Circle Round

97 EpisodesProduced by WBUR

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 4 to 10. Each 10- to 20-minute episode explores important issues like kindness, persistence and generosity. And each e… read more

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Circle Round Presents: 'Tumble'

June 18th, 2019

16:05

A special episode from our friends at the podcast Tumble, a science podcast for kids.

Circle Round Presents 'Two Princes'

June 11th, 2019

25:52

This week, we’re bringing you an extra-special episode from our friends at the new Gimlet podcast “Two Princes".

Follow Prince Rupert as he sets out …

Circle Round Presents: Kids Listen Summer Sampler

June 4th, 2019

55:53

We've teamed up with some of the best kids podcasts out there to bring you the Kids Listen Summer Sampler!

Grandfather Stone feat. Diane Rehm, Jonathan Joss

May 28th, 2019

17:57

Jonathan Joss (Comanche Moon, Parks and Recreation) and NPR’s Diane Rehm (The Diane Rehm Show, On My Mind) star in this Seneca tale about a mystical stone who introduces the first stories to the world.

Lazy Jack and the Leprechaun feat. A.J. Buckley, Euan Morton

May 21st, 2019

18:34

A.J. Buckley (SEAL Team) and Euan Morton (Hamilton) headline this Irish tale about a lazy fellow who wants to get rich quick, and the conniving leprechaun who has a big trick up his tiny sleeve.

Encore: 'The Skylark'

May 14th, 2019

15:04

Miriam Shor ("Younger," "The Americans,") stars in this Portuguese folktale about a feathered creature who gives a young, impatient man a lesson …

Circle Round Presents 'Brains On'

May 7th, 2019

38:14

A special episode from our friends at Brains On.

'The Three-Legged Pot' featuring Aparna Nancherla

April 30th, 2019

19:22

Comedian Aparna Nancherla (The Standups, Corporate) stars as a rambunctious, Robin Hood-esque cooking vessel in this Danish and Middle Eastern story about generosity and greed.

The Lute Player featuring Annie Parisse and Paul Sparks

April 23rd, 2019

19:32

This Russian and European folktale stars real-life husband and wife Paul Sparks (House of Cards, Sweetbitter) and Annie Parisse (Friends From …

'The Star Fruit Tree' featuring Stephanie Hsu

April 16th, 2019

18:26

Broadway star Stephanie Hsu (Be More Chill, The SpongeBob Musical) headlines this magical Vietnamese tale about the unexpectedly sweet rewards generosity and contentment can bring.

'Sweet Corn and Clever Rabbit' featuring Eris Baker

April 9th, 2019

17:55

In this playful tale with roots in Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica, Eris Baker (This Is Us) plays a tricky rabbit who presents her fellow animals with …

Circle Round Presents 'But Why'

April 2nd, 2019

26:21

This week, we’re bringing you an extra-special episode from our friends at the podcast “But Why”:

Why do we laugh? Why do you feel ticklish when someone tickles you? Why can't you tickle yourself? We learn about how …

Encore: 'The Happiest Person In The World'

March 26th, 2019

12:36

Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men") stars in a story about a man chasing happiness--and the elusive shirt that will make him smile again.

All That Glitters, featuring the cast of Story Pirates

March 19th, 2019

18:27

This Thai story starring Lee Overtree, Peter McNerney and Meghan O'Neill (hosts of Gimlet's Story Pirates podcast) shines a sparkling light on the treasures that come from honesty, integrity and honor.

Circle Round Presents 'Story Pirates'

March 12th, 2019

28:05

A special episode from our friends at Story Pirates.

