New ‘KidLit Tunes’ Genre of Children’s Music With Release Of Initial Music Series Storytime Singalong
Available on CD February 19, 2016 from Burnside Distribution
Yes, I get excited about a lot of new children’s music out there, but this CD is a little different. A little more special to me. It’s not everyday you hear of a new musical genre, but today I did. It’s called “KidLit Tunes” and it’s creator is none other than the 2015 John Lennon Songwriting Competition Winner named Emily Arrow. I am somewhat (ok, very) obsessed with children’s literature and children’s music – I mean, that’s what my blog is mostly about – but I’ve never had the two intertwine so nicely as it does in this review of “Storytime Singalong.” It turns out that this former Ohio music teacher has taken the children’s music genre to a new level and it all started in the classroom.
“Storytime Singalong” came about from the well-known John Lennon Songwriting Competition where Emily submitted her children’s song, “The Curious Garden” (based on, of course, the book by Peter Brown) and she WON. That’s huge! Emily’s songs are whimsical and charming singalongs where she performs on multiple instruments like the guitar, piano, and even the kazoo – but it’s what her songs are about that makes me get a little teary-eyed. They are songs all about popular children’s books that we all know and love – this new ‘KidLit Tunes’, if you will. As a singer-songwriter, Emily Arrow is making her mark in the children’s music industry the best way she knows how, having turned her appreciation and love for singing, children’s stories and art into a new kids’ music genre. Her very first album Emily Arrow: Storytime Singalong Volume I is the first title in her series and is available on CD February 19, 2016 from Burnside Distribution.
“To me, picture books have an inherent tune, tone, and rhythm,” says Arrow, creator of KidLit Tunes, a new children’s music genre. “During my time as an elementary music teacher, I used books in my classroom often. Each one invoked such a musical response in me that I began writing songs about my favorite stories. I love weaving each book’s narrative into a rhymed, interactive song and I use the illustrations as inspiration for the chords and sound palette”
“With Storytime Singalong I created ‘sing-along’ songs that encourage kids, parents, teachers, caregivers, and librarians to enjoy together — through the language of music, the power of words and the beauty and art of book illustrations.”
Storytime Singalong Volume I is Emily’s debut album in her self-created genre – KidLit Tunes is a beautiful journey of song and the written word. The songs can be played along with correlating books, creating a truly unique and delightful family or in-school experience. Each tune features simple follow-along lyrics based on bright, bold storybooks, which will entrance even the youngest of listeners and early readers. Of the eleven songs on the CD, seven songs are inspired by books like The Dot Song by Peter H. Reynolds, Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light , The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, Are We There Yet, Yeti? by Ashlyn Anstee, I Am Yoga, by Susan Verde with illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds, One Day, the End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, with illustrations by Fred Koehler and I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld. Four original tunes by Emily are “Books! Books!,” “Poem In Your Pocket,” “Peanut To My Butter” (“You’re the peanut to my butter, the bumble to my bee … the sprinkles on my cupcake … that’s what you are to me.”) and “Follow Your Arrow.” Her vocals are lovely, the songs are fantastic and I can’t rave enough about the excitement I feel about ‘KidLit Tunes.” The CD is recommended for ages 2-10 and produced by Nick Goldston, who also provided instrumentation, arranging and background vocals. The album cover features artwork by author/illustrator Ashlyn Anstee.
- Books! Books!
- The Dot Song
- Louise Loves Art Song
- The Curious Garden Song
- Are We There, Yeti? Song
- I Am Yoga Song
- One Day, The End Song
- I Wish You More Song
- Poem in Your Pocket
- Peanut to My Butter
- Follow Your Arrow
“The Dot Song,” – probably my favorite on the CD – which should now always be played on International Dot Day (mid-September) was inspired by the classic Peter H. Reynolds storybook The Dot. Available in English and many other languages, the book shares the story of a girl who begins a journey of self-discovery after a caring teacher challenges her to “make her mark.” Well, I think Emily is already beginning to make her mark on the children’s music industry and I’m excited to see where KidLit tunes is headed. Storytime Singalong Volume I is a definite must-listen/buy CD for all families of music and book lovers out there.
About Emily Arrow: Emily is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston and earned her graduate-level teaching certification in Orff-Shulwerk Levels I & II. Following her studies, Emily became a K-6 music teacher at a performing arts-based private elementary school in Los Angeles. During her time teaching, she found that her passion was collaborating with the library, art and technology departments, which led her to her launching KidLit Tunes combining her love of reading, song writing and performing. Emily Arrow will be on tour to support the release of Storytime Singalong Volume I beginning in February. For a tour list, more information or to order the CD please visit www.EmilyArrow.com.
List Price: $12.99 (also available on amazon.com, iTunes, Spotify and other online outlets)