Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kid's Music Series: Colonel Purple Turtle CD and Book by Rocknoceros

Colonel Purple Turtle by Rocknoceros is a compilation of songs about animals as well as the environment.  The overall message is to learn more about the creatures we share our world with while embracing ideas for conservation and preservation.

Coach Cotton, Williebob, and Boogie Woogie Bennie make up Rocknoceros and each bring a unique style to this album.  The songs feature multitude of instruments that are not always found on children's albums, and the educational lyrics of the songs was a hit with me given that I am also a teacher.

Here is the song list for Colonel Purple Turtle:
Colonel Purple Turtle- A nice peaceful song about Colonel Purple Turtle: who he is, what he wears, what he does (keeps a purple journal).  Though the lyrics are simple and act as an introduction to the main character, the instrumentation is great (especially for a children's album).
Harry Elefante- A Spanish flavored xylophone song that introduces you to Harry Elephante who has a soft spot for calypso music.  So different from song number one, but again great instrumentation! It seems like Coach Cotton, Williebob, and Boogie Woogie Bennie really know how to play every kind of instrument.
Early Worm- This is a song that teaches many idioms to little ones.  From 'the early bird gets the worm' to 'pull the wool over your head.'  I could go on and on, but I already see how great this one could be as a Reading Specialist.
What's Your Favorite Animal?-A very cute rhyming song: "do you stand and give a cheer when you pass by a reindeer?"  Again, I love the educational component of this song.  You could use it to teach tons of various animals, or to teach rhyming words.  One portion of the song even has instructions on how to walk like your favorite animal-great for my active preschoolers!
Pirate Harvey- A pirate shanty that is true to spirit in lyrics as well as instrumentation.  A nice change from other popular children's artists that sing about pirates (I am guessing because they are popular right now), but don't stay true to the style.  This song does.
We Are Frogs- An old-fashioned barbershop trio singing A Capella about frogs who "at the cafe we eat french flies!"  Cute song that caught the attention of the kids.
Double-O Chicken- This one is about a chicken who is "a walking oxymoron!"  Hooray for using big vocabulary words Rocknoceros-this teacher appreciates it. 
How Do You Do?- A song that teaches your child how to introduce themselves to others.  What parent wouldn't appreciate a song that does that?  Well, they thought about that as well and ended the song with "ask your parents, and then say how do you do!"
Rocky The Dog- A slow-paced song about an old s-l-o-w dog.  You can just feel the dog schlepping across the hardwood store floor!
Conservation-A simple song about conserving and not wasting
Sprouted- Wings are sprouting everywhere in this song! A soothing song with great flute instrumentation.
Echolocation- A cute song about echolocation and how animals use this to find and hunt for food.  Great song for teachers who are doing a science unit.
Ladybird Beetle- A slow lullaby song about the life cycle of a ladybug.  I must admit, I did learn more about this insect that I previously knew.
Truman Coyote- A light jazz song about Colonel Purple Turtle and his journal.  Cute and simple.
Did The Moon See You?- This song reminded me of The Beatles with its simple guitar and background vocals.  A nice beat about animals seeing you at night.  One of my favorites on the CD.
Fire Of The Sun- "The fire of the sun fueled by oxygen.  Don't get overdone when you are out in the sun."  An educational song about the sun and the necessity of it on Earth.
Ain't Nothin' But A Fox-  Very 60s feeling song about the sly fox.  Made me smile, in a weird 'Sunshine sycadelic' sort of way!
Attention Citizens- A song about the forest animals working together to weather the approaching storm.
Friends- "I'd be nowhere without friends." A great message about the importance of having a friend you can trust and count on.

Colonel Purple Turtle can also be purchased with the companion book titled Colonel Purple Turtle's Purple Turtle Journal.  This book takes each of the songs on the album and makes them come to life through simple text and illustrations.  As a Reading Specialist, I really liked that the authors were creative with the font in a very specific way.  When they were talking about a dancer, the word "dancer" was typed in a very feminine font; when they wrote about "mysteries," the font was very appropriate as well.
The story itself did introduce you to each of the animal characters; however, I felt it was lacking the scientific component that the album had.  This book was very fictional with animal characters who wear pants and sweep floors, whereas the CD has more of a realistic vibe.

I give both the Colonel Purple Turtle CD and Colonel Purple Turtle's Purple Turtle Journal the book a 3 out of 5 stars.


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