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April and Susan.

Kiddin Round Records, 1985. Phonodisc. 1-12", 33 l/3rpm, stereo. $7.98. Distributed by CBC Records, KR 79809.

Grades K-5
Reviewed by Annabelle Goodman

Volume 13 Number 6
1985 November

April and Susan are fast becoming the favourites of many students and parents alike. Their second album Homefree brings more of the rhythms, clapping, and catchy melodies that made their first album Join In such a winner. My favourite selection, "Cuddle," makes the listener want to join in with the repetition of rhythm and words. It also promotes a healthy approach to displaying affection to loved ones. The accompanying booklet is filled with activities to motivate as well as to follow each song. I particularly like the suggestion of relating songs to books of the same theme. Hug Me by Patti Stren is a natural to follow the "Cuddle" song.

"Homefree" relates to the game Hide and Seek that children from all ages and stages relate to. "Homefree" introduces a new twist. Children will love the repetition of the refrain

I don't mean to get dirty
But I do just the same
Maybe that's why
I like the game.

Robert Munsch's book Mud Puddle would be a delightful follow up to this catchy song.

Body action and movement accompanies many of the songs. Children learn a sense of rhythm in this way, and of course they increase their language development. A balance to the album is provided with such songs as "Falling Rain" and "Ocean Motion." There is a need for children to develop listening skills and an appreciation for the sound of words. I am delighted to see the inclusion of a French song "L'Arbre est dains les feuilles." Let us have more French and ethnic songs on the next album. The album incorporates a wide range of themes and ideas that are bound to delight students from the age of four to ten. Adults too, will find themselves joining in with the actions and the words.

April and Susan once again provide us with lessons that are educational but fun. For those newcomers to this dynamic duo, April is a classical folk guitarist, singer, songwriter, and banjo player. Susan is Susan from CBC's Mr. Dressup. She is a published writer of childrens' books and has written for television and radio, as well as films for children. Their concerts in auditoriums and schools are in demand. Let us have more of April and Susan.

Annabelle Goodman, Williamson Road P.S., Toronto, Ont.
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