BLUE AND RED MAKE PURPLE: A Musical Journey with Grammy-winning Children’s Artist, Jennifer Gasoi

NEW RELEASE

BLUE AND RED MAKE PURPLE

A Musical Journey with Jennifer Gasoi
Illustrated by Steve Adams

Available on October 1, 2016 from The Secret Mountain

Blue and Red Make Purple

This new book with CD offers young listeners a musical journey through the different colors of Jennifer Gasoi’s multi-layered and playful music. The colorful picture book, featuring original illustrations by Steve Adams, highlight the history, instruments and unique characteristics of each musical genre along with listening suggestions accompanying each song. Along the way, Gasoi offers readers a chance to create their own sounds, and discover more about the songwriting process itself.  Full lyrics are also included in this delightful music-forward title.

The accompanying CD features 12 original songs that meld styles ranging from bluegrass to Dixieland swing, folk to calypso to Cajun and klezmer.

Featured is Gasoi’s GRAMMY Award winning hit “Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well,” and traveling tunes like “Little Blue Car” and “Goin’ on a Trip,” all of them with a positive message underscored in “Bright Side of Life.” Gasoi hopes that readers will be inspired to “express themselves, tap into their own mastery, and embrace their unique gifts.”

Jennifer Gasoi is a GRAMMY and Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner. She is one of Canada’s most acclaimed children’s performers and recording artists, offering upbeat, intelligent jazz and world beat influenced original music with all-ages appeal. In addition to her frequent sold-out performances throughout Canada, the Vancouver-born singer-songwriter has garnered fans at her concerts in the United States, Brazil, Israel, Singapore, India, the U.K. and Japan. Steve Adams has collaborated with many publications over the years, such as The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and The Globe & Mail. He has also illustrated several books for children, including the award-winning picture book “The Boy Who Grew Flowers” (Barefoot Books). Both live in Montreal.

The Secret Mountain, celebrating 15 years of publishing music-forward children’s storybooks, has released popular titles focusing on classical music, including Amazing Water, Listen to the Birds, Simply Fantastic (all three by Ana Gerhard) and Sleep Softly. The extensive catalogue of award-winning storybook-music CD titles for children includes It’s Raining Cats and Dogs, Songs from the Baobob (African Lullabies), Dreams Are Made for Children (Classic Jazz Lullabies), A Duck in New York City by singer-songwriter Connie Kaldor and Tomorrow is a Chance To Start Over (Hilary Grist). The publishing house also has an impressive enhanced ebook list.

BLUE AND RED MAKE PURPLE by Jennifer Gasoi; illustrations by Steve Adams / Children’s Picture Book with Music CD (12 tracks, 34 minutes) / Hardcover, 44 pages, 8″ x 8 / Ages 5 to 8 / ISBN: 978-2-924217-79-5 / $22.95 CDN / Distributed by Independent Publishers Group represented in Canada by The Manda Group

Review Copies and Media Enquiries

Ruth JosephThe Secret Mountain logo
Tel: 514.804.4379
ruth@thesecretmountain.com
http://www.thesecretmountain.com

 

Sneak Preview: Tomorrow is a Chance To Start Over Bedtime Story and Dream Songs by Hilary Grist

Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over by Hilary GristEscape from the city on a musical dreamboat

AVAILABLE ON JUNE 2, 2015

Adding to their growing catalog of Parents’ Choice Award-winning storybooks with CDs for children, The Secret Mountain will release Tomorrow Is a Chance To Start Over on June 2.

Hilary Grist wrote the story, created the clay characters and performs her original songs, to offer a soothing, restful experience for the whole family to enjoy together. Her smooth rhythmic text and stunning artwork cast in a soft light between sleep and waking, make for a perfect summertime treat, wafting listeners into a reposeful musical world reminiscent of Norah Jones and Feist.                         

The story is about Ira and Isabelle, two siblings living in a little red house by the sea, who decide one night to escape the sound of the city’s beeping cars and sail off to a faraway land. On their journey, they learn from a newly-made friend, a robin with a soft voice, that dreams really can come true. In addition to the narrated story, the CD offers nine heartwarming dream songs followed by an ethereal rendition of Johanne Brahms‘ classic “Cradle Song.”

The best part is that on Saturday, June 6th at 2:00 pm, Vancouver’s Book Warehouse (4118 Main Street) will host the launch of this new release, just in time for summer! In the area? Then here’s the chance to bring the kids out for a musical afternoon of live storytelling and songs. Hilary will be performing some featured selections from this new release.

