Explore with the kids – Music/Books

Jennifer Castle’s new YA book You Look Different in Real Life is set in the Hudson Valley.

Jennifer Castle’s new YA book You Look Different in Real Life is set in the Hudson Valley.

Half my life is an act of revision.

– John Irving

Looking for a sweet summer theme song? How about some great summer reading? Here are my picks for summer 2013, all from Hudson Valley artists and writers.

“Funky Little Sweet Thing”

“Put your arms around me/Movin’ to the music/Let me feel you near me/Funky little sweet thing,” croons Heather Masse in the new song “Funky Little Sweet Thing (Slow Dance for Fast Times)”, written by Verna Gillis and Roswell Rudd. “In a world of twirling and scrambling to keep up, this song intends to slow you down and bring you into physical contact with a loved one, be it a partner, lover, parent, child, friend, neighbor, pet.”


I love how this “new standard” sounds instantly familiar yet is totally new. Matthew Finck, John Medeski, Ira Coleman and T Xiques all bring real soul to this piece. This song beautifully captures Hudson Valley summer memories. You can “Listen to the music/Morning’ noon and evening” in the wonderful video on www.youtube.com and purchase it at www.cdbaby.com.

When the World Was New

Grammy Award-winning producer Dean Jones’s new album When the World Was New is a terrific collection of fun, positive songs with a great sound and engaging lyrics. “Stand with Me,” “Absurd” and “Prehensile Grip” are among my favorite tunes on the CD. The entire album is family-friendly, which means that it’s fun for kids of all ages, and it’s enjoyed and appreciated by their parents, too!

When the World Was New is available online at CDBaby, https://bigkids.com and www.dogonfleas.com for $12.97 or $9.99 digitally, as well as local retailers such as Rhino Records and Enchanted Toys in New Paltz. For more information, visit www.dogonfleas.com.

If You Want to See a Whale

I think what I love about Ezra Jack Keats Book Award-winner Julia Fogliano’s books is the utter simplicity and openness. It’s like getting the best part of any story – just the essence. Her latest picture book, If You Want to See a Whale, is illustrated by Erin Stead: the same artist who partnered with Fogliano in her previous release, And Then It’s Spring.