Children’s Music We Love: Elizabeth Mitchell’s “Blue Clouds,” Available Oct. 23

If you only buy one children’s music CD this season, make it “Blue Clouds” by Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower.

It’s rather common in reviews of kids’ music to say that the tunes are so solid and fun, you’ll find yourself listening to it (and crooning along) long after you dropped off the kids at school. But never has it been more true than for this beautiful album.

We here at the have been listening to this family-centric CD non-stop since the review copy arrived. And the kids like it, too.

See what we’re talking about: listen to Kooks, Blue Clouds & Froggie Went A Courtin’ by clicking here.

Mitchell transforms classic rock songs by David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, and others into folk songs that will just break your heart. Speaking of heart-break, prepare yourself for Mitchell’s rendition of “I Wish You Well” by Bill Withers. If you’re a parent, chances are you won’t make it through without tearing up.

Listening again and again to “Blue Clouds,” it’s easy to see that Mitchell looks to her childhood memories of 1970s radio on road trips in the family station wagon, and the result is her moving versions of “Kooks” by David Bowie, “May This Be Love” by Jimi Hendrix, “Blue Sky” by The Allman Brothers Band, “Everyone” by Van Morrison.

We also adore the CD cover illustrations by renowned children’s illustrator/writer Remy Charlip, whose 1969 book Arm in Arm provided artwork for the album package and lyrics for the song of the same title. Charlip also helped inspire the 2007 Caldecott Medal-winning book The Invention of Hugo Cabret (adapted for the Academy Award-winning film Hugo), written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (who also contributes to the liner notes in Blue Clouds).

Selznick writes: “You listen to [Mitchell’s] voice and instantly feel like her friend…. The songs on this album seem like a patchwork of memories we’ve always shared.”

We couldn’t agree more. If only Mitchell’s concert tour included Savannah!

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Disclosure: We received CDs at no cost to review.

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