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