Album Spotlight – “Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful” performed by Mr. Jeff

When Mr. Jeff, aka Jeff Klemm, introduced his song “Loud in the Library” to the crowd at the Children’s Music Network conference last November and announced that the full album wouldn’t be out until spring, it felt like that day was eons away. Well, the album finally debuted last week and let me tell you, it was definitely worth the wait! Filled with 13 energetic, imaginative tracks, Mr. Jeff’s pop/rock sound, combined with very catchy, singable lyrics is exactly what you need to get moving and grooving.

The title track, “Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful” kicks things off and sets the tone for a truly wonderful album. Klemm’s experience as a Pre-K teacher, songwriter and musician are on full display, capturing the essence of messages and activities that have kid appeal and setting them to beats that they won’t be able to resist. For those who do storytimes or oversee early childhood classes, there are several must-have songs to add to your playlists. These include the fast-paced “Poppin’ Bubbles” which works perfectly with a bubble machine, “Race Car” which gets kids moving very fast, going round curves and turning left and right, and “The Jellyfish Dances Like This.” Other highlights (although they are all highlights) include “It’s Your Birthday,” which is the perfect tune to wake your kids up to on their special day, and “Mr. Jeff’s Numbers Song” a clever new take on counting from 1-20. The album wraps up with a gentle tale of friendship told in the lovely song, “Sleepover.”

Mr. Jeff’s debut children’s album Wonderful Wonderful Wonderful is available on all the usual streaming platforms and his videos are available on his website and YouTube page. For all the library folks, check out the video for “Loud in the Library.” A huge thanks to Mr. Jeff for all the library love he shares at the end of the video!


Video Spotlight – “My Darling Daffodil” performed by Kelli Welli and Red Yarn

We are officially hopping into Spring in just a few minutes, so what better time to celebrate the first flower of the season (at least in Illinois) than right now? In “My Darling Daffodil,” two of Portland’s children’s music stars, Kelli Welli and Red Yarn, team up on a delightful new duet. After many long months away from one another, the dandy dandelion and the darling daffodil sing about longing to see one another again in this thoroughly engaging tune. The charming mixed media video perfectly captures the light and joy that come along with the return of Spring and the love between the two flowers. Take a peek below.

Confidence Juice performed by Miss Tutti and the Fruity Band

When Free to Be…You and Me came out in 1972, there was nothing else like it. An album for children that celebrated acceptance and challenged gender stereotypes was absolutely unheard of and remained a pretty unique concept for decades to come. Over the past few years however, a very welcome trend has emerged in children’s music where songs, and sometimes even entire albums, celebrate self-love, confidence and inclusivity. The most recent entry in this important space is Confidence Juice from Miss Tutti and the Fruity Band.

Inspired by what she was seeing in the body positive movement, Miss Tutti, aka Gracie Nash, set out to write a collection of songs she wished she could have heard when she was a child. The result is eight tracks of joyful love for oneself and for others. Filled with retro sounding tunes, Confidence Juice inspires children to have confidence in themselves, not because of who they see in the mirror but because of the beautiful person they are inside. Throughout the album, children are encouraged to be themselves, take up space, wear what makes them feel good, and be ok with their bodies because as the “Belly Song” enthusiastically proclaims, we’ve all got bellies and and every belly is fine. Positive affirmations such as “I am worthy of the day today,” are woven throughout “Figg’s Song” and the supposition that “maybe normal does not exist,” in “What is Normal?” reminds listeners that everyone has a different way of living, doing, and believing and that should be celebrated. The album’s penultimate track, “What Love Can Look Like,” is a groovy, beautiful tribute to all the ways that love can look, highlights the LGBTQ+ community, and features queer youth advocate and singer-songwriter Emma Jayne.

Confidence Juice entertains and affirms from beginning to end, creating a delightful listening experience. Watch the psychedelic video below for the album’s opening track, “Take Up Space.” For additional albums that encourage confidence, and celebrate self love and inclusivity, try Calming a Panic by You and Us and What Does Love Look Like? by Strawbitty Yops.