Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mailbox - Letters from Fans

Alyson McNutt English posted on Johnette Downing Fan Page's Wall.

Alyson wrote:

"My 5-year-old daughter listens to "Fins and Grins" constantly -- literally! She even sleeps with it on! She forgot to turn it off this morning when she came downstairs, and now that she's at preschool, I can hear it playing. I'm fairly sure this is one of the only CDs she has that I wouldn't run upstairs to turn off as soon as she was gone! Last night my husband started humming one of the songs and I joined in. Thank you for putting out music that not only is great to listen to, but that teaches her something, too! She was born in Baton Rouge, but now we live in Huntsville, Alabama -- I love that she gets a little "Louisiana cultural heritage" from the album, too! ("just a little crustacean that the Cajuns lo-ove..."!)"

Photos from the Amazon Alphabet Book Launch on February 12, 2011

Outdoor craft activity table and two little artists!
(Photo by Gary Smith)

Official groupies, my Dad and Ms. Jean!

Olivia, the first one to arrive, in all her loveliness as "V" the "Vampire Bat."

Cindy Dyke of Maple Street Book Shop and Caitlin Smith of Pelican Publishing at the end of the event.

I'll add more photos as they come in!

Amazon Alphabet reviewed by Kirkus Reviews

Excerpt from the Feb. 1, 2011 issue of Kirkus Reviews.

Author: Downing, Johnette
Illustrator: Downing, Johnette

Review Date: February 1, 2011
Pages: 32
Price ( Hardcover ): $16.99
Publication Date: February 15, 2011
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-58980-879-9
Category: Picture Books
Classification: Alphabet Books

From A for the Amazon River to Z for zoologists who study its animals, this introduction to Amazonian fauna uses the English alphabet to organize fast facts about a variety of rainforest and river residents. The design is straightforward. Each page includes an upper-case letter, a statement—“Q is for quetzal,” for instance—and two or three facts about the species (with only three exceptions, all letters correspond to different animals). Simple cloth-and-paper collage illustrations incorporate pieces of paper with the appropriate letters printed in both upper and lower case....

Can Clapping Along with a Song Make You Smarter

Check out this article and video clip of my performance and TV interview in Opelousas, LA.

Did you do hand-clapping games as a child? Play patty-cake with a sing-song rhyme? Guess what? You were improving your cognitive skills. A recent study at Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel shows that clap-and-sing-along songs improve children's motor development, and thinking abilities. In fact, the study, "Impact of Hand-clapping Songs on Cognitive and Motor Tasks" showed striking differences between children who took a standard music appreciation program and those who were in hand-clapping song training for 10 weeks.

Jenise Fernandez is in Opelousas this morning at a performace by Singer Johnette Downing. She'll have the information from the study and thoughts from a local pediatrician on the study while she showcases kids clapping along with childhood favorites.

Amazon Alphabet Book Review

The Feb. 19 issue of the Waycross Journal-Herald (Waycross, GA) published a review of my Amazon Alphabet book.

“An amazing way to present the alphabet.”

-Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, GA
February 19, 2011 Issue

Mailbox - Letters from Fans

There are loads of fan letters this week including some from some adorable 2nd Graders who put me on their "You Filled Someone's Bucket Today" list. Here are a few of them:

Hi Johnette,

Ella Grace has listened to her new CD (Boogie Woogie Bugs) only about 4 times this week, and has already learned most of the words. She told me she cannot pick a favorite song- she loves them all. I, however, am quite partial to your very bluesy Cockroach- even though they tend to freak me out.

She also has made every adult entering our house look for the hidden letters in Amazon Alphabet (book)- specially on the F page.

Thanks again for your wonderful books and music!

Have a great weekend!



Dear Johnette:
We’ve been listening to your (Dixieland Jazz for Children) CD in the car and it is a delight! You have a lovely, lilting voice. My favorites are “Busy Beeline,” “New Orleans Strut,” and, of course, “Tiger Rag.” I especially enjoy hearing Tom Fischer again—we were neighbors!


-Nina Kooij
Pelican Publishing



Thank you again for coming to PES! The students AND teachers are still talking about the performances! Thank you,

-Tammy Maher
Pontchartrain Elementary PTA


Dear Johnette:

The kids LOVED it! So did the teachers!

-Melissa Baker
Title I Lead Ext. Teacher
Bridge City Elementary School


Dear Jhonnett Downing:

Thank you for coming to are school And for praforming to ur. Thank you much!(Smiley face)

-Morgan, 2nd Grade
Dularge Elementary


Dear Jhonnett Downing:

thak you for comeing to are school today. (smiley face) I hope you ejey to be in are school.

-Erica, 2nd Grade
Dularge Elementary


Dear Jeanett Downing:

Thank you for reading to us. I apreeceat it! (Smiley faces and hearts)

-Sydney B, 2nd Grade
Dularge Elementary


Jollet Downing:

thank you for come ing to our school!! (smiley face)

-Christian, 2nd Grade
Dularge Elementary