On this episode we get to sail to the land of Mermaidia! Which means you’ll get to hear our interview with author Julia Hengst where she tells us all about the wordplay filled mermaid world she created called Mermaidia. You’ll learn about her new book Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia and how mermaids use song, dance, and wordplay which can help you sort through your emOceans. You’ll also get to hear some of the wonderful music that will bring this world to life. And, as always, we have a couple of Buttons & Figs kids who were inspired by Julia’s mermaid world, who will show us their ways to wordplay….so let’s get started…
Briscoe, Mary Farfisa’s space horse friend, has come to visit me because apparently I have some sounds from Mary’s Outer Space Library that are overdue! In this episode you’ll get to meet the creator of Mary Farfisa’s Outer Space Radio Theater, Jim Cheff and you’ll also get to hear all sorts of music and noise from his show…and as always, we have a couple of Buttons & Figs kids who will show you ways to wordplay!
On this episode we get to wordplay with Dirk, a talking chipmunk! Which means we’re sailing our sieve to talk with Kenny Curtis, host, DJ, and animal wrangler for his radio show, The Animal Farm, which airs on Sirius XM Channel 78, Kids Place Live. You’ll get to hear about the talking animals on Kenny’s radio show, a bit of history about satellite radio, and learn about some of the music and podcast projects he works on. You’ll also hear from some Buttons & Figs kids who have a few animal suggestions for Kenny’s Animal Farm…not to mention a few interrupting animal jokes, because it’s always fun to yell into a microphone!
In celebration of National Poetry Month we have a special guest – Phoenix’s Youth Poet Laureate Annika Clark! In this episode we talk with Annika about how she came to be the youth poet laureate of Phoenix, how she fell in love with poetry, and what inspires her to write poetry…but best of all, you get to hear a poem she wrote for her little sister, titled “For Grace”. She also shares the poetry prompt that inspired her to write the poem, so you can write a poem for someone special too!
If you’d like to hear more about the Phoenix Youth Poetry Program, visit CYAZ.org. If you’d like to start a youth poetry program, visit UrbanWordNYC.org. And if you’d like to read and learn about poets visit poetryfoundation.org
You can also follow Phoenix Youth Poets on Instagram at @phxyouthpoetlaureateprogram
Interview captured on Zoom, SFX from Zapsplat and Garageband
Art by Ann Pickard/Graphic design by Elizabeth Burrill
Do you like to say the words, Activity Books? Do you like all the puzzles and games found in Activity Books? Then you’ll love comedy musician Mike Phirman‘s new album titled, “Activity Books“. In this episode you’ll get to hear one of the songs from his new EP, “Word Search/Vacuum”, featuring the voice of Weird Al Yankovich; you’ll also get to hear our funny and fabulous interview with Mike about how he became famous and about his unfortunate experience with a vacuum; and, you’ll hear from two Buttons & Figs kids, Olivia and Sophia, who were inspired to make a word search of their own (see below)!
You can learn more about Mike Phirman’s work and find all the ways to purchase the Activity Books EP at his website: mikephirman.com
Be sure to subscribe to Mike Phirman’s YouTube Channel to see these and all of his wacky videos, including the connect-the-dots project he mentioned in the episode!
A few of our Buttons & Figs kids were inspired to create their own word search activity after listening to this fabulous album. Click on the image to print and do the word search!
Before Buttons & Figs heads back into the school year with more wacky wordplay…we have an extra! episode about social justice. On this episode you’ll hear three amazing poems read by Mahogany Browne from the new poetry picture book titled, “Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice.” You’ll also get to hear from some Buttons & Figs kids sharing their thoughts about justice. We hope hearing these poems and conversations will prompt you to talk about social justice with your family.
The poems in “Woke” also feature poets Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, with a forward by Jason Reynolds. This picture book is filled with hope and joy and the poems will help grownups open up conversations with kids about justice. The book is illustrated by Theodore Taylor III and published by Roaring Brook Press.
We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled wacky wordplay next time. Till then, may your head turn green and your hands turn blue. Thanks for listening to me and you and you and me.
audio sound by Blaise Collins sound FX from Zapsplat produced by Buttons & Figs