If you enjoyed BREAD IS FOR EATING on PBS TV’s Reading Rainbow, you can hear the bread song, in Spanish and English, sung by the songwriter himself--with his daughter!
“Bread Is for Eating” is one of eighteen original songs performed by Yonah Gershator, Dave Hall, and David Gershator on THIS IS THE DAY! Matthew Check and Rob Hecht join in on banjo, fiddle, and guitar for the “Moon Rooster” song.
For singalong fun, do the rooster dance with Moon Rooster and all the other barnyard critters, clap in time to “Greetings, Sun” and “Summer Is Summer,” jump up to “Tukama’s Song” and “Kallaloo Calypso.” Then, even if it’s not quite bedtime, “Who’s Awake?” and “Hush, Little Bird” will surely put everyone in a sleepy mood.
Recommended by Rob Reid (www.rapnrob.com) -- Author, SOMETHING MUSICAL HAPPENED AT THE LIBRARY and CHILDREN'S JUKEBOX -- “What a wonderful family musical experience with direct ties to children’s literature.”
Recommended by Kid's Music That Rocks (http://kidsmusicthatrocks.blogspot.com) -- "Yonah's style, with vocal and musical assistance from Dave Hall, is more Broadway than pop, so this CD would be heard more likely in the classroom or library than on XM Radio. Teachers and Librarians could totally use this album in tandem with books like GREETINGS, SUN or SUMMER IS SUMMER...."
Recommended by Dr. Toy (www.drtoy.com) -- Author, SMART PLAY SMART TOYS -- "...the music and lyrics are a great connection to quality music and books." Summer List, 2008
Recommended by Stephanie Bange in School Library Journal, 1/1/09 --
"Poet/songwriter David Gershator has penned music (and often the lyrics) to 18 songs, 11 of them based on picture books written by or co-written with his wife Phillis.... Gershator uses a variety of musical styles, relying largely on a Caribbean beat ("Tukama's Song," "Kallaloo Calypso") for upbeat tunes and lullabies ("Hush Little Bird," "Sleep Song") for ballads. Spanish lyrics for several songs are found along with English. Daughter Yonah, whose trained voice is strong and pitch-perfect, provides lead vocals on most songs. Baritone Dave Hall and Gershator also take their turns on lead vocals on several tunes and harmonize on others. Musical accompaniment is spare. Pair the song with the book to add depth to a story time."
YONAH DANIELLA GERSHATOR: Singer and pianist, Yonah performs with professional choral ensembles--the New York Choral Artists, Concert Chorale of New York, Bard College Summerscape Festival Opera Chorus, Brick Presbyterian Church Choir, and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus. She teaches voice, piano, and the Feldenkrais Method and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She's also done backup vocals for several recordings--including Dave Hall's CHRISTMAS.
DAVE HALL: Composer and lyricist, Dave has released four critically praised recordings of original music and has written music for adult and children’s theater and educational television. He is a graduate of The Manhattan School of Music and lives in Brooklyn, New York--just down the block from Yonah! www.rowhousemusic.com
DAVID GERSHATOR: Songwriter and lyricist, David is an award winning poet, artist, author of several poetry chapbooks, co-author of six picture books--and Yonah’s dad. www.davidgershator.com
1. Greetings, Sun
In Africa, poems of praise greet everybody and everything. So we, in that happy tradition, greet the grass, the trees, the ants, the bees, and most of all, the sun--shining down on everybody and everything. Beginning readers can also greet the day with GREETINGS, SUN by Phillis & David Gershator, illustrated by Synthia Saint James, DR Ink, 1998 (Starred review, School Library Journal; CLASP Award).
2. Listen, Listen
Listen, listen for the sounds of the seasons: a snowflake, a bird, an insect buzzing....And for more easy reading sounds, look for the book LISTEN, LISTEN by Phillis Gershator, illustrated by Alison Jay, Barefoot Books, 2007 (Starred review, Booklist).
3. Bread Is for Eating
Bagels, pita, chapati, pan--bread is for eating all over the world. Words and music for the bread song are included in the book BREAD IS FOR EATING by David & Phillis Gershator, illustrated by Emma Shaw-Smith, Holt, 1995 (“A multicultural, musical lead-in to Russell Hoban’s Bread and Jam for Frances, followed by Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, for a story hour lineup guaranteed to make mouths water and tummies rumble”--Booklist; Reading Rainbow Featured Selection).
