Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lisa Loeb Talks Sing-Along Books & Motherhood

You may know Lisa Loeb from her platinum break out hit "Stay (I Miss You), but your little ones may know her as the one that sings "The Monster Stomp." She has taken her music one step further with her first children’s sing-along books by making it a family event when reading them to your little ones. I asked Lisa about her books and motherhood.  

Lisa Loeb brings her witty personality to each book by reaching into her childhood for inspiration. She tells me that, "The sing-along books are totally inspired by my experience at summer camp, especially sleep-over camp in Marble Falls, TX at Camp Champions.  We sang all over the place: on the way to breakfast, floating on inner-tubes on the water, in between activities, during activities." She continues to say that, "Music was everywhere.  I wanted to capture some of those classic songs as well as songs inspired by the feeling of being at summer camp.  Some songs are more wistful and sentimental, some more silly and fun, and lots of fun stories and lyrics to learn!" And she has done just that. Each book has a little bit of everything from coconut cream "pie" recipe to yoga.






My daughters' have found the stories & music enchanting from the catchy all time favorites to Lisa's original witty music. I too have found myself singing along to the songs and enjoying how animated I can get when reading it to the girls. When we first started reading Lisa Loeb's songs for Movin' & Shakin' the air band song and other toe-tapping tunes my daughter had become scared of the dark and the little crickets she heard outside.  When she heard the words and rhythm ,"first they stomped the ground, waved their arms around, let our a great big growl... (ROAR) They were doing the monster stomp" it became an event in our household and it helped her conquer her fears of the dark. The best part is having Madeleine my 2.5 year-old sing along. Her roar sounds more like a mouses roar, but she is giving it everything she has. The songs turn our evenings into our very pajama party?  For a little morning pick me up we look to "Hello Day" that combines music with yoga. While I read they do their yoga.  

Her books have an upbeat tempos that is refreshing and makes it easy to be silly and have fun. She encourages kids to play “air” instruments like “a tennis racket makes a great guitar!" or cook up some yummy coconut cream "pie." In 2004 Lisa had a cooking show on the Food network called Dweezil & Lisa, would she ever consider hosting a cooking show for kids? "I’d love to work with someone on a project related to kids and food." She says, "I think we can all learn from a TV show or a cookbook with kids’ portions, but full of appealing, delicious and healthy food.  I know there are lots of them out there, but like other moms, I’d love to learn more about how to get the kids and the rest of the family to eat more variety."

I did have to ask Lisa if she ever get tired of people requesting her to sing "Stay (I Miss You)" "I have gotten really used to singing that song! People request it every time I play and as a music fan myself, I know how important it is to play the songs people want to hear." She tells me because of course I am one of those people who would love to hear her sing that song. "I usually get to play a new song or other songs from  my many albums too. People have a strong connection to the song, like something happened to them and they connect it with the song like meeting their husband or a big breakup, some people have fun memories of singing along with their schoolmates or sisters."   


I also asked Lisa about motherhood and other happemings. If you would like to hear her live she will be playing at the Getty this coming weekend. Please see below for dates. 

Q: You grew up going to summer camp, have your kids headed off to camp yet? If so, how hard was that for you or were excited for them to have similar experiences as you had?

A: My five and a half year old daughter has been going to day camp for two years now.  She loves the full day of fun that’s different from a regular preschool day.  I’m really excited for the kids to do what I did at camp.  We tried new things that seemed challenging at first, did more sports than I thought I felt comfortable doing, but in the end felt stronger mentally and physically because of it.  I really felt a sense of independence that I want them to know.

Q: Which is one of your favorite recipes to make and which do your kids request the most?
A: I love making “sushi” for dinner.  We order in grilled wild caught salmon, make sticky rice in the rice steamer and use the little seaweed snacks to make mini maki.  I fill it with a little sticky rice, a bit of avocado (smashed up is easiest and doesn’t fall out), some small cucumber sticks and roll it up. The kids love it!

Q: I read in a past article that you love to bake cakes. Do you bake all your kids birthday cakes? If so, do you ever get some crazy request like maybe a Frozen birthday cake?
A: I try to bake at least one cake for each birthday.  I’ll admit that I buy the super large cakes for the big birthday parties, but for smaller parties or the family party on the actual birthday, I love making a layer cake. Lyla and I made an awesome princess cake for her Ever After High Doll themed party.  It looks like a doll with a huge dress.  We made it and decorated it together with frosting and sprinkles and it made a great centerpiece on the table. 

Q: Any advice or secrets for mother's to helped them through the toddler years?
A: Ask for help!  I think lots of us try to do everything ourselves, and it’s not always possible and not always necessary. Get a babysitter, ask a friend, ask your partner to help out.  It’s important to take a breath, take a shower, have a conversation with a friend, take care of your own health too!  also, enjoy your time with your toddlers.  Sometimes when one of my kids wasn’t going right to sleep when it was bedtime, I used to rock them in my arms and with each “shh-shh” sound that we’re supposed to make to calm them, I’d think of on thing I was thankful for, starting with qualities about the baby.  Sometimes I’d get up to 100 things big and small and it made something that could be frustrating into a beautiful time with the baby.
Q: What are your must haves when traveling with your children?

A: I must have snacks, extra diapers, extra clothes and wipes.  Kids get hungry and kids spill.  It’s the worst for a kid to open a water bottle that spills all over because of the pressure in the airplane cabin.  Special treat snacks are always a good surprise to make a frustrating event get less frustrating! 

Lisa Loeb: The Disappointing Pancake and other Zany songs and Lisa Loeb's songs for Movin' & Shakin' the air band and other toe-tapping tunes has taken a little bit of everything from dancing, cooking to yoga and mixed it into these books as if it was her own recipe. Proof again that a good book always makes a family night a party. 


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Lisa Loeb's Songs for Movin' & Shakin' the air band and other Toe Tapping Tunes includeTurn it Down (The Air Band Song)* •  Father Abraham  •  Miss Mary Mack • Monster Stomp*  • Going Away* •  Do Your Ears Hang Low? •  Everybody Wake Up* • Hello, Today* •  Peanut Butter and Jelly  •  Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.(*original song)

Lisa Loeb's Silly Sing-Along the disappointed pancake and other Zany Songs include: Fried Ham . I'm a Little Coconut . The Banjo Song . Chewing Gum . Sippin' Cider . Found a Peanut . A Co Di By Doze (A Cold in My Nose)* . Everybody Dreams* . Opposite Day* . The Disappointing Pancake* *original songs
Winner of a Parents' Choice Gold Award
For more information, visit: lisaloeb.com
Follow her on Twitter: @LisaLoeb


Lisa Loeb photo by Juan Patino