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Friday, July 8, 2011

Children's Author Spotlight: Raffi

Pre-kids I used to cringe at the thought of listening to Raffi. But then... it happened. A Raffi song made my son smile and I became and instant fan.

You probably know Raffi as a songwriter and performer. Raffi has written some fun versions of popular kids songs and in 1987 began releasing his Songs to Read series of books.

We sing a lot around here, so many of our books are really songs to read (see my previous spotlight on Sandra Boynton as an example).

Here are three of our favourite Raffi Songs to Read books:

Wheels on the Bus

This song has been a popular choice of parents and teachers for decades and for very good reason. It's a happy rhyming song about the adventures of the people who ride the bus. The illustrations by Sylvie Kantorovitz Wickstrom are equally jovial and bring the song to life.

Down by the Bay

"Down by the Bay is one of the best-selling Raffi Songs to Read. Irresistible art by Nadine Bernard Westcott depicts wonderfully amusing creatures such as a bear combing his hair, a goose kissing a moose, and a whale with a polka-dot tail." Source: http://www.raffinews.com/raffi/renaissance

If You're Happy and You Know It

"Children everywhere love to sing and clap along with this classic song... brought to life by Cyd Moore’s energetic artwork. The song becomes a delightful story about a surprise party where all the animals work together to do something nice for someone else." Source: http://www.raffinews.com/raffi/renaissance

At the back of these books, you can usually find the music for accompanying on an instrument, along with all of the verses.

"With two honorary degrees, the Order of Canada, and the UN’s Earth Achievement award, Raffi is a respected international figure, a global troubadour." Source: http://www.raffinews.com/raffi/renaissance

Plus, he makes kids smile, and that makes me smile!
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