'A Bird In The Hand' | feat. Danny Burstein ("My Fair Lady") and Rebecca Luker ("The Sound of Music")

March 5th, 2019

14:50

In this folktale with roots across Europe and Asia, Broadway legends -- and real-life couple -- Rebecca Luker (The Music Man, The Sound of Music) …

'Three Clever Brothers' | feat. Alexandra Billings (Transparent)

February 26th, 2019

16:45

Alexandra Billings (Transparent, Paddleton) stars in this Indian/Persian/Tunisian/Siberian/Iraqi/Uzbekistani folktale about the power of a keen eye …

"The Great Ball Game" | feat. William Jackson Harper (The Good Place, Jack Ryan)

February 19th, 2019

17:28

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

'The Most Powerful Of All' | feat. Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon, Big Little Lies)

February 12th, 2019

18:00

Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon, Big Little Lies) learns a surprising lesson about size, strength and power in this twist on a folktale from East Asia, …

Circle Round Presents 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'

February 5th, 2019

17:10

This episode (featuring Melinda Gates) tells the story of Wangari Maathai,one of the world's most important ecologists.

'The Emperor's Challenge' | feat. Christine Toy Johnson (Iron Fist) & Nikki SooHoo (Star Wars Resistance)

January 29th, 2019

21:57

Nikki SooHoo (Star Wars Resistance, The Resident) and Christine Toy Johnson (Iron Fist, Come From Away) co-star in this Chinese tale about planting the seeds of honesty.

'The Woman In The Moon' | feat. Irene Bedard ("Ralph Breaks The Internet," "Pocahontas")

January 22nd, 2019

17:43

In this Alaska Native tale, Irene Bedard (Pocahontas, Ralph Breaks the Internet) plays a patient mortal who yearns to help the moon carry light across the night sky.

'The Queen's Gift' | feat. Jake Borelli (Grey's Anatomy)

January 15th, 2019

16:41

In this story from Africa, the Middle East and the Caucasus, Jake Borelli (Grey's Anatomy) plays a prince whose newfound weaving skills come in handier than he ever imagined.

'The Golden Flask' | feat. Allison Strong

January 8th, 2019

22:07

Allison Strong (The Week Of) headlines this Incan tale about a brave, magical journey to heal a prince and save a family.

Download the coloring page …

Encore: 'Cow Wells and Cow Bells'

January 1st, 2019

15:39

We're celebrating Billy Porter's 2019 Golden Globe nomination by bringing back this East African folktale that asks: "Is honesty always the best …

Road Trip Reel: 'Family Ties'

December 24th, 2018

1:39:15

To make your winter holidays even merrier and brighter, enjoy 90 minutes of your favorite Circle Round episodes about family! Stories include: "The …

'The Dancing Goats' | feat. Raul Esparza

December 17th, 2018

20:57

In this Galician folktale, Raul Esparza (Law and Order: SVU, Bojack Horseman, Ferdinand) stars as an aspiring musician who dreams of making the …

'Wit and Wordplay' | feat. 'American Dad's' Rachael MacFarlane and Dee Bradley Baker

December 11th, 2018

19:59

In this clever folktale with roots in the Middle East and Spain, Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad) and Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad) seek a …

Circle Round Presents 'Earth Rangers!'

December 4th, 2018

17:19

Winter is coming.... While we get out of hats and gloves, animals are making their own plans. A four month nap? Extra food? Flying south? Our friends at "Earth Rangers" get up close and personal with wildlife to learn …

'Maya's Feathers' | feat. Vella Lovell

November 27th, 2018

15:21

Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power) stars as a young woman who learns the power of her words... and how you can't take the meaner ones back once they're out there.

Road Trip Reel: A Feast For Your Ears!

November 20th, 2018

1:41:58

Whether you're traveling, cooking, or storing leftovers, get ready for scrumptious Thanksgiving listening with 90 minutes of your favorite Circle Round stories about food! Stories included: "Fiona and the …

'The Unjust Justice' | feat. Jackie Tohn

November 13th, 2018

19:46

Jackie Tohn (G.L.O.W.) stars as a clever grocer who teaches a dishonest judge the importance of being fair and trustworthy.

