Gift guide: Don’t forget about the merch!

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Did you know that your favorite kindie artist is also an illustrator or an author? Would you love to see your little rockstar sporting a sweet t-shirt with their favorite artist’s/band’s name on it? If you are thinking about giving music as a gift, consider checking out your favorite artist’s/band’s merchandise as well. Many artists offer additional products that make excellent companions to the album(s) you are purchasing. Plus, purchasing the music and merchandise directly through the artist or artist’s store is another great way to show your support.

Below is a small list of items we have come across and in some cases (as shown above) have purchased ourselves. I will be adding more to the list over the next week so stay tuned. 

IMG_3185Frances England – Move over Land of Nod! Frances England recently started an artwork series based on her songs.There are 3 prints in her store, two of which are based on the songs “Tugboat” and “Best Friends” from her album Family Tree and one which is based on the song “Do You Hear The Birds Singing” from Mind of My Own. Each piece is a digital reproduction of a paper cut collage design made by Frances and just as whimsical and lovely as her music!

Do you have a budding guitarist in your family? Or perhaps you play yourself? Even if you don’t own a stringed instrument of any kind, singing along with your little one(s) is a wonderful bonding experience. Frances makes that easy by offering downloadable songbook featuring lyrics and a few 2, 3, and 4 chord songs.

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Gustafer Yellowgold – Morgan Taylor is the creator and illustrator of Gustafer Yellowgold, a yellow fellow who came to Earth from the Sun and landed in the Minnesota woods. Gustafer’s world here on Earth is filled with colorful characters, one of which is his pet and sidekick, Slim the Eel. Slim is a freshwater electric eel who enjoys slipping into socks and chucking melon balls at Gustafer. If you are not already familiar with the brilliant sounds and designs by Taylor, spend some time on the Gustafer Yellowgold site. It’s an experience!

What the store features:
– Plush versions of Gustafer Yellowgold and Slim the Eel (featured at the very top of this blog post). We have gotten so much play out of these toys. We bought these two after seeing a Gustafer concert and when Emily (almost 5) woke up the next day she slipped Slim in a sock and exclaimed “Ya know Slim really gets in ’em!” That was about 6 months ago and since then Slim has found his way in many other socks. For a great gift package, pair these two up with a DVD full of videos and watch the fun unfold.
– Tie dye t-shirts, a Slim the Eel t-shirt
– Downloadable music books for guitar and voice.
– Looking for an app? Gustafer is featured on a mobile app called colAR which transforms a one-dimensional coloring page into an awesome 3D graphic. *NOTE – This App doesn’t work on ipod and iphone3, 3S*

Holiday Bonus: If you are one of the first 50 holiday orders over $25 you will receive a customized illustration from Gustafer creator, Morgan Taylor. Interested in seeing more examples of Taylor’s artwork? Check out the Gustafer Yellowgold blog and the Gustafer Yellowgold Facebook page

6NCD12Justin Roberts – Since this post was published, Justin Roberts received his second Grammy nomination for the album, Recess, which is a power pop blast of sound bundled up in a gorgeously packaged work of art. For this album, Justin worked hard to create a meaningful and and interactive experience for his listeners. As you can see from the image above, Roberts created a super cool CD package which includes a pop-up robot and hopscotch design by artist Ned Wyss. There’s also a fold-out lyrics sheet and links to a secret website with art projects and digital music samples. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, people! Also available for purchase is a limited edition coloring book featuring Wyss’s designs. Download the free coloring page through Justin’s store to get started on the fun.

Additional store items:
– Vinyl! For those who still spin records, you can purchase the180 Gram Heavy Vinyl version of Justin’s album, Lullaby which also includes a digital download card.  Lullaby features Roberts at a slower pace with an original collection of ballads that will melt your heart. So yeah, grab the vinyl! But, if you don’t have a record player grab the CD. Made for kids but just as much of a treasure for adults.
– T-shirts – featuring the Recess logo, a sheep from the Lullaby album. You can even go “vintage” and grab a t-shirt featuring the logo from Justin’s first Grammy nominated album, Jungle Gym.
– Water bottles, Totes, and baseball caps.

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Todd McHatton – Todd McHatton is a man of many talents. In addition to singing and writing songs, he is a puppeteer and an artist whose illustrations can be seen on his album covers and throughout his videos. He is well-known for his wildly popular single “I Think I’m A Bunny,” featuring daughter Hazel and lovable purple puppet, Marvy Monstone. But, this year has seen the expansion of McHatton as he has successfully collaborated with Morgan Taylor of Gustafer Yellowgold to produce the Underbirds EP, a psychedelic cartoon and epic adventure EP with Mista Cookie Jar, and a beautiful Halloween video with Lori Henriques.

What many people may not know about McHatton is that he wrote and illustrated a children’s book called Glass Stained Twilight. This sweet book is filled with a collection of stories, songs, pictures, and poems à la Shel Silverstein. The book has an accompanying CD described as “The audio equivalent of a sack of candy and a stack of comic books.” I think that pretty much says it all, people.

Additional store features:
– T-shirts featuring Marvy Monstone and his fuzzy, orange friend Finch.

One thought on “Gift guide: Don’t forget about the merch!

  1. Pingback: View this: “Santa Flying In Your Sleigh” – Todd McHatton + FREE DOWNLOADS for the holidays 2013 | Kids Can Groove

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