Feb. 13: Get a Different Name Day -- If your name is Jennifer and you'd rather be called Waterfall Gumdrop, today is your chance. Although the next day you have to go back to your real name. Sorry.
Feb. 26: Tell a Fairy Tale Da -- Why not get together with your family or friends and share a story from a book or make up a new one? Just make sure it starts with "Once upon a time..." and ends with "...they lived happily ever after."
Rockin' with Himmelman
Do you ever get into the car and start arguing about what music to listen to? Your little sister wants her princess songs; your brother likes the Jewish group, The Chevra; you want to listen to KIIS-FM, and your mother says all of it gives her a headache.
This happens in my car a lot, but when we listened to "My Green Kite," Peter Himmelman's new album, after just a few rounds everyone was snapping and singing along. Himmelman writes music for TV shows such as "Judging Amy" and "Bones" and has a bunch of rock albums.
In this kids' collection, he combines his rocker cool voice with a great sense of humor and sings about all the little details that kids like to think about -- like red rubber boots in the rain, the properties of an egg and mom's awesome dinner-making skills.
Neima, my 5-year-old, just loves the title song about a kite that goes so high that it gets in the way of airplanes. The song about the schmendrick who loves his feet -- especially the part about how they go "twinkle winkle winkle" under the covers -- just cracks her up.
Yair, who is 10, thinks the rap style of "I Got Nothing to Say," with its steady beat and many rhymes, is a pretty cool song, and he's also amused by the interview with a professor (also a kid) about how fast a chicken or a fish can throw a baseball. And Ezra, the 8-year-old, seems to really like to quote back to me the idea that "maybe is a bad word," from a song about that annoying habit of parents not to give a real answer. And all of us love the slow ballad about a kid's tribute to his father, "My Father Is an Accountant."
So overall, we're big fans, just like we are of his other children's CDs, "My Best Friend Is a Salamander" and "My Fabulous Plum." That one has the fantastic song about a world where you only eat candy. Just think about that. Only candy.
-- Julie Gruenbaum Fax, Education Editor
YeLAdim will be mixing it up this year with more reviews of movies, books, music and TV shows than ever before. If you have a review you've written (or want to write) or have heard of something that you want us to know about, e-mail email@example.com. You'll be famous, and your parents and grandparents will have something to hang on their fridge.
R.E.A.D. Goes to the Dogs
Mark your calendars, grab a bookmark and get ready to relax and have fun. On Feb. 4, some very special visitors will be coming back to the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles.
On Jan. 14, a group of kids had the chance to come to the library and read books to dogs. Yup, that's right, dogs. But not just any dogs, these dogs were Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) who, with their owners/handlers, help make kids become better readers. Might sound strange, but remember: Dogs are great listeners, and they won't howl if you want to read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" out loud for the 15th time.
The R.E.A.D. dogs will be returning to JCLLA, 6006 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, on Sunday, Feb. 4, 1:15-2:30 p.m. Call (323) 761-8648 to reserve your 15-minute time slot.