Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reading Rocks by Johnette Downing CD Review

Johnette Downing has a unique ability to combine story with song.  She is passionate about reading and sings about it!  Johnette's new album "Reading Rocks" is a compilation of stories, songs and fingerplays specifically highlighting reading as the key to helping young ones ignite their imaginations and soar into the land where books are friends.  I love how she uses voice inflections for different characters in her stories.  The stories are funny and they teach lessons as well.  Johnette's New Orleans blues and jazz music along with her friendly voice will endear any reluctant reader to pick up a book and read!

*I was given a complimentary copy of this CD  for my review.  All opinions are my own.*

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Johnette Downing
Reading Rocks!
Wiggle Worm Records
20 November 2012



Award-Winning New Orleans Children's Musician & Author
Gets Kids Jazzed About Reading

"With her signature mix of Dixieland jazz, Cajun, Creole, and zydeco rhythms, Downing creates an irresistible musical jubilee."
-- Los Angeles Times

"Bonnie Raitt move over!  There's a new(er) blues belter in town.  And she's easy on the ears.  New Orleans singer-songwriter Johnette Downing has a velvet set of pipes, but instead of using them to sing of men who've done her wrong, she's belting out tunes about penguins and stingrays, crawfish and hermit crabs."

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Multi-award-winning New Orleans singer/songwriter, children's musician, and children's book author Johnette Downing gets kids jazzed about reading with her 10th studio CD, Reading Rocks! (Wiggle Worm Records, $15.00, run time 49 minutes, for ages 2 – 8.)

Two years in the making, Reading Rocks! is Johnette Downing's first album to combine spoken word with music.  The CD interweaves readings from five of Johnette's beloved picture books, including her newest, Why the Possum Has a Large Grin (Pelican Publishing, fall 2012), with eleven lively songs that range in style from bluegrass to rock, as well as finger plays and limericks, all designed to motivate youngsters and reluctant readers to roll into the library and bop into books.

Johnette Downing, who brings a dash of "Louisiana Spice" to her concerts worldwide, has been praised by Gambit Weekly for "her ability to translate Louisiana music into mini=parties for her kid fans. In the great Louisiana tradition, Johnette sees her role not just as a performer, but as a spark to get her audiences up and dancing."   With Reading Rocks!, Johnette hopes to get kids up and reading, too!

Writing and performing music for children has been Johnette Downing's passion since 1990; the first of her ten CDs was recorded in 1992 and the first of her twelve children's books was published in 2006.  In addition to maintaining a full schedule as a performer and author, Johnette Downing is an educator who travels the world teaching parents and other educators how to use music to foster a love of reading. The very first tip she offers in her presentations is, "If you want your child to read, read."  This simple, but true, insight is at the heart of Reading Rocks!

?Notes Johnette Downing, "My greatest musical influences come from having the good fortune to have been born and raised in Louisiana, the birthplace of jazz, Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music.  These rich musical influences, along with Afro-Caribbean rhythms, are my muse, and have, in large part, inspired both my songwriting and my children's books."

Johnette Downing has won twenty-one national awards, including honors from Parents' Choice, NAPPA, iParenting Media, Parents' Guide to Children’s Media, Family Choice Awards, and Family Review Center.

Johnette's NAPPA-winning children's book, Today is Monday in Louisiana (Pelican Publishing), was praised for its "lip-smacking appeal" by Publishers Weekly. The Times-Picayune declared, "Readers will be salivating by the final page" and called Johnette's subsequent book, Down in Louisiana, "almost irresistible."  Pelican Publishing will release Johnette's newest book, Why the Possum Has a Large Grin, this fall.  Watch for a new Johnette Downing e-book, Colors of the Sky, coming soon, too!
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Reading Rocks!
Open a Book Finger Play
Today is Monday in Kentucky
Why the Oyster Has the Pearl
Oyster Limerick
Story Time
The Colors of the Sky
Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud
Reach Every Achievement Desired
There Once Was a Boy Named Cary
Read to Me
Principal's Desk
Why the Possum Has a Large Grin
Readers are Leaders
Today is Monday in New York
Do-do (Sleep) My Child

 Check out Johnette's website at    

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