April 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Dudes! Raffi! The Interview.

I have been more descriptive in my titles in the past, but seriously. Dudes! Raffi! I just friggin’ interviewed Raffi! If this news and name mean nothing to you then you’re undoubtedly younger than I. There was a time, oh best beloved, when the only name that came to mind when you mentioned “children’s music” […]

Striking a Chord: 20 Exceptional Books on Music for Young People

The following fiction and nonfiction titles demonstrate the world-changing power of music, from the birth of the blues to today’s top 40.

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

Best of Raffi | SLJ Music Review

Best of Raffi. Performed by Raffi. CD. Approx. 35 min. Rounder Records. 2017. $9.49.

PreS-Gr 4 –Multi-award-winning Raffi, one of the first of the children’s music troubadours and who’s celebrating 40 years as an entertainer, presents 16 of his best songs from 10 albums. Featured here are both traditional and original songs in folk, reggae, jazz, country, and pop musical styles. The titles include “Baby Beluga,” “Down by the Bay,” “Apples and Bananas,” “Shake My Sillies Out,” “Wheels on the Bus,” “Day […]

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.

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.

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.

Pick of the Day: Ready Set Go (Audio)

The Happy Racers’ latest album, Ready Set Go, embraces all the fun and wonders of childhood. Here’s the starred review of the CD.

‘Can You Canoe?’ Wins Grammy for Best Children’s Album of the Year | News Bites

Move over Carrie Underwood, the Foo Fighters, Kanye West, and make way for the Okee Dokee Brothers—Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing. The group’s latest album, Can You Canoe?, nabbed the coveted 2013 Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album on February 10 at the star-studded awards ceremony held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Pick of the Day: Ozomatli Presents OzoKids (CD)

Ozomatli Presents OzoKids. CD. approx. 37 min. Hornblow Group/Megaforce Records. 2012. ISBN unavail. $11.98.
PreS-Gr 3–The Grammy award-winning Los Angeles-based Latin fusion group, Ozomatli, continues to defy being pigeon-holed. Never afraid to try new things, they accepted a challenge from PBS television to shed gang-violence and explicit lyrics and record several education-focused songs. Their new album is aimed at youngsters yet maintains a gritty, urban edge that should have wide appeal. Fusing Latino, hip-hop, reggae, techno pop, and rock, these 14 […]

Pick of the Day: Pete Remembers Woody (CD)

Pete Remembers Woody. 2 CDs. range: 57:42-53:56 min. Prod. by Appleseed Recordings. Dist. by CDBaby.com. ISBN unavail. $20.
Gr 9 Up–This masterful album celebrates the centennial of Woody Guthrie’s birth in 1912. Producer David Bernz has compiled a number of stories that Pete Seeger (now in his 90s) told about Woody and himself, which were recorded in informal sessions over a span of time in their private homes. These reminiscences are interspersed with Woody’s songs, performed by a number of well-known […]

Pick of the Day: The Mighty Sky (CD)

The Mighty Sky. CD. 31:31 min. with lyrics. NewSound Kids. 2012. ISBN unavail. $14.98.
K-Gr 4–This production is the brain child of Grammy nominee and NAMMY’s Songwriter of the Year (given by the Native American Music Association), Beth Nielsen Chapman. She was joined in the effort by songwriter Annie Roboff and lyricist Rocky Alvey, director of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory. The trio has put together a fantastic album of 11 songs in various musical styles including rock, doo wop, zydeco, English […]

SLJ Pick of the Day: Creepy Crawly Love (CD)

Creepy Crawly Love. CD. 30:47 min. CDBaby.com. 2012. ISBN unavail. $14.99.
PreS-Gr 3–In his first album for children, Duke Otherwise hits all of the right notes. Clever lyrics abound in this collection of 12 original songs about topics such as food, animals, and word play. Children will enjoy listening to each song and trying to figure out what the twist may be. From the tune about “my uncle who’s an ant” to a lion being given the advice that he would […]

Pick of the Day: Blue Clouds (CD)

Blue Clouds. CD. 39 min. with booklet. Smithsonian Folkways. 2012. ISBN unavail. $11.99.
PreS-Gr 3–Beautiful harmonies and Elizabeth Mitchell’s lovely, sweet voice are the hallmarks of this outstanding collection of traditional and original songs. She’s joined by her husband, Daniel Littleton, and daughter, Storey, as well as others. Mitchell has breathed new life into these traditional songs and has transformed several classic rock numbers into folk style with elegant and simple arrangements. In addition to the top-notch vocal performances, the band […]

Pick of the Day: Make Believers (CD)

Make Believers. CD. 41 min. 2012. ISBN unavail. $15.
Pres-Gr 5–Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is a children’s performer unlike any you’ve heard before. Filled with great beats and fresh rhymes, his newest album brings to mind Will Smith in his musical prime. Skidoo infuses hip-hop into children’s music using fantastic guest vocalists to keep the songs light while addressing such kid familiar topics as nightmares, being a friend to oneself, swimming, and even putting a truly fresh spin on Jack and the Beanstalk