4. Moon Rooster
Roosters crow in the morning when the sun comes up, don’t they? Yes, but not the moon rooster. He flaps his wings, puffs out his chest, crows to the east and crows to the west AT NIGHT. Try it yourself! Words and music included in the book MOON ROOSTER by David & Phillis Gershator, illustrated, with added text, by Megan Halsey, Cavendish, 2001 (“Humorous, tongue-in-cheek tone of the telling and the original song at the end encourage audiences to help sing the story and make this a strong entry for story time”--School Library Journal).
5. This Is the Day
A long time ago, Phillis heard a song that was so catchy she never forgot it. She wrote some new words for it, and the song became a book called THIS IS THE DAY! illustrated by Marjorie Priceman, Houghton Mifflin, 2007 (“Babies small enough to be dandled to the verses’ lilting rhythms will particularly enjoy this reassuring confection...” Booklist; “This pleasant romp is a natural for baby sing-along programs [sheet music is included], one-on-one sharing, and lullaby time”--School Library Journal). Sing ‘n read: Tra la and fiddle de dee!
6. Tukama’s Song
Do you know the story about Tukama from St. Thomas? A big, bad, two headed giant caught him and stuffed him in a sack. Read all about it in TUKAMA TOOTLES THE FLUTE: A Tale from the Antilles, retold by Phillis Gershator, illustrated by Synthia Saint James, Orchard Books, 1994 (Starred reviews, Kirkus and Hornbook; BCCB Blue Ribbon Book; CLASP Award; CCBC Choice; Bank Street Best Children’s Books).
7. Mourning Dove
Yonah woke up one morning to the sound of the mourning dove. “I wonder what key he’s cooing in?” she asked. David didn’t know, but the question inspired this song.
8. Rata Pata Scata Fata
Caribbean nonsense words everyone can sing for good luck, just like Junjun in RATA-PATA-SCATA-FATA: A Caribbean Story by Phillis Gershator, illustrated by Holly Meade, Star Bright Books, 2005 (Junior Library Guild, CLASP Award, Notable Language Arts Trade Book).
9. Hush, Little Bird
Does the baby cry? Does the babysitter sing to comfort her? In the book THE BABYSITTER SINGS, the singer weaves together the lullabies of many cultures, as does this song, adapted from THE BABYSITTER SINGS by Phillis Gershator, illustrated by Mélisande Potter, Holt, 2004 (Starred review, Kirkus; Bank Street Best Children’s Books).
10. Life Is a Dream
A song inspired by the words of the 17th century Spanish playwright, Pedro Calderón de la Barca.
11. When It Starts to Snow
What if it starts to snow? What do you do? Where do you go? Those are the the questions all the animals answer in this song, adapted from the book WHEN IT STARTS TO SNOW by Phillis Gershator, illustrated by Martin Matje, Holt, 1998 (Starred review, Publishers Weekly; Best Books, Working Mother; CCBC Choice; Braille edition available).
12. Kallaloo Calypso
“If you feel hungry-hungry, belly talk to you.
Don’t worry at all. Granny knows what to do:
mix up fish and onions, ham and spinach, too,
crab and okra in Granny’s Kallaloo.
Clap your hands, stamp your feet....”
And check out KALLALOO! A Caribbean Tale
for another Caribbean treat!
KALLALOO! is by David & Phillis Gershator, illustrated by Diane Greenseid, Cavendish, 2005 (Notable Social Studies Trade Book).
13. Come Back, Come Back
A love song to St. Thomas, our garden in the middle of the sea....
14. Sleep Song
Summer, fall, winter, spring--any time’s a good time for a nap.
15. Where Did the Baby Go?
Did the baby mysteriously disappear, or was it all a dream?
16. Summer Is Summer
Gertrude Stein, the North American writer (1874-1946), wrote the famous words, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” So Phillis and David Gershator said, “Summer is summer is summer, too,” and a book and a song were born. You can follow the song almost word for word in the book SUMMER IS SUMMER by Phillis & David Gershator, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Holt, 2006 (Starred review, School Library Journal; Best New Books, Scholastic Parent and Child).
17. Moon Song
An upbeat lullaby inspired by the words of an Akan lullaby from Ghana--“Someone would like to have you as her child, but you are mine.”
18. Who’s Awake?
Phillis Gershator and her mother, Mim Green, wrote a story called WHO'S AWAKE? (illustrated by Emilie Chollat, Holt, 2009) because there is always a fish, a bee, a bird, a sheep who will not go to sleep--and sometimes children don’t feel sleepy either. David Gershator adapted the book’s theme for this bedtime song, but don’t forget the teddy bear, night light, glass of water....
For lyrics and more book info, go to: