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It is a wonderful and humbling feeling when I hear from parents and teachers that my music has a very positive affect on children. Tiodnaci is a word game that reminds children that anything is possible if you try hard and believe in yourself. Just turn the word around and you'll see for yourself.
Many of my songs are very real accounts of own childhood and for that reason they are honest and heartfelt. When a new sibling arrives, it's a big adjustment for an older sibling and The Cribling speaks to the sadness and jealousy I felt when my parents paid more attention to the baby than they did to me. In the song I learn that my mother and father still love me, too. Rather than preach to the kids, I encourage them to teach me the lesson, "Your mother still loves you!"
This song was inspired by a conversation I had with children about getting teased for walking outside the box. The pressure to conform and fit in never goes away and it takes courage to be yourself and walk your own path. I grew up watching Mister Rogers and one of his constant reminders was, "You are unique and people can love you just the way you are." While a horse in a tutu might seem like a silly image, the message in this song is important for children and grownups alike.
When Bullfrogs Croak
When I write a song for children, I never dumb down the language. I love to play with words and come up with fun, multi-syllabic rhymes and complex rhyme schemes. I will never stop being amazed and inspired by how curious children are and easily they pick up new language and concepts. This song is about a bullfrog's metamorphosis and the circle of life. I had a wonderful time filling it with wordplay and double entendres. Children respond enthusiastically, to say the least!
I Hide My Muscles Well
I remember my childhood vividly and that's one of the reasons I get along so well with children. I truly can empathize and identify with them. This song is about being teased about physical appearance. My Grandma Lucille taught me that beauty lies on the inside and if you are beautiful on the inside, then you'll be beautiful on the outside, too. She flew all the way to Hollywood at 90 years old to appear in this video with me. I love her very much.
The Pox of Chicken
This is a silly song about the chicken pox and it's chock full of wordplay. My 90 year old Grandma Lucille makes a wonderful cameo in this video. She is an inspiration to all of us.
I suppose this song is loosely inspired by Charlotte's Web, where creativity is used to overcome a predicament. Like Wilbur, Lester avoids the dinner table but he uses a slightly different tactic.
We've all been teased and faced bullies in our lives. Unfortunately, children can sometimes be as cruel as adults. In this song, a child meets a butterfly who talks about perseverance and hope. If you wipe the tears out of your eyes and spread your wings, you'll see that it truly is an amazing world we're living in.