School Library Journal’s (SLJ) “Top 10 Music of 2018” list is out. This year, items that qualified for the list followed the same release date timeline as those for GRAMMY and Fids and Kamily consideration – they had to be released between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.
The criteria used to compile this list is slightly different as well. Along with the best overall quality, musicality and kid/family appeal of an album, the SLJ reviewers also look at selections from the point of view of librarians and teachers and recommend the best albums of the year to use in programs or the classroom.
This year’s Top 10 is varied enough to have a little something for everyone. Each album pictured below deserves a space in every library collection. Click here for to visit SLJ for brief descriptions of each album. Did your favorites make the list?
Last year I had to buy a new car. While the vehicle is great and a real step up from my 12 year old two-door sedan, there is one major flaw. It doesn’t have a CD player. They just didn’t offer it. I keep hearing that this is the wave of the future. That CDs are on their way out. While that may be true, we still have a really long way to go and that is why album cover art continues to be so important.
While many parents are now either streaming music for their kids or playing children’s music videos on YouTube, there is still a large number of families who are buying albums, or in many cases, checking them out from the library. Much like books, people often check music out based on how the cover looks. In the case of Swamp Romp, the new album from Johnette Downing with Scott Billington, the cover is completely delightful.
Created by Heather Stanley, the whimsy and joy of the cover art perfectly captures the Louisiana roots music featured on the album. Stanley, who works as the Director of Creative Services at the Audubon Nature Institute, also illustrated two of Downing’s books (Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh and Mademoiselle Grands Doigts). She works in many mediums from watercolor to digital technology, often showcasing nature and the animals who inhabit it.
Swamp Romp will be released on February 15, 2019.
This past year was another amazing one for children’s music. Whether you like the more traditional kids music, jazz, rock, folk, EDM, pop, world music and more, there was something for every family. To be considered for the 61st GRAMMY awards, albums had to be released between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018. Below are the five albums that are nominated for Best Children’s Album (click on the blue titles to see my reviews). The GRAMMY awards will be announced on Sunday, February 10.
All the Sounds performed by Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats
Building Blocks performed by Tim Kubart
Falu’s Bazaar performed by Falu
Giants of Science performed by The Pop Ups
The Nation of Imagine performed by Frank & Deane
I love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. While it can be filled with lots of special events, extra cars on the road and crabby shoppers, it’s also the only time of the year when I can curl up in my softest, coziest blanket, sip a cup of hot cocoa, turn off all but the twinkly lights and relax while I enjoy some of my all-time favorite music. This year, the folks at Sugar Mountain PR have compiled a free list of new songs and perhaps new-to-you songs from 16 different children’s artists. Click here to take a listen. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite or two!
The playlist includes:
“Blankets of Snow” – The Okee Dokee Brothers
“Christmas Time” – Ants, Ants, Ants
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – The Not-Its!
“My Holiday” – Alphabet Rockers and Genevieve Goings
“Baby It’s the Holidays Again” – Kira Willey
“Holiday Jam” – Brady Rymer
“Silver Bells” – Suzi Shelton
“Must Be Santa” – Raffi
“Light” – Lisa Loeb
“Christmas Time is Here” – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke
“I Got a Cheese Log” – Trout Fishing in America
“Welcome to Christmaswood” – Ralph’s World
“Snow Day” – Justin Roberts”
“We Are Growing” – Tim Kubart (feat. Woodward Parkway’s Junior Chorus)
“Jingle Bell Rock” – Lucky Diaz
“Bembelé” – 123 Andrés feat. ClaraLuna