Long, long ago, like maybe in 1974, Sandra Boynton started drawing greeting cards which featured clever, whimsical, joyful animals, and I loved them right away. Years later, my children and I were browsing in the Cincinnati Joseph-Beth Booksellers, and I spied the cover of a book called Philadelphia Chickens which bore her trademark characters.
Deep in the midst of childrearing as I was, with my own chickens 9, 8, 7, and 4, I appreciated children's books at that time as much or more as the great classics of the ages.
Upon closer inspection, I discovered that Philadelphia Chickens was actually a book of songs, which included a CD. Not only that, but the CD featured people like Kevin Bacon, Laura Linney, and Kevin Kline (and more!) singing clever, catchy, creative songs. Impulse buy, schmimpulse buy. This was not to be missed. It had me at hello.
When I heard Sandra was going to be coming to this very same bookseller for a guest appearance a few weeks later, I cleared the calendar to make sure it was the highest priority for us that day, night, week, month. Oh, how she did not disappoint.
Some people appreciate Beethoven. Beethoven is great, actually, but Boynton is really something special.
In the 11 years that we have owned this CD, our entire family has enjoyed these joyful songs hundreds of times.
From the cows in the first song, to the philadelphia chickens (you're not gonna keep 'em down on the farm), to the pigs in Pig Island, this CD is a treasure.
There's a lot of bad news out there coming at us every day, and Sandra Boynton does her part (and considerably more) to bring a joyful perspective on life. If you've never heard Philadelphia Chickens, time's a-wastin.