Posted in Meet the authors, Music Review, Reviews by Annoying Little Brother

Meet the author/musician: Tim Kubart

for this interview, Annoying Little Brother steps into the Interviewer seat. His other nickname is “Coopbart” because he is such a big fan of Tim Kubart.

• Author website/social media: www.timkubart.com, @timkubart on everything

• Tell me a little about yourself: I’ve been playing music for kids and families for almost 15 years. When I was in college I was volunteering at a homeless shelter for women and children and started putting on shows for the kids in the nursery. I decided I would make it my career and I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world singing songs to kids and families, making records, working on different tv shows, and just having the best time.

1When you were my age, did you like to read? I did! I mostly read what was given to me, but my house was filled with stories of Winnie the Pooh, the Berenstain Bears, and Shel Silverstein.

2What was your favorite story? The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It’s still my favorite story.

3How did you get this idea for your book? All of my shows are very interactive. I make sure there’s something for everybody to do during each song. I wanted a book that a room full of kids could shout a part all together. Or something a kid and his caregiver could read together. That was the main goal. After that, it was just deciding what silly word they could all shout.

4Is writing songs or books easier? They are tough in their own ways! Songs you have to worry about melody and chords and production. So it takes more time to write than a picture book. But I was surprised when you only have a few pages and a few words, you begin to really pay attention to every single word.

5What author do you really like right now? I just got back from Nigeria (in Africa) and received a book about a boy in school. I just read it yesterday and enjoyed learning about the culture of education in Nigeria. The author is Chioma Awani-Diru. I really like non-fiction too. My favorite book is “The Bicycle Diaries” by David Byrne. And just a few days ago I read a book called “Outside the Jukebox” by one of my best friends, Scott Bradlee. He wrote a book about how he started the music group “Postmodern Jukebox.” I’ve also been reading a book of short stories (but true stories) called “All These Wonders.” When I’m between longer books I like to read stories that are only a few pages. ALSO! I need to squeeze in somewhere how much I love “Harry Potter.”

6I know you like hearing from your fans. How does it make you feel? It’s the best feeling in the world. Knowing that something I made is making its way into families daily lives has ALWAYS been my goal above anything else. I hope the music and stories brighten up families lives, and make them feel closer together, and when I get a message saying that it has, it makes me feel like I’m on the right path with what I do.

7What was it like to host a kids TV show? The best. For 4 year I was the host of “Sunny Side Up” on the Sprout Channel and my favorite part about it was that it was LIVE. We were able to talk to families in real time. If we were doing a craft, an hour later I might receive an email from a family that started doing the same craft. If we were singing a song and telling kids to jump, I knew that there were kids on the other side of the screen jumping. It was so special and I’ll always hold it close to my heart.

8You also play tambourine guy. How is that different from your kids stuff? Tambourine Guy is so funny because it happened completely by accident! Scott Bradlee, who created Postmodern Jukebox, was my coworker at a children’s playspace in New York City and he had a great idea for a YouTube video to turn a Nickelback song into a Motown song. I came by with my tambourine to join in and I didn’t think I was being THAT silly, but the next day the video had 300,000 views and everyone was calling me tambourine guy. I like to say that TG isn’t a member of PMJ but instead is a fan that somehow made it onstage. I’ve been able to travel the world and meet TG fans from all over. So many dress like me and bring their own tambourine (just like you coopbart!) and it’s an honor. They are always the best people. It’s a movement of joy and it can’t be stopped!

Posted in Music Review

Storytime Singalong V 2

Emily Arrow has a new cd coming out April 7th (you can still preorder).  I got to listen to the sneak peek of the cd and I just kept listening. This cd will have the song Be A Friend based on Salina’s book!!

Emily’s music has helped me find lots of good books. I really like it when she turns a book into a song. It helps you look at the book differently.

I recommend her cds to teachers, librarians and parents! I am ordering a bunch for my cousins and friends!

Posted in Meet the authors, Music Review

Meet Emily Arrow

emilyarrow1-copy

Social media/website: http://www.EmilyArrow.com, twitter:helloemilyarrow
Tell me a little about you: I created a genre of music called KidLit Tunes, or songs about my favorite books written for kids! I have a ukulele named Bow and I perform all over the country and create videos and songs while I travel.

How did you start writing songs about books? I was an elementary music teacher and I wanted to start using books in my music classroom. I couldn’t find many musical resources online that went with the books so I decided to create my own!
How do you pick the books you write a song about? I pick the books based on a few things: the illustrations, the titles, and the way the book makes me feel. Sometimes I totally love a book but it’s not right for a storytime. Or sometimes I love the illustrations but the the title is too long for a song. I always know a right match for a song the first time I read it.
Do you have a favorite song you wrote? I love performing the BE A FRIEND Song inspired by the book by Salina Yoon. It’s so funny to watch audience members do “jazz hands!” with me!


Do you have a favorite kid author? One of my favorite authors is Peter H. Reynolds. He creates the most inspiring picture books and every time I read one, I feel brave and creative.
Do you have a recommendation for kids who want to write songs? I would recommend learning an instrument. Ukulele is a great place to start because it’s a bit simpler than guitar and is a fun instrument to write song with.
Is there a book you really want to write a song about? Tons!! I’m working on a song about the book PENGUIN PROBLEMS by Jory John right now and haven’t finished the verses yet. I have a huge list in a notebook of all of the books I want to write songs about. I add more songs every time I go to a bookstore and feel inspired!

Posted in Music Review

Tim Kubart

Note: in exchange for continuing to call my brother “Annoying Little Brother” here, I am letting him write a guest review.

Annoying little brother here and I am reviewing Tim Kubart. He is a musician. He is a host on Sprout’s Sunny Side Up show. He is also Tambourine Guy for Postmodern Jukebox. He has two albums and won a Grammy for his most recent one. I don’t know what a Grammy is but it is a trophy.

I love Tim Kubart. I am his biggest fan. I dressed as Tim for Halloween. I met him at a concert. We even stayed in same hotel!

I listen to his album Home a lot. My favorite song is Breakfast Club. My sister says she is tired of hearing it. It make me want to dance and sing very loud! 

I am going to move this summer so I am listening to Moving Day. It will make moving day easier. I like jobs at the house.

I really really recommend his album. He is the best. 

Tim’s best friend is a tap dancer named Jumpsuit Alex. I now do ballet and tap because of him.

Annoying little brother

(Bridget’s note: I like Tim’s music even though I claim not to. Shh, don’t spill my secret to my brother)