July 23, 2017

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Night & Day by JoJo & the Pinecones | SLJ Music Review

Night & Day. Performed by JoJo & the Pinecones. CD. 50 min. Produced by Benjamin Gallina & Joelle Lurie. 2017. $8.99

PreS Up –JoJo & the Pinecones are lead singer Joelle Lurie, her musical partner and coproducer Benjamin Gallina, and a band of talented jazz musicians. Part 1: Day features high-energy songs that follow the arc of a day from waking up to having breakfast for dinner, while Part 2: Night is a farewell to the day as listeners get ready for […]

Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast | SLJ Music Review

Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast. Performed by Andrew Barkan & Polly Hall. 38 min. Palindrome Records. 2016. $12.

PreS-Gr 5 –Like nothing you may have ever heard before, this collection of 16 original songs pulled from Los Angeles–based Andrew & Polly’s podcast for preschoolers is a great mashup of musical styles: a fresh find, filled with fantasy and fun—sophisticated yet relevant. Barkan and Hall’s fourth album injects humor and passion into each song, making it just right and “real” for youngsters […]

Poulo Warali | SLJ Music Review

Poulo Warali. Performed by Poulo Warali. CD. Approx. 34 min. Awesome Tapes from Africa. 2017. $13.

PreS-Gr 8 –This is singer Awa Poulo’s first internationally distributed record. On this, her most recent recording, the popular singer of Peulh origin from Dilly Commune, Mali, shows off her beautiful, lilting voice as she sings traditional Malian music and original songs written by either Poulo or her mentor, the celebrated Malian singer Inna Baba Coulibaly. All songs are performed in Poulo’s native language. The opening […]

Book Review: Who’s That Girl by Blair Thornburgh

 Publisher’s description This laugh-out-loud debut is filled with hilarious awkward encounters, a supportive LGBTQ organization, and too many cheesy lyrics to count—all with the compulsive readability of Audrey, Wait! and Boy Meets Boy. Junior Nattie McCullough has always been that under-the-radar straight girl who hangs out in the cafeteria with her gay-straight alliance friends. She’s […]

The Best of Raffi & 14 More Children’s Albums | ClefNotes

Fifteen reviews of new children’s albums

SLJ Chats with Diana Panton | ClefNotes

Canadian vocalist Diana Panton on what led to her first album for children.

Shut up, Rihanna

I guess the phrase “last night on TV” has been rendered obsolete, but last night on TV we watched the fourth episode of the second season of The Path, a Hulu series starring Hugh Dancy, Michelle Monaghan, and Aaron Paul about people in a cult–true believers, skeptics, and apostates (sometimes all in the same character, as […]

Shut up, Rihanna

I guess the phrase “last night on TV” has been rendered obsolete, but last night on TV we watched the fourth episode of the second season of The Path, a Hulu series starring Hugh Dancy, Michelle Monaghan, and Aaron Paul about people in a cult–true believers, skeptics, and apostates (sometimes all in the same character, as […]

Book Review: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Publisher’s description Grace, tough and wise, has nearly given up on wishes, thanks to a childhood spent with her unpredictable, larger-than-life mother. But this summer, Grace meets Eva, a girl who believes in dreams, despite her own difficult circumstances.   One fateful evening, Eva climbs through a window in Grace’s room, setting off a chain […]

The Latest from Lisa Loeb | April 2017 ClefNotes

Twenty reviews of new children’s music

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Top 10 Music | 2016

Must-have albums from 2016, destined to get toes tapping, selected by ClefNotes columnist, Veronica DeFazio.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

New Music from The Okee Dokee Brothers | ClefNotes

Reviews of recent children’s music albums.

Diana Panton & Sonia De Los Santos | ClefNotes

Diana Panton’s debut album for children and families; Sonia de Los Santos’s gorgeous, Spanish-language songs; the latest from The Not-Its.

Book Review: The Bad Decisions Playlist by Michael Rubens

Publisher’s description Sixteen-year-old Austin is always messing up and then joking his way out of tough spots. The sudden appearance of his allegedly dead father, who happens to be the very-much-alive rock star Shane Tyler, stops him cold. Austin—a talented musician himself—is sucked into his newfound father’s alluring music-biz orbit, pulling his true love, Josephine, […]

Laurie Berkner, Lisa Loeb, & Rolie Polie Guacamole | ClefNotes

Reviews of recent albums for children.

Best Children’s Album Grammy Nominees | ClefNotes

Reviews of the GRAMMY Award nominees for the Best Children’s Album, and more.

Book Review: This Song Is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin

Publisher’s description Ramona fell for Sam the moment she met him. It was like she had known him forever. He’s one of the few constants in her life, and their friendship is just too important to risk for a kiss. Though she really wants to kiss him… Sam loves Ramona, but he would never expect […]

One-on-one with the legendary Raffi | ClefNotes

In the first installment of ClefNotes, SLJ‘s new music column, Veronica De Fazio interviews children’s music legend Raffi about his advocacy work and his new album.