Q: What do you get when you pair great music the whole family can enjoy with two stories for young readers celebrating the joys of being outdoors?
A: The unique new book for children titled Outdoor Adventures with Big Kid Band, which offers two illustrated stories for juvenile readers in a softcover flip book with a CD containing each story in song form on the inside flap.
The highly acclaimed story-songs were first released on the full-length CD titled Big Kid Band: Music for Children AND Adults, which won a Children's Web Music Award in 2004. Among the musical guests on that CD is Leigh Nash, lead singer for the band Sixpence None the Richer, who sings tracks five and nine. Now, in Outdoor Adventures with Big Kid Band, the group has paired their music with the carefully crafted and whimsical illustrations of former Disney artist Michael Woodcock to bring to life the joys and adventures to be found in the great outdoors.
"Fisherman Jack," the first story, tells the tale of two young brothers who like to go fishing together but who never have much success. Then one day they meet Fisherman Jack, a good-natured old man who lives in a nearby cabin and fishes the river ever day. Thanks to Jack’s mentorship, the two boys not only become better fishermen but they also learn about friendship, loss, and perseverance. View a slideshow presentation of the story set to the music at http://www.youtube.com/watch?
The second story, "’Til My Computer Broke Down," is a celebration of all things analog but also a glimpse of how, sometimes, a crashed computer can open the door to spontaneous adventures that might otherwise have never occurred. Ellis explains that this song and story encourage kids to think outside the digital box and enjoy the world around them. A slideshow presentation of this story is available as well at http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Ellis comments, "When I was a kid in the ‘70s and ‘80s, I spent most of my after-school time outdoors, reluctantly returning to the house when my mother hollered from the front doorway that dinner was ready. These days, it seems kids spend more and more of their time indoors. We wanted to put out a musical book that celebrated being outside and that will hopefully appeal to a broad range of musical tastes."
"If you've had enough of the kazoos and slidewhistles and you just want some quality rock for your kids, you will find humble, grounded, real-life music on this album. Who ever said music needed to talk sweet or talk down to kids? Who ever said that we needed a circus or carnival to grab their attention? With insightful, relevant lyrics and topics, you'll no longer have to pop the Advil before switching to the kids' discs. Highly, highly recommended for families – especially for those with long road trips ahead of them." ~ Review by CD Baby
Authors: In a culture where adult and child entertainment is for the most part strictly segregated, Big Kid Band, the "house" band for Stepping Stone Press, their new children’s books and music publishing company, strives to make music for the whole family. Guitars, bass, and percussion form the foundation of Big Kid Band's music, but you will also hear cello, horns, mandolin, and some fun sound effects. The band’s Southern roots come through in their sound, but other styles are present as well (think classical, pop, Celtic, and reggae), and the songs are universal in subject matter.
Park Ellis lives in Atlanta, GA, with his wife Angela and their daughter Anna Sophia. Before moving back to his hometown of Atlanta in 2006, Park made a living in Nashville as a singer-songwriter, percussionist, high school English teacher, and music instructor.
David Henry lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife Molly and their three children, Joe, Kate, and Alex. David has produced, engineered, and played with many artists, including R.E.M., Tim McGraw, Guster, Jars of Clay, and Cowboy Junkies. He plays cello and mandolin and sings with his own band Brother Henry (along with Park on drums).
Patrick Miller lives in Nashville, TN. In addition to writing and playing music, Patrick is a stock market guru and an avid outdoorsman who has been known to fish from sunup ‘til sundown. His work with kids includes performing for several summers (along with Park) for Kids 4 Peace, an interfaith program for youth from the Middle East and the U.S.
Outdoor Adventures with Big Kid Band by Park Ellis, David Henry and Patrick Miller
Illustrations by Michael Woodcock
Stepping Stone Press
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Soft Cover: 978-0983473404, $9.95