5 Stars out of 5 stars - Common Sense Media, Erica Milvy writes:
Mary Kaye is a singer/songwriter based in southern Maine. MOUSE JAMBOREE is her second release, and it clearly reflects the lives of her daughters, who were 6 and 4 at the time of the CDâ€™s release. While many childrenâ€™s music artists cast a wide net, singing about generalized childhood topics for the generic kid -- saying hello in foreign languages, variations on the ABC song, or songs about other familiar kid-pleasers subjects -- Kayeâ€™s lyrics reflect a mom who closely observes her childrenâ€™s interests. Reminiscent of Jonathan Richmanâ€™s sensibility, Kayeâ€™s writes about the simple pleasures of hole-digging or sitting by the heater. Other songs tell magical tales of elves, unicorns, and tooth fairies. Her warbly vocals recall Natalie Merchant or Ricki Lee Jones, and her appealing folk rock arrangements include some pleasing harmonies and vocal layering thatâ€™s a notch more sophisticated than your garden variety kid entertainers. Kayeâ€™s whimsical perspective offers a Thumbelinaâ€™s eye-view account in a song that allows little listeners to see the world through teeny tiny eyes and consider a life in which 'a blade of grass is like a tree.' Bringing yet another classic book to musical life, she sings about a scared, but daring mountain-climbing train without actually mentioning 'The Little Engine That Could.' 'The Library Book' wittily recounts the tale of a rare and cherished book that the singer and her kids have checked out of the library over and over again. This song can help parents get their own kids psyched for a library visit or talk about the wonder of the library system. With Kayeâ€™s well-crafted lyrics you can almost feel the dog-eared pages. Kaye's rich warm music is something that, like the beloved library book, families will want to play again and again."
Naomi Leithhold of Booklist writes: "Children will be immediately drawn to Mary Kaye's appealing, strong, and rich voice. The unique sound of the keyboard adds texture to the upbeat guitar and the well-harmonized vocals of Mary Kaye and Jennifer Peart. The 16 songs encompass a variety of moods and subjects, such as the mellow, Thumbelina, the magical King of Elves, the sprightly Mouse Jamboree, and the sleepy Tooth Fairy. Kaye's sensitive lyrics reflect her understanding of the world from a child's point of view. Instead of asking the rain to go away in Rain, she invites it to stay, so she can splash around the neighborhood and dance in the rainbow. The subjects of the songs are everyday realities, such as sitting by the heating vent to 'warm my fingers and toesies!' Kaye has a real knack for turning ordinary topics into clever ditties."
Beverly Bixler of the School Library Journal writes: "Award-winning singer Mary Kaye wrote and performs the 14 lovely songs on her second album. Her sweet alto voice blends perfectly with Jennifer Peart's harmonies. Kaye's daughters Emily and Abby also contribute their cute preschool voices on a few of the songs. The musical styles of mostly folk and soft rock are beautifully performed on guitar and Korg Karma keyboard...this second album will be a great addition to any library's collection of music for children."
Uncle Chris Trochez of WTUL-FM in New Orleans writes: "The CD is great...I'm playing 'In The Middle' (on the air) as I write this."
Absolutely Mindy of XM Satellite Radio writes of Mary: "Keep making wonderful music!"
Kimberly Robasky of KidMix Radio (www.kidmixradio.net) writes of Mary's music: "Truly, phenomenal work."
Kenny Curtis of XM Kids says of Mary's singing, "...a truly AMAZING voice!!" (XM Satellite Radio)
Daryl Madore of The Times Record (Maine) writes: "Mouse Jamboree-fun for kids and parents. How can somebody make dirt sound interesting? The Southern Maine-based Mary Kaye has discovered the secret. Catchy guitar riffs, keyboards and peppy vocals and lyrics that explore the worms under foot, mud pies, treasure and a fast-paced string of 'Dig! Dig! Dig-a-dig-a! Dig! Dig!' lines that will stay in your mind and keep pace with your tapping feet long after the CD has been turned off...The title song, track No. 4, forces feet to tap and made this reviewer hit the repeat button. While most aren't a fan of having mice partying in their homes, Mary Kaye makes you want to catch a glimpse of this 'Mouse Jamboree."...Kaye masterfully transitions from the fast-paced opening tracks of dirt, rain and mice, to a much slower and deliberate 'Thumbelina.' But she loses none of the intensity...Set aside the fact that families will enjoy this CD for hours, and set aside that 'Mouse Jamboree' will actually have children come away having learned something. 'I Love You a Million,' is worth the CD by itself. If parents could voice their feelings for their children as Kaye does, it would go a long way toward eliminating many of the problems in society today. No, the lyrics don't unlock some great mystery of parenthood, but they are genuine and heartfelt...It's a simple message that parents don't tell their children often enough...But that's only one song. Her other songs deal with being in the middle, dogs, the tooth fairy, the king of elves, the heater, birds, eating. All everyday conversations a parent of a young child might find herself having. And she seems to have a real knack for translating those parent-child moments to song...'The Library Book' (track 13) is about a beloved book that we check out of the library over and over again...Many parents will relate, and many may find themselves popping the CD into the player even after the children have gone out to play-as I found my wife doing just the other day. Parents might find themselves dancing-at least on the inside."
Mary's first CD, I Sang It Just For You, received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, the Dr. Toy "Best Vacation Children's Products" Award, the Children's Music Web Award for "Best Toddler CD" (www.childrensmusicweb.com), and the Film Advisory Board "Award of Excellence." Mary's second CD, Mouse Jamboree, received the Children's Music Web Award for "Best Recording for Toddlers" and "Best Recording for Preschoolers," and was a 2005 NAPPA HONORS Winner (National Parenting Publications Award). Mouse Jamboree also received the Dr. Toy Smart Play/Smart Toy "Product of Excellence" Award,and the Film Advisory Board "Award of Excellence."
Mary's newest CD, Spin Your Web, won the Dr. Toy Smart Play/Smart Toy "Product of Excellence", the Film Advisory Board "Award of Excellence" and the Parent to Parent "Adding Wisdom Award" (the only award program to ever be honored by Disney.com).
Mary's music has been played on children's radio shows across the country and in the UK, Canada and Australia.
Check out the artist's website:
2. Rain Intro
4. Mouse Jamboree
6. The Tale Of A Dog
7. Tooth Fairy Intro
8. Tooth Fairy
9. In The Middle
10. The King Of Elves
11. Love You A Million
12. Heater's On
13. The Library Book
14. I Think I Can
15. Let's Eat
16. The Bird