Friday, June 09, 2006

***Parker Bent***

One of the joys of being a children’s librarian is putting together storytimes, music programs, and craft activities for kids, seeing what flies, finding out what sinks. Sometimes things are a roaring success, while other events are pretty much given a group shrug by the little ones. Parker Bent is a preschool music teacher in Beverly Hills, California, and through his daily work with kids he has honed his songwriting skills and perfected his music program presentation, and has wonderfully translated everything into his first CD, I Am Your New Music Teacher.

Your little ones can practice spelling and sounding out words with “26 Letters”, and shimmy to the Bo Diddly beat of “Froggy”, the story of an unusually named dog. They’ll also identify with the pre-school blues of the cowbell-driven “I Wanna Go Home”. Then, imagine Jack Black playing Miss Viola Swamp from Miss Nelson is Missing!, and you have the title song! Finally, the chugging Sheryl Crow-like handclapper “Count On” provides a great number-related singalong.

From the a cappella opener “AAA” to the western pastiche “Farewell”, Bent paints a sweet, funny, and rollicking picture of what one would expect to hear in his classroom. If his programs are half this fun, parents should be thankful Parker is part of their children’s early education experience. Word is he’s currently working on a full-on rock and roll album for kids, so look for great things to come from this young educator and musician.