Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Johnette Downing's "Reading Rocks!" is a bluesy mix of Creole, zydeco, and jazzed up country tunes. The album combines Johnette in spoken word and lively kids songs. As an educator with a passion for music, her goal is to foster a love for reading in children using music as her tool. If you are looking for a combination of storytelling and songs, this is a great choice.
I hope some of these albums can help lift your spirits and keep your kids from climbing the walls. Happy listening, and stay tuned for our winter of edition ofWhat's New in Kids Music!
-MOMMY ENTOURAGE, www.mommyentourage.net
Like gumbo in a pot, Downing scrambles her ingredients with spice, Cajun, creole, gators, crawfish - into a dish we can’t stop listening to! As always with a great kid’s CD, I let my grandkids listen ONLY after I have played the CD many times in my car. I love the Louisiana flavors, the great motivation to read, and the fact that many songs are right out of Ms. Downing’s own fiction books for children.
Two years in the making, Reading Rocks! is Johnette Downing’s first album to combine spoken word with music. The CD interweaves readings from five of Johnette’s beloved picture books, including her newest, Why the Possum Has a Large Grin (Pelican Publishing, fall 2012), with eleven lively songs that range in style from bluegrass to rock, as well as finger plays and limericks, all designed to motivate youngsters and reluctant readers to roll into the library and bop into books.
Absolutely astonishing clips to teach your kids the co two-step, with some Dixieland jazz and Caribbean thrown in to dance, hop and skip to!
-The Review Broads, www.reviewbroads.com
Reading Rocks! by Johnette Downing (November 20). This New Orleans singer/songwriter combines spoken word with music, as she interweaves readings from five of her picture books with 11 lively songs that range in style from bluegrass to rock. www.johnettedowning.com
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
How delightful and how warm to find New Orleans’ own Johnette Downing praising and prescribing for the next generation. She wants kids to read, and so they should. She spreads out the magic of reading in such tunes as “Readers Are Leaders,” and even if I’m not completely convinced, I want to be. The playing, never less than tasty, pushes the gentle didacticism and could stand on its own should Downing ever decide to make music for grown-ups. I’m happiest with Gina Forsyth’s fiddle, but Downing, self-producing, multi-tracks herself into a mini-orchestra with string things, voices and “percussions.”
Some of the songs are actually stories. Said stories feature lazy, greedy snakes, crawfish and possums, outshone by valiant and selfless oysters, crabs and deer. Hey, I know this record is supposed to sell the young ones on the idea of the future. But can I stand under its awning awhile? Life’s better here.
-Andrew Hamlin, Offbeat Magazine
This CD is my son's newest love. I don't know what exactly he likes about it, but there is some big draw for him. Maybe it's the variety of music styles all in one CD. Maybe it's his love for reading being the content of this CD. Either way, he really enjoys it. It's one that we hear him playing in his CD player often. It's a great kid friendly and family friendly CD that will make a great addition to your CD collection. - PS Mom Reviews