Our *NEWEST* coloring …

'Turtle Island' | feat. 'The Punies' and 'Earth Ranger Emma'

November 6th, 2018

16:32

Circle Round partners with two fellow kids podcasts--'The Punies,' by Kobe Bryant and Canada's 'Earth Rangers,'-- to bring a First Nations folktale …

Encore: 'The Rice Cakes And The Oni"

October 30th, 2018

15:12

Tamlyn Tomita ("The Good Doctor") and Hudson Yang ("Fresh Off The Boat") star in this Japanese story about a mother and son team with a seriously good sense of humor.

If you love this podcast, please consider supporting …

'The Princess and the Egg' | feat. Amber Stevens West

October 23rd, 2018

18:17

Amber Stevens West ("Happy Together") stars as a globe-trotting princess who works hard to keep all of her promises. But in this story, the honest princess's commitment is tested in more ways than one!

Make sure you …

Circle Round Presents 'Ear Snacks!'

October 16th, 2018

20:04

Throughout the year, we’re sharing some of our favorite kids’ podcasts with you-- from science shows to storytelling to EAR SNACKS. (That’s the name of this week’s visiting podcast.) 'Ear Snacks' comes to us from sunny …

'Armadillo’s Song' | feat. Gad Elmaleh

October 9th, 2018

17:43

French comedian Gad Elmaleh stars in this episode about one little armadillo who doesn't let anyone discourage him from following his dreams. This …

'Fiona and the Fairies' | feat. Selenis Leyva

October 2nd, 2018

16:37

Selenis Leyva ("Orange is the New Black," "Maniacs") stars as a clever baker in this retelling of Scottish folktale about the power of a little …

'The Tug of War' | feat. Quvenzhane Wallis

September 25th, 2018

17:01

Does bigger always mean stronger? Oscar nominee & children's author Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Annie) stars in this East …

'Dollars and Scents' | feat. Derek Klena and Max Casella

September 18th, 2018

18:32

Our noses can detect nearly a trillion different scents. When the main character in our story smells just a handful of them he winds up in quite a …

'100 Rooms' | feat. Ed Asner

September 11th, 2018

18:06

Ed Asner ("Up," "Mary Tyler Moore Show") stars in a British folktale about a father who challenges his young daughters to solve a tricky challenge …

'When Fish Fly' | feat. HGTV's 'The Cousins:' John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino

September 4th, 2018

13:58

John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino (HGTV’s “Cousins on Call) co-star in this story about a man who gets a very tricky lesson about the dangers of …

Kids Listen Road Trip Mixtape

August 24th, 2018

36:40

We've teamed up with some of the best kids podcasts out there to bring you our final summer bonus episode, the Kids Listen Road Trip Mixtape. …

Encore: 'Sadko And The Sea'

August 21st, 2018

25:01

Max Greenfield ("The Neighborhood," "New Girl") stars in this Russian folktale about the power of music.

Download a coloring page for this episode …

The Mega Awesome Super Huge Wicked Fun Podcast Playdate

August 14th, 2018

33:24

In this special episode, we team up with some of our pals for an awesome mash-up of fun! Featuring Circle Round, Wow In The World, Story Pirates, Brains On, But Why, and Eleanor Amplified. 

Encore: 'The Owner Of The Sun'

August 6th, 2018

11:40

YouTuber and comedian Joanna Hausmann stars in a Venezuelan folktale about an enterprising young girl and her quest to free the sun.

Download a …

'Cow Wells And Cow Bells' | feat. Billy Porter and Joshua Boone

July 31st, 2018

14:57

Greed. Deception. Adorable baby cows. Billy Porter ("Pose") and Joshua Boone ("Seven Seconds") star in this East African folktale that asks: "is …

'The Unwelcome Guest' | feat. Richard Kind

July 24th, 2018

15:34

Richard Kind ("Inside Out") stars in this Middle Eastern folktale about a clever man who teaches his village a thing or two about the dangers of …

'The King And The Cobbler' | feat. Keith David and James Naughton

July 17th, 2018

21:08

When the most powerful person in the land has never relied on himself, trouble ensues! Keith David ("Greenleaf") and James Naughton ("The …

'The Months Of The Year' | feat. Ailsa Chang and Joshua Rush

July 10th, 2018

21:37

What would it be like to experience the months of the year--out of order? Joshua Rush ("Andi Mack") and Ailsa Chang (NPR) co-star in this story …

Encore: 'The Woman Who Lived In A Vinegar Bottle' feat. Sela Ward

July 2nd, 2018

13:47

Sela Ward ("Graves," "Independence Day") stars in a traditional English tale about a woman who can't seem to find home sweet home.

