Joanie Leeds is back and better than ever with her eighth (8th!!) children’s/family album. While the album as a whole is an ode to Joanie’s beloved Brooklyn, the majority of songs can be enjoyed by listeners, no matter where you live. From the opening line of “Ferry Nice,” /It’s ferry nice, It’s ferry good/, the lyrics will get in your head and have you singing along (I woke up with the song “Subway” rattling around in my head just this morning).
Mixed in with the songs that celebrate the things that make Brooklyn so great, are tunes about topics such as children gaining their independence in “By Myself,” all the great things you can learn in your “Library Book,” and eating food that is good for you in “Apples in my Apples.” Joanie has a lot of fun with lyrics and genres on this album on songs such as the punk infused “Rainbow Bagels from Outer Space,” the hilarious “Hipster in the Making (Remix),” and the Yiddish filled “Shayne Punim.”
Her softer side comes out on the beautiful song of acceptance, “Love is Love” as well as her cover of Lou Reed’s “Sunday Morning.” Backed by the Nightlights, Joanie creates a delightful album about a place that she loves that families wherever they may be will want to listen to again and again. Check out the video for “Ferry Nice” below.
Just in time for planning summer programs comes Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes. This high octane album is filled with songs that would be perfect during library storytimes, summer camp dance breaks or just getting the wiggles out at home. Dana Cohenour’s 20+ years of experience working with children is evident in the way that she crafts each song to engage children from beginning to end. The opening track, “Jump and Jive” is perfect to get kids up and moving while songs like “Jumping Beans,” a fun freeze dance will keep the kids (and you!) jumping to the beat for almost three full minutes. The only song not written by Dana is the traditional, “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” which in this case is set to a rousing bluegrass beat. Also included are the story song “Fish Tale” and the beautiful closing track, “I Love Mommy” which sends love to all members of a child’s family circle.
There are several songs from this album that would be great additions to storytimes. My favorites are, “Follow the Leader” which gets kids moving like a wide variety of animals, and “Legs,” a funky tune that has kids counting the legs and moving like a different group of animals than are found in the previous song. (With a running time of 4:10 min. you might at first worry that this is too long for storytime, but never fear, it keeps kids very engaged and waiting to find out what the next animal is going to be.) Also on the album is a new shaker song, “Shakin’ Things Up.” It has a moderate tempo which helps children follow the instructions, and works to get much of the body moving. Finally, there is “Wiggle Workout.” This may be a bit much for storytime, but could work well in a home or exercise/movement class setting. Take a look below.
Dana’s Jump & Jam Tunes is an excellent resource for librarians and teachers and would make a great addition to circulating children’s music collections.