Justin Roberts and Emerging Joy–Part 2

Rob sings Little Raindrop from Great Big Sun to Henrik every night before bed. Sometimes Henrik asks for “Little Henrik” and Rob retells the events of Henrik’s day to the song’s melody. Jungle Gym seems to “rock” more than the precious CDs. The drum lines are very prominent in Jungle Gym and Gerald rises to the occasion. Parents with broad reaching musical tastes may hear an air of Quiet Riot in We Go Duck, Nirvana in Trick or Treat, Little Peggy March in Cardboard Box and Jet in New Haircut. My favorite song on Jungle Gym is 2 X 4.

We have been waiting so long for Jungle Gym to be released and it is so refreshing to infuse a new CD into our collection. The best news is that Justin Roberts and The Not Ready for Naptime Players are coming to Portland in August. We have our tickets already and we are really looking forward to the show. We saw Justin, Liam and Gerald on Vashon Island in November 2008. We saw the full band perform three times in the Chicago area between 2006-2007 while we were living in Milwaukee, WI for Rob’s Montessori training.

Henrik was a few months shy of 2 years old when we went to the first concert at Summer on Southport. It was a double set and he didn’t last through the full show. We did pick up some great food to eat on our way back to Milwaukee from Southport Grocery. Yum! Our second show was at the lighting of the Christmas tree on The Magnificent Mile.

The band spent time signing autographs after the show and we made our way through the line. All of the band members were very friendly and Justin was incredibly gracious with each fan. Justin has remembered Henrik at the two concerts we have attended after our first meeting. We were concerned for a while that Justin would think that we were stalking him since we had been to concerts in both the Midwest and on the West Coast. Luckily, no restraining orders have been filed yet.

If you are looking for some great music for the whole family, I would recommend any of the 7 Justin Roberts CDs. If you are looking for a fun family concert, check out the tour schedule. It is great to see the music come alive on stage and you will learn all the hand gestures that accompany the songs. Henrik has been walking around wiping his brow at the appropriate moment as shown in the new Obsessed by Trucks video.

We are counting down the days until the August concert. I am sure Henrik will have all the lyrics memorized by then (except Never Getting Lost, which brought tears the first 2 times and is now just skipped). Real emotions emerge when songs are written about real events and experiences in kid’s lives. Henrik has never been lost in a mall, or anywhere else, but he understands the song’s storyline and he is filled with empathy. Jungle Gym is packed with upbeat songs that promote singing at the dinner table and dancing on the living room floor. I am at a loss for superlatives strong enough to describe how much we all enjoy the melodies and lyrics crafted by Justin Roberts. If you enjoy the beauty of your child’s smile, bring Justin Roberts into your home and watch the joy emerge.