Download a …

'The Skylark' | feat. Miriam Shor

June 25th, 2018

14:21

Miriam Shor ("Younger," "The Americans,") stars in this Portuguese folktale about a feathered creature who gives a young, inpatient man a lesson …

'The Perfect Partnership' | Feat. Joshua Johnson and Sam Sanders

June 19th, 2018

16:44

Being a good partner is all about give and take. But in today’s story, Sam Sanders (NPR) and Joshua Johnson (WAMU) co-star in a Ghanaian story about one man who's far more interested in the taking.

'The Friendship Orchard' | feat. Susan Stamberg and Linda Wertheimer

June 12th, 2018

13:23

NPR's own Linda Wertheimer and Susan Stamberg co-star in a Kazakh folktale about lifelong friends whose bond is tested by the unexpected discovery …

'A Taste Of Honey' | feat. Hannah Simone

June 5th, 2018

18:20

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

Download a …

Encore: 'It Could Always Get Worse' | feat. Jason Alexander

May 29th, 2018

13:46

Whether we’re 3 or 93, we all love a good story. Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld") stars in this classic Yiddish folktale.

Download a coloring page for …

Two Hour Road Trip Reel: 'The Animal Kingdom'

May 23rd, 2018

1:48:14

Have a very long road trip ahead? We've got you! This playlist features nearly two hours of your favorite Circle Round stories about our furry and …

90 Minute Road Trip Reel: 'Casting A Spell'

May 23rd, 2018

1:22:20

We just made your road trips so much better. This 90 minute playlist features your favorite Circle Round stories about magic including "The Hat, The Horn, and the Purse," "The Rice Cakes and The Oni," "The Magic …

One Hour Road Trip Reel: 'Playing By Ear'

May 23rd, 2018

1:03:02

Buckle your seat belt for a spectacular ride! This 60 minute playlist features your favorite Circle Round stories about music including "The Drum," …

Encore: 'The Lion's Whisker' | feat. Marsai Martin and Miles Brown

May 22nd, 2018

12:20

Marsai Martin ("Black-ish"), Miles Brown ("Black-ish"), and NPR's own Ofeibia Quist-Arcton star in this story about a brother and a sister who are prepared to do just about anything in order to get along.

Download a …

Encore: 'The Shepherd's Disguise' | feat. Tony Hale

May 15th, 2018

20:16

Tony Hale ("Veep," "Arrested Development") stars in a German folktale about a royal advisor whose dishonesty gets him into a royal mess.

Download a …

Encore: 'Stella And The Dragon' | feat. Kathryn Hahn

May 8th, 2018

17:11

Kathryn Hahn ("Bad Moms") stars in the encore presentation of a Romanian folktale where a clever mother does her best to outwit a powerful dragon.

Encore: 'Why The Ocean Is Salty' | feat. Lou Diamond Phillips, Jon Jon Briones

May 1st, 2018

14:30

Lou Diamond Phillips ("Longmire," "33") and Jon Jon Briones ("The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story") star in the classic …

'The Lamb With The Golden Fleece' | feat. Kathleen Chalfant

April 24th, 2018

20:53

In our season finale, Tony-nominated actor Kathleen Chalfant ("The Affair," "House of Cards") stars in an Iraqi tale about three friends whose love …

'The Piper And The Pooka' | feat. Damian McGinty

April 17th, 2018

19:52

Damian McGinty ("Glee," "Celtic Thunder") tells the story of a musician with a serious case of butterflies until he finds himself performing for a …

'Ashes for Sale' | feat. Cheyenne Jackson, Patch Darragh

April 10th, 2018

23:15

Cheyenne Jackson ("American Horror Story," "Glee") and Patch Darragh ("Everything Sucks") star in a folktale about two friends, generosity, and the …

Encore: 'The Barber's Secret' | feat. Noah Schnapp

April 3rd, 2018

17:44

Noah Schnapp ("Stranger Things") stars in a story about a prince, a barber, and a secret that was impossible to keep.

