I was recently introduced to the work of Grammy award-winning Canadian children’s performer and recording artist Jennifer Gasoi, through her latest CD and storybook release Blue and Red Make Purple. Surprisingly with two kids ages five and under, we don’t often listen to children’s musicians in our household, but I was happy to tune in to Gasoi’s music and I am so glad I did!
As I listened to the 12-track CD with my kids, I quickly found myself singing along and tapping my feet to the beat. And in no time favourites were established with my son and daughter, both of them asking to hear Little Blue Car, The Animal Party and Goin’ on a Road Trip over and over again.
One of the things I loved about this CD is the variety of musical stylings, from bluegrass, jazz, folk, gospel, Dixieland swing and even doo-wop. My kids haven’t had much exposure to these genres and I was pleased to see them enjoying it. I liked how each song has an uplifting message to teach kids – from getting creative with music, to taking pride in marching to the beat of your own drum, to looking at the bright side of life – or a fun story to tell, like taking trips on a plane, train or hot air balloon, or animals partying the night away!
But what makes this CD come to life is the storybook that accompanies it! You can find the lyrics to each song (a great way for kids and parents to learn the words to sing along!) with playful illustrations by Steve Adams bringing the different characters from the music to life. The book allows young readers to get interactive not only by following along but also by answering the questions in the listening guide.
Although a bit advanced for my kids’ age group (five years old and under), the listening guide is a wonderful feature to have in the storybook as it provides a historical background into each genre of music featured in Jennifer’s songs. And my favourite part is that she provides fun activity ideas along with it!
After less than a week of listening I can already say that Jennifer Gasoi had been added to our musical playlist at home!
This CD and storybook were provided by The Secret Mountain. All opinions are my own. You can find Blue and Red Make Purple: A Musical Journey With Jennifer Gasoi in major bookstores as of October 1st, 2016.