Thursday, January 16, 2014

Back to Basics: Ella Jenkins' '123s and ABCs' from Smithsonian Folkways -- Available on 1/28 -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was sent a review sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

C is for caring... and I care a lot about you."
Smithsonian Folkways distills the genius of America's 'First Lady of Children's Music:'
Ella Jenkins: 123s and ABCs
available January 28th

"Ella Jenkins: 123s and ABCs (out Jan. 28, 2014) distills the genius of America’s “First Lady of Children’s Music” into 16 tracks teaching counting and the alphabet in multiple languages. Ella’s joyful engagement, delight in music and game-playing, and deep respect for children of all backgrounds—all make this a classic recording for and with young children. This is Ella’s 34th album for Smithsonian Folkways, spanning an amazing 56 years.

Now in her ninth decade, Ella continues to provide a rare model of the music that best suits the lives and learning styles of young children. Her irresistible songs—performed at preschools, schools, camps, and community institutions as well as on radio, television, concerts, and at teachers’ conferences—draw on a long history of children’s game songs coupled with her own genius as a composer and music educator.

123s and ABCs features songs in four languages (English, Spanish, Swahili, and Yiddish) and includes classics such as “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” and “This Old Man.”

The new CD ($11.98 SRP) will be available in stores, digital music outlets and from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings."


More About Ella Jenkins

"Chicago-based Ella Jenkins has received many awards over her long career, including a 2004 GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2005, ‘cELLAbration,’ an album of Ella’s songs performed by Sweet Honey In The Rock, Riders in the Sky, Tom Paxton, Cathy & Marcy, Pete Seeger, Tom Chapin, and others won the 2005 GRAMMY for best children’s album. In 2013, Ella kicked off the Lollapalooza festival kid’s stage. She was the first woman and first children’s musician to receive the ASCAP Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 and in 2009 earned a United States Artistsaward. She is one of the first African American women to have a TV show, when in the 1950s she hosted “The Totem Club,” a weekly children’s program broadcast in Chicago. Her “Me Too Series” films were featured numerous times on “Sesame Street,” and she has also appeared on “Barney and Friends” and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Her 1966 album ‘You'll Sing a Song and I'll Sing a Song’ is the best-selling title in the history of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and is part of the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.

Parents and educators continue to rely on Ella's inviting style to lead sing-alongs with children. She has won multiple awards from Parents' Choice, the National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) and the American Library Association.

Parenting magazine has said that Jenkins’ “simple but irresistible songs, poems, and mini-language lessons... reflect the beauty of diverse cultures.” Family music star Dan Zanes also said, “Ella Jenkins is a constant source of inspiration and a bottomless well of songs, ideas, and spirit. She is by far the most  worldly performer that children’s music has ever known.”


My Thoughts:

Last year around this time I shared a review of "Get Moving" a CD by Ella Jenkins that had released, and shared how this 15-track CD really did my girls off the couch and moving and grooving around to familiar classics lik“London Bridge Is Falling Down” and “Who Fed the Chickens?”.  If you missed my review, or want to learn more about this CD, click here now to read my review --  Since receiving this CD last year, I have since picked up a handle of Ella Jenkins' (AKA "The First Lady of Children's Music.) other CDs to share with the girls.  These CD sure did come in handy over the summer on long car rides, and most recently during the cold weather stint we had, where the girls had to stay indoors.  

You can only imagine how excited we were when I opened up an envelope the other day and saw the new Ella Jenkins: 123s and ABCs CD.  With the craziness of the holidays and recent colds that went through the house, I totally forgot that she was releasing another CD.  But, it sure did make for a fun afternoon of counting and reciting the alphabet.  :-)  

While Savannah already knows her ABCs and can count to 20, Arabella is just starting to pick up on it, and this CD really helped to teach her the correct alphabet sequence, as well as words that begin with each letter.  It only took a few times of listening to before the girls were both saying their ABCs and counting 123. How could Bella pick up the ABCs so quickly? Well, if you are not familiar with Ella Jenkins, just one listen and you will see why.  She has an amazing ability to connect with children of all ages, while teaching things like ABCs and 123s through rhymes, games, songs and more.  And, through repetition and asking kids to fill the blanks on the songs, she keeps little ones engaged and eager to shout out the correct responses.  

Both of my girls couldn't stop smiling as we listened to all 16 tracks of this upcoming CD release.  When my husband came home the other night the girls couldn't wait to show how they learned how to count in Spanish.  My husband is from El Salvador and speaks Spanish.  He has been trying to read to the girls and teach them basic counting and words in Spanish.  But, either he catches the girls when they just want to play or are tired -- so, they never really stop to retain what he is saying, or try to practice the correction pronunciation of Spanish words.  As he sat on the couch, I put the CD on and the girls wowed him as they counted in Spanish.  He was truly a proud Daddy, and couldn't wait to scoop the girls up and give them a great big hug and tell them how proud he was.  Now, whenever he gets home from work, or we are going for a car ride, Ella Jenkins' upcoming CD "123s and ABCs" comes with us, and we all sing along.  

I never expected my girls to be able to say their ABCs and count in Spanish like they, let alone Swahili and Yiddish.  But, thanks to this new Ella Jenkins CD from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, they are having fun, while learning -- which as a parent, I LOVE!  If you love educational children's music, or are a fan of Ella Jenkins, then you will want to make a point to pick up her new CD when it hits store shelves on Jan. 28th.  In no time at all, your little ones will be saying their ABCs and counting 123s, with the help of Ella Jenkins, as they ask you to hit the repeat button on the CD player. :-)


Thanks to the folks at the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and Ella Jenkins, one lucky reader will win a copy of this fun children's CD to enjoy with their child(ren).  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

Disclosure:  I was sent a review sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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