowning Achievement

Faith Salie (Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me, CBS Sunday Morning) stars in a Jewish legend about a princess who learns how to lead with her head and her heart.

Transcribed - Published: 24 October 2023

The Sweetest Sounds

NPR's Rachel Martin (Up First, Enlighten Me) and Ayesha Rascoe (Weekend Edition, Up First) co-star in a Hungarian tale about a violinist, a wizardess, and listening to the music of your heart.

Transcribed - Published: 17 October 2023

Heart and Stone

Joshua Johnson (The Night Light with Joshua Johnson, Now Tonight with Joshua Johnson) headlines this international tale about losing your heart and finding an adventure.

Transcribed - Published: 10 October 2023

The Stork King

Julian Lerner (The Wonder Years, Alma's Way) stars in a Ukrainian tale about how high-flying risks can pay off in the end.

Transcribed - Published: 3 October 2023

The Empty Barrel

Anjali Bhimani (Overwatch, Stray Gods) stars in this Moroccan Jewish tale about a woman who doesn’t view chores as a barrel of fun, until they lead to a boatload of adventure!

Transcribed - Published: 26 September 2023

The Clock Bird

Byron Mann (The Modelizer) plays a preening, boastful bird in this Latin American story about learning there's no "I" in team.

Transcribed - Published: 19 September 2023

The Bright Side

Broadway star Liana Hunt (Back to the Future) headlines this tale with Polish and Hispanic roots about seeing the bright side, even when things get dark.

Transcribed - Published: 12 September 2023

Encore: The Star Fruit Tree

Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Monkey King) headlines this magical Vietnamese tale about the sweet rewards generosity and contentment can bring.

Transcribed - Published: 5 September 2023

Big news from Rebecca Sheir… plus an exclusive Circle Round story!

Announcing an exciting new way for you to Circle Round with us, support public radio and get some really cool stuff — welcome to the Circle Round Club! Also check out the preview of one of our bonus bedtime stories: a tale we call “The Lighthouse of the Pampas,” from the South American country of Uruguay.

Transcribed - Published: 31 August 2023

The Elephant in the Room

Recorded live at Tanglewood with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a star-studded cast, this Chinese courtroom drama explores truth, justice, and the elephant way.

Transcribed - Published: 29 August 2023

The Bitter Truth

Recorded live at Tanglewood with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a star-studded cast, this West African tale shows why dishonesty is definitely not the best policy!

Transcribed - Published: 22 August 2023

All Tied Up

Recorded live at Tanglewood with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a star-studded cast, this tale from Borneo features a tiny trickster who untangles a problem by tying it up in knots!

Transcribed - Published: 15 August 2023

A Biscuit, A Basket

Saara Chaudry (The Muppets Mayhem, Holly Hobby) stars in this tale from India and beyond about good deeds, bad intentions, and biscuits. Lots of biscuits.

Transcribed - Published: 8 August 2023

The Blizzard Wizard

Vivien Lyra Blair (Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Boogeyman) headlines this story from the indigenous peoples of Sibera about a supernatural spirit with a very cold shoulder.

Transcribed - Published: 1 August 2023

Encore: The Great Ball Game

In this Native American and First Nations tale, William Jackson Harper (The Good Place, Love Life) portrays a tiny creature who teaches the other animals and birds to appreciate what it means to be different.

Transcribed - Published: 25 July 2023

Encore: A Taste of Honey

Hannah Simone (New Girl; Mira, Royal Detective) stars alongside her real-life father Naren Simone in a South Asian tale about the power of self-reliance.

Transcribed - Published: 18 July 2023

Encore: The Unwelcome Guest

Richard Kind (Inside Out, American Dad!) stars in this Middle Eastern folktale about a clever man who teaches his village a thing or two about the dangers of judging a book by its cover.

Transcribed - Published: 11 July 2023

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