Want to fall in love? Perhaps that’s a presumptuous way to start a review about kids music, however, that is what happened when I first heard Charlie Hope. Love, just love. Her soft, enchanting voice instantly transports you to a place filled with flowers and sunshine. In fact, you can even hear birds chirping throughout the album.
As a multi-award winning artist, the path that led her to success has been one filled with music, family and children. Hope earned a bachelor’s degree in Art Therapy With Children and has worked in preschools and privately as a nanny. In fact, “Blue Balloon” and “Cowboy Boots” were inspired by a boy she was nannying for at the time the album was being written.
Hope’s approach to music is much like her education and experience. “It’s Me” is filled with love and appreciation for who children are as individuals. Imagination makes anything possible and is encouraged while listening to “I’m Me.” The album is interactive and provides a comfortable platform for kids to express themselves in their best animal voices like in the title track “I’m Me,” move their bodies to the beat of a train in “Train Song,” drive a fire truck in “Fire Truck” and even blast off in a rocket ship to the moon in “Zoom Zoom.,” which provides an educational element as Hope counts backwards from 10 to 1 before the rocket takes off.
“I’m Me” contains familiar classics like a sweet-as-candy “Mr. Sun” (which some may recognize from Raffi), “Mulberry Bush” and “Pop Goes the Weasel, as well as, some wonderful originals which address relevant topics like the addition of a new baby and nap time all wrapped up in some catchy hooks that aim to deliver a positive message to little ears.
Parents should appreciate the “Frog Song” as Hope starts with 5 frogs and counts backwards to 1 frog while making up random things that the frogs are eating on their log (toast with jam, steamed carrots, edamame and applesauce). Throughout the song, Hope is interrupted by kids pointing out that frogs don’t eat those things until they get to the last frog which correctly eats flies and the children then acknowledge that. We like to turn it into a fun game and change up some of the food the frogs eat. Although, to the 3yr old in our home, poop is apparently something hilarious that frogs like to eat. But that’s a whole other post.
With regard to Charlie Hope, there is something to be said about an artist who wholly understands how essential music is to our well-being and just how much it can educate and empower children. “I’m Me” is a wonderful collection of songs that welcomes acceptance of who we we are while acknowledging the silly we all have inside of us.
While listening to Charlie’s sweet voice, I can’t help but be reminded of the quote “sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching and live like its heaven on earth.”