Saturday, October 31, 2009

Review: Dogs, Butterflies and Baby Guitars...Oh My!

If you're an 80's baby like me then you are more than familiar with the rock duo, Heart. During their amazing 35-year career, Heart has sold more than 30 million albums and achieved 21 top-40 hits including chart-toppers "Barracuda", "Magic Man", "Alone", "These Dreams" and "Never". Heart has had a profound influence on rock music and continues to win over new generations, touring the U.S. and most recently, contributing to the new "Guitar Hero World Tour" video game.

To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of their multi-platinum album, Dog & Butterfly, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart have released a children's storybook to convey the message of the iconic song. And I had the marvelous opportunity to review it!

The book is about a little dog who longs to catch a butterfly. Though others question his ability, the puppy is determined to fulfill his dream. With its fanciful, original illustrations, hand-drawn by Ann and Nancy themselves, it teaches children the important lessons of perseverance and patience.

I was unfamiliar with the song so I could read the book from an objective point of view. It was a very sweet tale that Nate and I both enjoyed. There were many opportunities to engage Nate in the story, by sniffing his neck to reenact the puppies' smelling the flowers or gently waving my fingers to demonstrate the butterflies' fluttering. He was also drawn to the colorful artwork, which really brought the story to life. It was a fun reading experience for both of us.

Also included were lyrics to the popular song of the same name so you could tie the two together. I love that I can now share the music with my son and as he grows older, he will be able to identify the melody with our new storytime favorite.

I would just like to make note that this book may be better suited for slightly older children, as it is a paperback. My 15-month old is still teething, so I have to be very careful that he does not chew the edges or tear at the pages. Still, I think the book is fabulous and will be reading it to him on a regular basis.

I also had the pleasure of reviewing Nancy Wilson's new children's CD, Baby Guitars. Having worked on musical scores for films such as Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky, Nancy proves that you don't need vocals to create moving music. Once only available to close friends and family, she has now released a collection of acoustic instrumentals to lull your baby to sleep. As Nancy herself says of her new album:
Being a mom myself I knew that certain stories or music could bring such magical dreaminess into the nursery. Since then, many 'test babies' have been effectively lulled to sleep with these acoustic instrumentals. Even now my bigger little kids still request it at bed time. Baby Guitars is cozy and familiar like a special favorite blanket.
Track Listing

1. Blinky Binkers
2. Every Snowflake
3. Sun On The Rug
4. Toes In The Sand
5. Hold On To Me
6. Cozy Rain
7. Silky
8. Buzz Buzz
9. Cute Galoot
10. How Many Stars

There is only one word to describe this CD: astounding.

As if there were any doubt before, Nancy demonstrates what a remarkable songwriter and artist she truly is. Baby Guitars is not your typical lullaby CD. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even resemble traditional children's music. The only thing "baby-ish" about it is the adorable cover art, provided by Nancy's own children. Her exquisite arrangements transcend age. Anyone from two to ninety-two could be touched or inspired by these instrumentals.

Every track is special but my personal favorites were "Blinkie Binkers", "Every Snowflake", "Cozy Rain" and "How Many Stars". I couldn't just listen to the album once. I had to hit repeat because I craved more. Nate and I snuggled together peacefully as we indulged in the beautiful acoustics. It had an instant calming effect just in time for his late morning nap. I remember holding Nate in my arms and thinking, "this is the sort of stuff memories are made to".

Bottom line: I would highly recommend adding Dog & Butterfly and Baby Guitars to your book and music collection. You nor your child(ren) will be disappointed.

BUY IT: Dog & Butterfly (ARV $11.98) and Baby Guitars (ARV $8.99) are available exclusively on Bonus: when you purchase the Dog & Butterfly book, you will also get a free download of the corresponding song, which has been re-recorded specifically for the book project!

Disclaimer: I was sent the book Dog & Butterfly and the CD Baby Guitars from Genna at Grand Communications to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. The opinions expressed in this review are purely mine. You may have a different experience upon listening to the album and/or reading the book.


Beth said...

Thanks for sharing thh Dogs, Butterflies and Baby Guitars...Oh My review. It was nice going through it. keep up the good work. cheers :)

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