Judy & David

Judy & David
By Sherri Paterson

Toronto-area children’s duo Judy & David have been entertaining kids since staging their first concert with their All Together Now Band in 1993. Judy & David produce CDs that defy pigeon-holing: their musical influences range from rock to country to Gilbert & Sullivan to even klezmer and their songs reflect this welcome diversity.Judy & David’s current CDs, marketed by their Pickering-based label, The Children’s Group, are the first two recordings in their Once Upon A Time series and bear the memorable names of PigMania and GoldiRocks.

PigMania is based on the time-honoured fairy tale The Three Little Pigs, only this is The Three Little Pigs with a twist. The saxophone-brandishing Mama Pig figures it’s time her porcine offspring moved out of the family home and start lives of their own. Her three children, the intellectual Brainella and the party dudes Frankie and Woody, must construct homes for themselves to protect them from both the elements and the hippy-wannabe Big Bad Wolf. But, while Brainella goes straight to work on her project, the two brothers find they would rather party than work and hilarious results ensue.

PigMania’s funny voices and sing-along songs will keep kids amused for the entire forty minutes’ running time. The in-jokes and modern dialect Judy & David throw in add to the fun. Listen for the “WPIG All-Pig Radio” segment – it’s classic humour made kid-friendly. I found the standout track to be “Don’t Ever Mess With A Pig” that sounds like it came straight from The Rocky Horror Picture Show: proof that adults will like this CD, too!

GoldiRocks is another gem that’s a kid’s must-have. This modern-day take on Goldilocks and The Three Bears stars a little girl who would rather play her electric guitar at ear-splitting decibels than do anything else, much to her frazzled mother’s chagrin! This behavior has earned her the moniker of GoldiRocks. When her mother confiscates Goldi’s guitar for “just a day or two”, GoldiRocks stages a “Temper Tantrum” and flees into the forest. This is where her adventure really begins. There she meets a wise, upper-crust owl who directs her to the three bears’ house when darkness starts to fall on the forest. Once inside the house, the hungry GoldiRocks finds the cupboards bare except for various configurations of porridge and, with a little prodding from Judy & David (who can communicate with her because they are, after all, the narrators), eats the porridge and settles down for a nap. Enter the three bears, well-rounded and considerate characters, quite unlike the scary ones from the original story. These bears are compassionate upon the discovery of their uninvited houseguest. It’s only when the owl shows up and convinces them the only way to return Goldi to her rightful home is to scare her, that they display any bear-like qualities. Goldi gets the fright of her life, which propels her back home and makes her realize that there’s more to life than rock & roll. The CD is lots of fun with a family-oriented message, likeable characters and songs kids remember.

Both PigMania and GoldiRocks are destined to become favourites in your house, not only thanks to the great music and storytelling, but because both discs are “enhanced CDs”, and include games and activities kids can play on their computers! And, since both CDs earned Parents’ Choice Magazine’s Seal of Approval recently, you can be assured of getting your money’s worth when buying either recording. Check them out!