Thursday, March 21, 2013

READING ROCKS! Wins a Parents' Choice Recommended Award!

Reading Rocks by New Orleans-based musician and author, Johnette Downing, is sure to become a favorite of children's librarians everywhere.
Downing's tenth children's music album is a well-honed and creatively buoyant recording that hits all the right early reading bookmarks. Combining well-crafted songs, interspersed with stories and poems, Downing also arranges an old traditional tune with delightful results. "Today Is Monday in Kentucky" is a wonderful song about the days of the week that also praises southern cuisine. Towards the end of the album, she reprises the song as "Today Is Monday in New York," substituting sorghum and spoon bread with bagels and lox. The majority of the album features her original songs and stories, including the tale of "Why The Oyster Has the Pearl," followed by her delightful "Oyster Limerick."
Her literacy theme continues with the bluegrass swing of ""R.E.A.D," the Dylan-esque "Story Time," the country funk of "Read to Me," and bluesy "Readers Are Leaders." Other highlights include the pastoral "The Colors of the Sky," and the lovely lullaby "Do-do (Sleep) My Child." Original stories (supported by great musical backing) include "Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud, and "Why the Possum Has A Large Grim," both tales that are southern takes on Aesop's fables.
Downing has a beautiful, clear and present voice, plays terrific guitar and mandolin, and is backed by a group of stellar musicians including Al Petteway, Scott Billington and Jake Eckert, among others.
Lahri Bond   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.

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