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  May 24th, 2006       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Meryl Streep is narrating a pair of children’s classics, “The Velveteen Rabbit” and “The Night Before Christmas,” that will be released later this year as audiobooks at Starbucks coffeehouses. “This is continuing our commitment to providing customers with compelling family entertainment titles,” Starbucks Entertainment President Ken Lombard told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The audiobooks feature musical accompaniment by George Winston, the Edwin Hawkins Singers and others. After an initial four-month run at Starbucks, Random House Inc.’s Listening Library will give the recordings a general release. Starbucks Corp. has been expanding its entertainment offerings over the past few years, releasing CDs by Ray Charles and the Rolling Stones, among others, and promoting the movie “Akeelah and the Bee.” The company recently announced an alliance with the William Morris Agency, a talent and literary agency that will help Starbucks identify music, film and book projects to consider for marketing and distribution in its stores.