Monday, October 8, 2012

Johnette Downing - Reading Rocks: CD Review and GIVEAWAY!

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Multi-award-winning New Orleans singer/songwriter, children's musician, and children's book authorJohnette Downing gets kids jazzed about reading with her 10th studio CD, Reading Rocks! (Wiggle Worm Records, $15.00, run time 49 minutes, for ages 2 – 8.)

Two years in the making, Reading Rocks! is Johnette Downing's first album to combine spoken word with music.  The CD interweaves readings from five of Johnette's beloved picture books, including her newest, Why the Possum Has a Large Grin (Pelican Publishing, fall 2012), with eleven lively songs that range in style from bluegrass to rock, as well as finger plays and limericks, all designed to motivate youngsters and reluctant readers to roll into the library and bop into books.

Johnette Downing, who brings a dash of "Louisiana Spice" to her concerts worldwide, has been praised by Gambit Weekly for "her ability to translate Louisiana music into mini=parties for her kid fans. In the great Louisiana tradition, Johnette sees her role not just as a performer, but as a spark to get her audiences up and dancing."   With Reading Rocks!, Johnette hopes to get kids up and reading, too!

Writing and performing music for children has been Johnette Downing's passion since 1990; the first of her ten CDs was recorded in 1992 and the first of her twelve children's books was published in 2006.  In addition to maintaining a full schedule as a performer and author, Johnette Downing is an educator who travels the world teaching parents and other educators how to use music to foster a love of reading. The very first tip she offers in her presentations is, "If you want your child to read, read."  This simple, but true, insight is at the heart of Reading Rocks!

?Notes Johnette Downing, "My greatest musical influences come from having the good fortune to have been born and raised in Louisiana, the birthplace of jazz, Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music.  These rich musical influences, along with Afro-Caribbean rhythms, are my muse, and have, in large part, inspired both my songwriting and my children's books."  

Johnette Downing has won twenty-one national awards, including honors from Parents' Choice, NAPPA, iParenting Media, Parents' Guide to Children’s Media, Family Choice Awards, and Family Review Center.

Johnette's NAPPA-winning children's bookToday is Monday in Louisiana (Pelican Publishing), was praised for its "lip-smacking appeal" by Publishers Weekly. The Times-Picayune declared, "Readers will be salivating by the final page" and called Johnette's subsequent book, Down in Louisiana, "almost irresistible."  Pelican Publishing will release Johnette's newest book, Why the Possum Has a Large Grinthis fall.  Watch for a new Johnette Downing e-book, Colors of the Sky, coming soon, too!

Reading Rocks!
Open a Book Finger Play
Today is Monday in Kentucky
Why the Oyster Has the Pearl
Oyster Limerick
Story Time
The Colors of the Sky
Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud
Reach Every Achievement Desired
There Once Was a Boy Named Cary
Read to Me
Principal's Desk
Why the Possum Has a Large Grin
Readers are Leaders
Today is Monday in New York
Do-do (Sleep) My Child

Check out Johnette's website at   

My Review:

I am a huge advocate for early literacy and helping children develop a love for books and reading. So when I was asked to review Reading Rocks by Johnette Downing I jumped at the chance. 

The CD uses Downing's music style of blues and jazz with her love of storytelling (be it fingerplays or stories) comes through clearly in the entire CD. Our family favorite tracks are The Colors of the Sky, Today is Monday in New York, and R.E.A.D. 

I highly recommend this CD and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Reading Rocks! online here.

One (1) Reader 
will win
 a copy
Reading Rocks!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Johnette Downing's website and comment about something you learned there, or which CD you'd be interested in listening to. 

EXTRA ENTRIES: (mandatory entry must be done for extra entries to count)

1. Follow A Mom After God's Own Heart via GFC

2. Like A Mom After God's Own Heart on Facebook

3. Follow me on Twitter

4. "Like" Johnette Downing on her Facebook Fan Page

5. Follow Johnette Downing on Twitter

6. Follow Johnette Downing’s blog 




***I received a complimentary copy of this CD, courtesy of Waldmania PR, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***


  1. Johnette has performed in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central America, North America and the Caribbean.


  2. Follow A Mom After God's Own Heart via GFC

    as Robyn L


  3. Like A Mom After God's Own Heart on Facebook

    as Robyn Lee


  4. Follow on Twitter as @rlee1950


  5. "Like" Johnette Downing on her Facebook Fan Page

    as Robyn Lee


  6. Follow Johnette Downing on Twitter
    as @rlee1950


  7. Congratulations, Robyn L
    You are now following Johnette Downing