CD Track Listing
1. Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over (Narration)
2. Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over
3. Fall in my Loving Arms
4. Swallow Me Up
5. Float Away
6. Le petit oiseau
7. Say Goodnight
8. City of Green and Blue
9. I’ll Be There
10. Still
11. Cradle Song

Hilary Grist is a singer-songwriter from Vancouver, notable for her song placements that have been part of nine major television shows. Not only is she a talented musician, but also a gifted visual artist who (with her creative team including her producer and husband, Mike Southworth) created the 3D clay characters shown on the book’s cover. As well, Grist has built an international following from tours across Japan, South Korea and North America. She is a graduate of the Capilano University Jazz Studies program in North Hilary GristVancouver. Her influences are as diverse as Ella Fitzgerald, and Tom Waits, along with Debussy. Accordingly, her songwriting and performance style incorporates elements of jazz, folk, pop, and classical. Grist has performed in many Canadian festivals including the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and North by Northeast. Grist recently released her fifth studio album entitled Come and Go.

The Secret Mountain is a Montreal-based publisher of beautifully produced children’s books and music from around the world, in French and English. Several of their titles, including Songs from the Baobab, A Duck in New York City, and Listen to the Birds, have won international acclaim and Parents’ Choice Gold Awards.

PRESS CONTACT
Ruth Joseph
Tel: 514.804.4379
ruth@thesecretmountain.com 

www.thesecretmountain.com

Coming Soon From The Secret Mountain: Sleep Softly: Classical Lullabies by Brahms, Schubert, Satie, Debussy…

NEW! FROM THE SECRET MOUNTAIN – AVAILABLE ON MAY 1, 2015

Sleep Softly:  Classical Lullabies by Brahms, Schubert, Satie, DebussyThe latest picture book and classical music CD in the award-winning and internationally acclaimed series, created for babies, but for the whole family to enjoy!

Sleep Softly:  Classical Lullabies by Brahms, Schubert, Satie, Debussy…

Performed by Ensemble Agora; Illustrations by Élodie Nouhen

Soothing and entrancing melodies from beloved composers are collected in this newest addition to The Secret Mountain’s acclaimed book-and-CD series. The hardbound book features whimsical, dream-like illustrations by Élodie Nouhen and brief explanatory notes describing how the song was composed and how it was arranged for this recording. The accompanying CD, recorded in France with the acclaimed wind and harp quintet Ensemble Agora, features 16 soft and sweet masterpieces that will send everyone in the family—including the crying infant—off to dreamland.

The gently rocking rhythm of Offenbach’s “Barcarolle” launches listeners into the magical world of Venetian gondoliers, and other familiar pieces, including Schumann’s “Of Foreign Lands” and Satie’s “Gymnopédie,” convey a sense of timeless voyage through cadence and instrumentation.  Fauré’s famous melody, “Après un rêve” demonstrates the power of melody and harmony to create an otherworldly experience.  The most famous track of all was composed in 1868 by Johannes Brahms: “Wiegenlied,” better known in the English speaking world simply as the lullaby song. The final piece, “Brezairola,” is a traditional song which French musician Joseph Canteloube arranged in the 1920s; this recording strips the melody to its essence, adding the drone of a bassoon in the background. The result is a relaxing 34 minutes of sound and visuals for all ages to enjoy together.

In 2014, The Secret Mountain, publisher of beautifully produced children’s books and music from around the world, released the Parents’ Choice Gold Award winning storybook-music CD Simply Fantastic: An Introduction to Classical Music. The first title from that collection, Listen to the Birds, also won international awards and acclaim the previous year.

SLEEP SOFTLY – CLASSICAL LULLABIES BY BRAHMS, SCHUBERT, SATIE, DEBUSSY… / PERFORMED BY ENSEMBLE AGORA / ILLUSTRATIONS BY ÉLODIE NOUHEN / CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK WITH MUSIC CD (DURATION: 34 MINUTES) / HARDCOVER, 36 PAGES, 8” X 8″ / AGES : BIRTH – 3 / ISBN: 978-2-924217-24-5 /$ 22.95 CDN /  DISTRIBUTED BY INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS GROUP REPRESENTED IN CANADA BY THE MANDA GROUP

Sleep Softly:  Classical Lullabies by Brahms, Schubert, Satie, Debussy…

Queen Vernita Explores The Oceaneer’s Coastline by Dawn Menge

Queen Vernita Explores the Oceaneers Coastline by Dawn MengeBOOK PREVIEW

Prolific Author Dawn Menge Presents Queen Vernita Explores The Oceaneer’s Coastline

The latest installment in her acclaimed, award-winning educational series  is illustrated by Pam Snyder.

Prolific author Dawn Menge is proud to announce the official publication of Queen Vernita Explores The Oceaneer’s Coastline, the latest installment in her acclaimed, award-winning educational series.

About The Book

Queen Vernita and Carl take a coach trip to explore the coastline of the Oceaneer’s kingdom. Along the way they explore caverns and learn about stalagtites and stalagmites, sea lions, jelly fish, and the Redwood forest.
They camp on the beach and in the forest, swim in the ocean and feed Sproket the pet Pelican. Queen Vernita and Carl learn from their twelve wonderful friends an appreciation for nature and exploring the world around them.

Queen Vernita Explores The Oceaneer’s Coastline is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. For more information, please visit www.queenvernita.com.

Reviews for Queen Vernita’s Educational Series

Christine Bode of Scully Love Promo reviewed three of the children’s picture books in Queen Vernita’s Educational Series including Queen Vernita’s Visitors (Illustrated by Bobbi Switzer), Queen Vernita Visits The Blue Ice Mountains (Illustrated by Bobbi Switzer / Silver Winner in the Mom’s Choice Awards), and Queen Vernita Meets Sir Heathybean The Astronomer by Dawn Menge and Heath Rhoades (Illustrated by Bobbi Switzer).  There is another book in the series entitled Queen Vernita Visits The Islands of Enchantment which was also a Silver Winner in the Mom’s Choice Awards.

About The Author

Dawn Menge has a Bachelors Degree in Human Development, a Masters Degree in Special Education, and a Clear credential as an Education Specialist. She is currently a doctoral student specializing in Curriculum and Instruction.

Dawn has worked with the severely handicapped population for the past fourteen years. Her experiences include teaching from the elementary level up to adult education in special needs. She has been nominated for teacher of the year by SBCSS, awarded a Learning Leader by Leapfrog, served as a lead teacher, and she has been a BTSA support provider. The disabilities she has experience with include Autism, Visual Impairments, ADHD, Seizure Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disabilities, Emotional Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairments, and Down Syndrome.

Dawn has won fifteen national awards as a self-published author of the Queen Vernita’s Educational Series, including Reader Views, Readers Favorites, a First Place Evvy, a Scooter Award, a Purple Dragonfly award, and an A+ rating from the American Children’s Book Society.

Dawn is the mother of three and the grandmother of five beautiful grandchildren.

To learn more about Dawn Menge, visit www.queenvernita.com.

Queen Vernita Visits The Blue Ice Mountains by Dawn Menge

Queen Vernita Visits The Blue Ice Mountains by Dawn MengeBook Review
Title: Queen Vernita Visits The Blue Ice Mountains
Author:  Dawn Menge
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Released: 2009
Pages: 32
ISBN-13: 978-1432711696
ISBN-10: 1432711695
Stars:  4.0

SILVER WINNER IN THE MOM’S CHOICE AWARDS

Children’s author Dawn Menge is a smart woman. She has a Masters Degree and Clear Credential in Special Education and is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Through her character Queen Vernita (who now officially has a series of adventures in print!), she has created an absolutely wonderful storybook teacher for young children (ages 5-9) that is once again spectacularly illustrated by the very talented Bobbi Switzer. One of the reasons I love the Queen Vernita series so much is because of the bright, bold colours that are used in the pictures, and the other is that the stories are so fun and intelligent.

Every year Queen Vernita of Oceaneer (first introduced in Queen Vernita’s Visitors) writes to twelve of her closest friends and invites them to come to visit her. In this installment, the Queen has requested that her friends go with her to see the Blue Ice Mountains in the Land of Quails. Each month of the year she takes a different friend and together, on each day of the week, they experience the fun of adventure and education. Queen Vernita’s January visitor, Debbie, learns all about crabs! In March, Queen Vernita and her friend Christopher take a boat to see some tidewater glaciers and learn all about them. August weather encourages the Queen and her friend Marcella to visit the temperate rainforest of the Blue Ice Mountains where they meet park ranger Larry who tells them all about the flora and fauna of the region. In September, Vernita and Virginia discover the wonders of the Aurora Borealis and in November, Vernita and Dylan go snorkeling in the freezing glacier water and uncover the mysteries of underwater life.

Every day of the week Queen Vernita does something different with her friend who is visiting her that month and she shares so much joy with them that I find myself being envious and wishing I had a friend like Queen Vernita myself. Or better yet, perhaps I could become Queen Christine and create a similar environment for my own friends to enjoy! However, I must say that I would be very tired of having company for a whole year, no matter how much I enjoy the camaraderie of friendship!

Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains is another splendid children’s book by Dawn Menge and I hope that her audience continues to grow because the premise of this series is truly enjoyable and shouldn’t be overlooked. Parents and teachers everywhere will love teaching the monthly calendar, days of the week, and the changing seasons through the exciting activities of Queen Vernita and her visitors.

A Frog Named Waldor by Jacqueline Rankine-Van Wassenhoven

Book Review
Title: A Frog Named Waldor
Author:  Jacqueline Rankine-Van Wassenhoven
Illustrator: Annie Zhang
Publisher: PublishAmerica
Released: January 14, 2008
Pages: 16
ISBN 10 – 1424199263
ISBN 13 – 978-1424199266
Stars: 2.5

A Frog Named Waldor is a sweet children’s picture book about a little girl named Jennifer who loves to read, particularly books about water fairies. Now, as I do love fairies and talking frogs are quite irresistible, I was very intrigued by the premise of this story. On a hot July afternoon, Jennifer takes her book to a favourite spot by a pond near the village where she lives, to enjoy some quiet reading time when she is quite surprised to make the acquaintance of Waldor, the talking frog. They talk about water fairies and through a magical twist of fate, Waldor, is just the creature with the power to introduce Jennifer to some real, charming water fairies that he knows!

I believe that author Jacqueline Rankine-Van Wassenhoven had wonderful intentions for this book and there are some lovely illustrations by Annie Zhang (my favourite being the one that depicts Jennifer and Waldor dancing at a musical fairy jam amongst the toadstools), however, the story ends very abruptly, seems unfinished, and just doesn’t quite hit the mark, although it is clear that the author has a lot of love for the subject matter.

The book is only 12 pages long and of those 12 pages, there are five adorable, colourful, full-page illustrations. That being said, my niece and nephew who are 7-years-old, enjoyed it and thought that Waldor was pretty cool, but they wanted to know more about him. This story is more about Jennifer and the fairies than it is about Waldor, so the title of the book is a tad misleading. They also liked the idea of the magic bulrushes that allow Jennifer to ride on the back of Mrs. Nightingale, who carried her home.

For some reason, this book is listed on Chapters.Indigo.ca as costing $32.95 which is an extraordinarily high price to pay for a 12 page picture book. It also seems very overpriced at other online booksellers sites. If those prices are correct, I cannot recommend that you buy this book.

Queen Vernita’s Visitors by Dawn Menge, illustrated by Bobbi Switzer

Queen Vernita's VisitorsBook Review
Title: Queen Vernita’s Visitors
Author:  Dawn Menge
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Released: 2008
Pages: 36
ISBN-13: 978-1598007145
ISBN-10: 1598007149
Stars:  3.5

The ultimate test for a children’s book is the response given to it by children and when I read Queen Vernita’s Visitors by Dawn Menge, beautifully and brightly illustrated by Bobbi Switzer, to my six year old niece and nephew, they loved it and I loved it too!

Dawn Menge’s wonderful soft cover book is part of an educational series for children and the premise of Queen Vernita’s Visitors is unique and enchanting. Vernita is the Queen of a “majestic world called Oceaneer.” She has spent a whole year alone in her castle and decides that she really misses her friends. Queen Vernita decides to send out invitations to 12 friends to invite them to spend one month of the year with her.

Dawn Menge teaches children about the months of the year and how many days are in them as well as the days of the week and the changing seasons. She also inspires her readers to think of interesting activities and fun ways to spend time with friends. The story sparked the imaginations of my niece and nephew and they both agreed that August’s illustration and its’ list of activities was their very favorite. Ethan liked it because it has frogs in the picture and Erika loved that Queen Vernita and her friend Hannah went camping and slept under the stars and most importantly, that they made a campfire and cooked S’mores! They also both agreed that they could never eat as much turkey as the Queen and her friend Nicole ate in November or they would be sick!

Queen Vernita’s Visitors is a well written story that is delightful to read to children, chock full of rich colors, enjoyable illustrations that make you smile and ideas to spark not only the imagination of children, but of adults too. It’s a winner!

You can purchase Queen Vernita’s Visitors for US $12.95 at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. But first, be sure to check out Dawn Menge’s trailer for the book here: