A Little Something for Everyone

With school starting in many areas this week, I thought I would highlight a couple of albums that have come out within the past year – one for the preschool set and one for those in grade school.

lisaloebOne of my absolute favorite albuims for preschool teachers and parents is Lisa Loeb’s latest, Nursery Rhyme Parade! As stated in the Public Library Association (PLA) and Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) initiative Every Child Ready to Read, beginning at birth, singing is one of the key activities for parents and caregivers to do with children everyday to help develop early literacy skills. What better way to do that than with nursery rhymes? For the last few years we have noticed that more and more of the parents coming to our storytimes and early childhood programs have no knowledge of nursery rhymes, which is why Lisa’s album is so important. In this collection, 35 nursery rhymes are treated to Loeb’s beautiful, clear voice. Backed only by soothing acoustic accompaniment, the words and rhymes are allowed to shine. Everything is here from Mother Goose favorites such as “Sing a Song of Sixpence,” “Peter Piper” and “Humpty Dumpty” to classic children’s songs like “This Old Man,” Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Every preschool teacher, librarian and parent should have a copy of this CD.

 

dancrowFor the older set, Dan Crow’s latest album, Concoctions is a solid choice. While there are only five original songs in this collection, they are written more for a grade school audience with an overarching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) theme. With high energy melodies, Crow delivers rousing tunes such as “Science Science Science” which emphasizes the fact that science is everywhere, in the sky, on the ground and all around. “Technology” talks about what technology is and how it has evolved. Here is a cute video to go along with the song. And “You’re an Engineer” touches on the many, many ways that you can be an engineer. The song “Seven” is an ode to that luckiest of numbers while “Franklin D. Dime & Abraham Penny” is about, you guessed it, the coins in your pocket. The unique thing about this album, which would make it useful in a classroom activity, is that the last half of the album is karaoke versions of these five songs. What a fun way to introduce students to the general concept of STEM!

 

Emily Arrow: Storytime Singalong, Volume One

Storytime Singalong, Volume One performed by Emily Arrow
Target Audience: Preschool to Grade 5
emily arrow

Emily Arrow is a name you need to know. A former elementary music teacher, her experiences with and understanding of younger children is evident in this, her debut album of eleven original songs. One of the unique things that Arrow does on this album is introduce a new genre of children’s music, “Kidlit Tunes.” This term, coined by Emily, pertains to songs specifically written about favorite picture books (with the authors’ permission). These songs, inspired by the books, weave the story into a song and according to Arrow, she uses the illustrations for the inspiration of the tone and sound of each song as well. Included on this album are songs related to books such as Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown (for which Emily won the 2015 John Lennon Songwriting Competition), and One Day, the End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Each song can be used with the correlating book, or can be enjoyed all on its own.

Emily has charming videos to go along with each of these picture book based songs (and many others) on her website as well as on her YouTube channel.

Also included on this album are songs that would be great additions to storytime or the classroom. The album opens with the song “Books! Books!” which include lines like, I’ll read to you, you, you/You’ll sing to me, me, me and would work really well for anyone who is looking for a new, gentle song to begin storytimes. “Poem in Your Pocket” would work well when introducing children to poetry or the concept of rhyming words. Built into the song are pauses where children are invited to come up with words that rhyme with those that Emily just sang. The interactive “Peanut to My Butter” contains lyrics like You’re the peanut to my butter, the bumble to my bee and could easily be used in lessons about things that go together such as shoes and socks and baseballs and bats.

This is a great album that librarians, teachers and parents will all enjoy!

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