I'm a looooongtime fan of Frances England dating all the way back to her debut album Fascinating Creatures, which is now 10 years old. (Wow! Really!) Her new album Explorer of the World is set to be released on April 1, and if you've heard any of it -- try "City Don't Sleep" -- you'll understand why it's one of the most eagerly anticipated kids' albums of the year.
From my perspective, one of the most exciting things about the album isn't even the album itself, it's the Art + Observation activity book England made to accompany the album. Filled with activities that encourage discovery of the world next door by kids of all ages, it dovetails perfectly with the exploration theme of the album itself. (Fans of the books of Keri Smith and Lynda Barry's Syllabus, among others, will be particularly enamored of England's small book.)
To promote the upcoming album, England's been creating a series of short promotional videos, and I'm pleased to premiere the latest, which features a bit of "All The Things I've Found," one of the songs on the album. Unsurprisingly, the visuals accompanying the clip show some of the amazing patterns around us if we spend a little time looking for them.
Frances and I have a little assignment for you, too -- we're looking for patterns that you or your kids find in your everyday life. Post a picture of such a pattern here or on the Facebook post for this, and I'll randomly select one entry to receive a free copy of the album! I don't do contests often here, but I think that the chance to win this album is worth you taking the time out of your day to find an interesting pattern. Actually, I think it's worth you taking the time to find an interesting pattern regardless, but a chance to win the album is a sweet bonus. All entries for the contest are due by Monday at 7 PM West Coast time. