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Junior Jam Wake Up Audio CD Review by Donna Campos

Music and lyrics by Jeff Eisenberg
Junior Jam, Little Jems Music, LLC, ASCAP
6 Scaletti Court
Somerset, NJ 08873

The Junior Jam Wake Up audio CD is the fourth CD from the Junior Jam trio. It is a single CD of ten original songs by Jeff Eisenberg. The order of the songs loosely follows the typical day of a young girl--beginning when she first awakes and ending with a bedtime lullaby. The ten songs are "Wake Up," "Happy Pants," "Pickle Palace," "Move, Baby, Move," "Going to the Beach," "Clap, Tap, Snap," "Sound Like an Animal," "The Restaurant," "Just Read," and "Lullaby." The vocals are performed by the Junior Jam trio: Adrienne Asterita, Elayne Kessler, and Jeff Eisenberg, with support vocals by Mary Fox, Roni Caggiano, Sarah Safer, Michael Roberts and Melissa Herring. Several of the tunes are re-mastered favorites from previous Junior Jam recordings, and all of the lyrics are included on a cardstock CD case insert There are no additional materials, as the CD was created for listening by children and families.

Our family loves music, and this CD fit the bill for our three-year-old and five-year-old. Our three-year-old has learned how to turn on the CD player thanks to the Junior Jam Wake Up CD! Daily, and several times throughout the day, he returns to start the music. The songs are fun and lively with great rhythm, and the words have enough rhyme to be easily remembered. Even our teenager memorized the "Happy Pants" song, which is very catchy. I must admit, with the song "Happy Pants" in your head, it is very difficult to be in a down mood or the least bit grumpy. The lyrics are incredibly positive and include the following: "When you feel unhappy And nothing's going right, You have all the power to change it." Our family was a little puzzled by the song "Pickle Palace," as our boys had no frame of reference for such a place. But with a little prodding to their imaginations, we were able to create a mental picture for them. Other songs, like "The Restaurant" and "Going to the Beach," were very easy to enjoy, as they did reference an activity in our lives. For learning with preschoolers, we found "Move, Baby, Move," "Clap, Tap, Snap," and "Sound Like an Animal" to be great additions to our audio arsenal, and we play them often. For our eleven-year-old, we have begun using the "Just Read" song as a bit of encouragement for his reading time. We now sing it together before settling in for our story time; it is a great song for gathering pillows and a favorite book before reading.

When learning more about the Junior Jam trio, we found that two of the members are fluent in sign language. We were disappointed that there is no accompaniment DVD or other explanation for combining sign language with the songs. We hope to see this type of product available in the future, as it would be a welcome addition to this sing-along CD. We also noted a few typos on the CD case insert, which is always frustrating.

Our family has quite a few audio CDs in our listening library, and many are very good. The Junior Jam Wake Up CD is the one currently "living" in the CD player! Had I discovered this CD on my own outside of this review, I would have purchased it after listening to an example song on their website. The songs are fun, the lyrics are positive and easily memorized, and the disc does double duty as a great listening and dancing item for the kids with a bit of educational use. The Junior Jam Wake Up CD is a great deal of fun and can find several uses in a homeschooling household.

Product review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2010