While everyday should be Mister Rogers Day, the official celebration as declared by Mister Rogers’s home state of Pennsylvania is May 23. Why May 23? It’s the 143rd day of the year which also happens to be Mister Rogers’s favorite number. But 143 is not just any random number. In fact it holds a lot of significance. For Mister Rogers, 143 symbolized “I Love You.” I is one letter long, love is four letters long and you is three, hence 143. Veteran children’s performer Andy Z has taken 143 and created a lovely song in the spirit of Mister Rogers and his philosophy of kindness and love. His video, “1 4 3,” explains the meaning of 143 set against a colorful, joyful animated background. As the normalcy of life returns, it’s more important than ever to remember that we need to continue to care about one another and show that care in big and little acts of kindness. Don’t just sit there, get out and spread the love!
Welcome to Kids Rhythm and Rock’s first ever Children’s Music Roundup!! Throughout the past year I thought a lot about doing a “10 Best” list, but the music for children this year was so diverse and so dynamic, there was no way I could limit my choices. What I decided to do instead was to make a list of my favorite albums of the year, then break the list up by categories. (If I reviewed an album here, I’ve included the link.) So, without further ado, here is the 2018 Children’s Music Roundup!
Most Amazing Album Covers:
Come for the covers, stay for the fantastic music!
Be Mindful, Be Kind:
Music to guide our everyday lives.
Every Voice performed by Kira Willey
Dog on the Floor performed by Raffi
Oh, to be Little:
Perfect tunes for the preschool crowd.
Sounds of Summer:
Winter may soon be upon many of us, but these albums are good anytime of the year.
Camp Andyland performed by Andy Z
Fireflies performed by Mister G
Who knew science could be so fun?
Giants of Science performed by The Pop Ups
Kidz STEM Songs performed by Dan Crow and Friends
Zoom a Little Zoom: A Ride Through Science performed by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer
Life Through a Special Set of Eyes:
Meet Jamey, his cat and his new puppy as they partake in the joys of summer.
Kitty Cat Under My Wheelchair performed by Steve Pullara and His Cool Beans Band
For Fans of the “Who Was/ Who Is” Series:
What better group of people to learn about than Nobel Laureates?
Legion of Peace performed by Lori Henriques Quintet featuring Joey Alexander
Where in the World…:
Music inspired by cultures from around the world.
Everything’s groovy in this collection.
All the Sounds performed by Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats
We Only Have One Earth:
Celebrate all the creatures, great and small, on this planet we call home.
Back to the Land performed by Hot Peas ‘N Butter
Why Why Why? performed by Ants Ants Ants
Who can resist a bilingual playground?
Happy Land is Tierra Feliz performed by Mi Amigo Hamlet
There are many moms on this list, but the moms below can’t be categorized!
Music for a Cause:
Hold Tight, Shine Bright performed by 25+ children’s artists
This album was created to help keep families together. All proceeds go to RAICES Texas.
And finally –
Just Because They’re Awesome:
Building Blocks performed by Tim Kubart
Family Photo Album performed by Recess Monkey
Hand in Hand performed by Suzi Shelton
Did your favorites make the list?? Let me know in the comments below.
Just before the July 4th holiday I reviewed Andy Z’s new album, Camp Andyland. Now, just a little over a week later comes a brand new video for “Camping Song,” the seventh track on the album.
This video features live versions of Andy Z. (with guitar) and two teen campers inside the animated world of Camp Andyland. Throughout the song, especially during the chorus, the campers do movements that go along with the lyrics to create interactive moments for the viewers. Well-executed, animated characters from Camp Andyland seamlessly interact with Andy and the campers adding to the overall whimsical feel. This video for “Camping Song” is the perfect complement to the upbeat fun of the track. Enjoy (but watch out for those banana slugs)!
Summer is the time of year when kids start heading off to camp. For some it’s overnight camp, for some day camp, and for others camp for just a weekend. For those hanging out at home this summer, there’s a new fictional camp filled with musical adventures just waiting for them.
Camp Andyland is the newest entry in the Andyland series from Andy Z (aka Andreas Zamenes). At Camp Andyland, campers/listeners are welcomed to camp, then treated to a delightful array of songs filled with fun lyrics that will make campers singalong. Each of the original songs tells a story that is packed with information wrapped in beautiful melodies like “Butterfly” and upbeat romps like “Drink More Water.” Throughout their time at Camp Andyland, listeners are invited to go stargazing in “Galaxy Song,” join in the hijinx in the “Pirate Song” and imagine what it would be like if “I Went to a Party with Dinosaurs.” While at camp, they enjoy old favorites like “Sticky Bubblegum” and “Row Your Boat” while learning new nature songs about “Squirrely Squirrel,” “Bizzy Bee,” and “La Araña Pequenita.”
Camp Andyland is a true joy from beginning to end. And speaking of end, I love that Andy Z carried the theme of the album all the way through to the details on the back of the CD packaging, including not just a song list, but a Camp Andyland Roster , a schedule of the day’s events while at camp and even emergency numbers for the Vet (555-PAWZ) and the Dino Doctor (555-RAWR).
Check out the video for “Drink More Water” below. I never thought that a song about the need to drink more water throughout the day would be catchy and fun to sing, but this song definitely proved me wrong! (Love the movements that would make this an easy addition to a program!!)