Download a coloring page for …

'Maushop And Grandfather Sun' | feat. Wes Studi

March 27th, 2018

17:06

Wes Studi ("Penny Dreadful," "Dances With Wolves") stars as the Wampanoag mythical figure 'Maushop,' a kind, gentle giant who tries to convince the …

'The Hat, The Horn, And The Purse' | feat. Bobby Moynihan

March 20th, 2018

26:11

Bobby Moynihan ("Duck Tales," "SNL") stars in an Italian folktale about a father who gives seemingly simple gifts to his three sons. But they is …

'Three Wishes' | feat. Patrick and Mandy Fabian

March 13th, 2018

17:45

Patrick Fabian ("Better Call Saul") and Mandy Fabian ("Dropping The Soap") star in a story about a husband and wife whose generosity leads them to …

'Share and Share Alike' | feat. Tiffany Boone and Glynn Washington

March 6th, 2018

16:30

Tiffany Boone ("The Chi") and Glynn Washington ("Snap Judgement") star in a classic folktale about a lazy bear who isn't big on sharing--until he …

'The Drum' | feat. Shankar Vedantam

February 27th, 2018

17:55

Shankar Vedantam (NPR's "Hidden Brain") retells an Indian folktale about a young girl whose generous heart takes her on a surprising adventure.

How Do Our Brains Process Stories?: 'BrainsOn!' Has Some Answers!

February 19th, 2018

29:55

How do our brains process the stories we hear? What happens when we are introduced to new characters? Our friends from the podcast "Brains On!" help us figure it out!

'The Magic Cloth' | feat. Kelly Hu and Albert Tsai

February 13th, 2018

22:03

Kelly Hu ("Dietland") and Albert Tsai ("Dr Ken," "9JKL") star in a Chinese folktale about a mother, her three sons, and a very special magic cloth.

'What Am I Hearing?' | feat. Composer Eric Shimelonis

February 6th, 2018

13:14

Ever wonder what instrument you're hearing during your favorite 'Circle Round' story? Well, you're about to find out!

Download a coloring page for …

Sadko And The Sea | feat. Max Greenfield

January 30th, 2018

24:43

Max Greenfield ("The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story") stars in this Russian folktale about the power of music.

Download a …

'The Goat in the Garden' | feat. 'Car Talk's' Ray Magliozzi

January 23rd, 2018

14:51

Ray Magliozzi ("Car Talk") reminds us that heroes come in all shapes--and sizes.

Download a coloring page for this episode here: …

"The Forbidden Knot" | feat. Mel Rodriguez

January 16th, 2018

20:25

Adapted from the original Estonian folktale, Mel Rodriguez ("Last Man On Earth" "Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams") stars in a story about a …

Bonus Episode: 'But Why' Takes Your Questions

January 9th, 2018

20:44

In this Bonus Episode from our friends at "But Why," we reveal who in the world created cake!

'Latchkey Stew' | feat. Jurnee Smollett-Bell

January 2nd, 2018

18:51

Jurnee Smollett-Bell ("Underground," "Friday Night Lights,") stars in this classic tale about a young girl who teaches a group of neighbors what it …

'The Answer You Seek' | feat. Ari Shapiro and Wade Goodwyn

December 26th, 2017

18:36

NPR's own Ari Shapiro and Wade Goodwyn star in a Thai folktale that explores the power and universality of empathy.

