We all know there are gizmos and toys that kids & adults play with for 5 minutes and move on-and a few that we come back to over and over. But music and books are nourishment we return to with smiles, love and a quest to make our worlds better time and time again. Thee are always books and music that are excellent, yet fall under the radar of hit-making and best-selling. Or sometimes, you simply haven’t heard of something great. This is not an all inclusive list, but a quick list of music and reading ideas we hope you might try yourselves, or give as gifts. The indie world in music and books is working to say afloat and there’s so much good stuff out there. Here’s a few!!!!!!
For shopping, check the artist/author’s website, CD Baby and the other likely suspects. CD Baby is offering 1 cent shipping Dec. 2 & 3. The company has helped indie musicians get national distribution and you can order lots of these artists recordings in one order from there.
When It’s Autumn – Kathy Reid-Naman – Kathy has over 20 award winning recordings for young children and has won more than that many awards for her stellar work. She lives in Canada and her whole catalogue is worthy. When It’s Autmun is the latest.
Little Ditties for Itty Bitties– Michele Valeri – What better way to help a young child sing through their “springboard vocabulary”, or first 400 words, than with music? Michele’s music immediately grabs the hearts of little ones and they sing through the day!
Remember, this is not an all inclusive list. We love LOTS of other music, too, but had to pick a few.
Shy Kid Blues – Hullabaloo – We love this musical storytelling that helps a shy kid come out of his shell. It’s fun, engaging and will entertain shy and gregarious kids alike!
There’s A Pea on My Plate – Bill Harley – This is from Bill’s “back” catalogue, and still one of our favorites. Yes, Marcy produced it, but it’s pure Bill Harley-clever wit, great humor, deep emotions and great music.
Good Egg – Joanie Leeds – Joanie’s got a knack for wordplay and rockin’ attitude. She’ll “egg you on” through this truly fun recording.
The Sounding Joy:Christmas Songs In and Out of the Ruth Crawford Seeger Songbook– Elizabeth Mitchell and friends Elizabeth has created a beautiful all ages recording in multiple acoustic settings and the help of a classy group of friends who make Christmas songs music YOU want to sing along with. It’s unique, gentle and beautiful.
If I Were An Angel – Debi Smith – Gorgeous orchestrations and the angelic voice of Debi Smith. When she’s not being an angel on this album, she’s busy in the middle age musical comedy group The Four Bitchin’ Babes.
A Not So Silent Night – The Uncalled For Trio – This live recording is full of holiday mishaps, turkey disasters and musical interludes by master storytellers Andy Offutt Irwin, Bill Lepp and Kim Whitecamp. If you love storytelling, then buy EVERY CD each of these folks has made individually, too.
The Goofin’ Off Suite & Darlin’ Cory – Pete Seeger – As banjo lovers, we can’t listen to this classic double CD too often. Pete’s versatile banjo playing and his choice of songs here are timeless, like the majority of his work!
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World. The spoken word version of this book young readers book (by Malala Yousafzai), read by Neela Vaswani is captivating. Hachette published the audio book and we recommend listening WITH your young readers.
Johnette Downing is an author and musician from Louisiana. She’s self-published over 15 delightful illustrated books with Louisiana themes such as “Today is Monday in Louisiana” and “Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud”.
Add your suggestions as comments!