My family loves music and our little ones are no exception.
From the time he was very small, Cedar loved to bop around to music and he had surprisingly good rhythm for a baby. As he got older and more mobile, such “dancing” evolved into assorted hops and jumps and spins. Anything with a beat will get him going and his little sister is starting to follow in his footsteps. Now, at just over two years old, Cedar can already identify different instruments playing in a song (violin, guitar, piano, drums). And he often accompanies music by “playing his guitar” (a stick) and closing his eyes and swaying. Maybe I’m just a biased mama, but I think he inherited a good bit of his daddy’s amazing musical talent.
I’m always on the lookout for good children’s music, especially with little ones who enjoy it so much. The only problem is, it needs to be music that Mommy enjoys too, as I end up hearing it over and over and over again.
And maybe I’m just picky, but I haven’t found much children’s music that fits the bill. I grew up on Psalty and Steve Green’s Hide ’em in Your Heart cassette tapes, but I wanted something new for my kids. There are a couple lullaby CDs that we enjoy (especially Michael Card’s Sleep Sound in Jesus), but they aren’t always the best for everyday, non-sleepy listening. So I was kind of at a loss.
But then, about a month or two ago, my husband was online and offhandedly mentioned that he just sent me a link that would “rock my world”. I wondered what on earth he possibly could have sent me, but as soon as I clicked through, I discovered he was very right. One of our favorite musical artists, Sandra McCracken, had teamed up with several other women to form the musical group, Rain For Roots. They were going to be releasing their first album Big Stories for Little Ones, described as “a collection of 10 new folk songs about classic Bible stories for young children”. Yes, indeed — my world was rocked.
From the first listen, I fell in love with this album. This was exactly what I had been looking for!
Simple songs beautifully sung, all about Jesus. What more is there to want in a children’s album?!
The lyrics to the songs were written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible. We recently got that for Cedar as his first Bible and we all love it. As the book’s subtitle states “Every story whispers His name”, and that’s true of the Rain For Roots’ songs as well. While about different Bible stories, every song comes back to Jesus.
This album passes the “Mommy Test” with flying colors, but what about my kids? They love it, too!
Whenever we turn it on, an atmosphere of peaceful joy abounds as we hear, “Sing and dance and leap and run, His name is Jesus, little one!” And so we dance and jump and sing and Cedar will often get out his “guitar”. His favorite part? That he can hear all the “little kids singing about Jesus”.
My only complaint is that the album is so short. Altogether, the ten songs end up being about a half hour long and I would gladly listen for much, much longer! But it honestly isn’t a huge problem — we just keep the album on repeat and end up listening to it several times a day. And we have yet to even get close to tiring of it. My kids love the fun music and Cedar is even starting to remember some of the words and sing along.
And this mommy loves the gentle reminders to keep her eyes on Jesus and her little ones in His hands. For “the King of Heaven, the Great I Am, He is your Shepherd, little lamb.”
To go along with each digital copy of Big Stories for Little Ones is a little digital booklet with the lyrics and chords for each song. This resource is a great addition to the album in that in enables these kids’ songs to not just be ones that you sing along to in the car, but ones that you can teach your kids’ friends (and their parents!) as you all sing together with a guitar.
Photography: JenniMarie Photography