Download a coloring page for this …

'The Magpie With Salt On Her Tail' | feat. Rachael Harris and Taran Kilam

December 19th, 2017

20:25

Rachael Harris ("Lucifer," "Suits") and Taran Killam ("Nature Cat," "Killing Gunther") star in a classic Swedish tale about a little boy who learns that--with a little hard work--dreams can come true.

Download a …

'The Shepherd's Disguise' | feat. Tony Hale

December 12th, 2017

19:37

Tony Hale ("Veep," "Arrested Development") stars in a German folktale about a royal advisor whose dishonesty gets him into a royal mess.

Download a …

'Clever Manka' | feat. Bridget Moynahan

December 5th, 2017

18:19

Bridget Moynahan ("Blue Bloods") re-tells this Czech folktale about a clever young woman who uses her intelligence to win the hearts of her town.

'Onions And Garlic'

November 27th, 2017

26:16

The second installment from our live performance at the Boston Jewish Film Festival. In this old Jewish folktale, we tell a story about spicy, …

'Princess In The Mirror'

November 21st, 2017

20:39

Live from the Boston Jewish Film Festival! In this Israeli folktale, an adventurous princess learns that the greatest lessons may not be learned in …

'Thunder and Lightning' | feat. Yetide Badaki and Dayo Okeniyi

November 14th, 2017

17:13

Yetide Badaki ("American Gods") and Dayo Okeniyi ("Shades of Blue") star in this Nigerian folktale about thunder and lightning and how they found …

'The Lion's Whisker' | feat. Marsai Martin and Miles Brown

November 7th, 2017

11:42

Marsai Martin ("Black-ish"), Miles Brown ("Black-ish"), and NPR's own Ofeibia Quist-Arcton star in this story about a brother and a sister who are prepared to do just about anything in order to get along.

Download a …

'The Woman Who Lived In A Vinegar Bottle' | feat. Sela Ward

October 31st, 2017

13:09

Sela Ward ("Graves," "Independence Day") stars in a traditional English tale about a woman who can't seem to find home sweet home.

Download a …

'The Owner Of The Sun' | feat. Joanna Hausmann

October 24th, 2017

11:13

YouTuber and comedian Joanna Hausmann stars in a Venezuelan folktale about an enterprising young girl and her quest to free the sun.

Download a …

A Few More Podcasts For Kids And Their Grown-Ups

October 19th, 2017

21:39

Do you love science? Mystery? Adventure? You can bet there's a Kidcast for it! This bonus episode introduces you to some of our favorites.

'The Barber's Secret' | ft. Noah Schnapp

October 17th, 2017

17:06

Noah Schnapp ("Stranger Things") stars in a story about a prince, a barber, and a secret that was impossible to keep.

Download a coloring page for …

'The Rice Cakes And The Oni' | ft. Tamlyn Tomita and Hudson Yang

October 10th, 2017

14:52

Tamlyn Tomita ("The Good Doctor") and Hudson Yang ("Fresh Off The Boat") star in this Japanese story about a mother and son team with a seriously …

'The Happiest Person In The World' | ft. Jon Cryer

October 2nd, 2017

11:56

Jon Cryer ("Two and a Half Men") stars in a story about a man chasing happiness--and the elusive shirt that will make him smile again.

Download a …

'Why The Ocean Is Salty' | feat. Lou Diamond Phillips, Jon Jon Briones

September 26th, 2017

13:57

Lou Diamond Phillips ("Longmire," "33") and Jon Jon Briones ("Miss Saigon") star in the classic Filipino folktale "Why The Ocean is Salty."

Download …

'Stella And The Dragon' | feat. Kathryn Hahn

September 18th, 2017

17:28

Kathryn Hahn ("Bad Moms Christmas") stars in this Romanian folktale about a clever mother and her quest to outwit a powerful dragon.

Download a …

'It Could Always Get Worse' | feat. Jason Alexander

June 8th, 2017

12:52

Whether we’re 3 or 93, we all love a good story. Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld") stars in our first episode, a classic Yiddish folktale.

Download a …

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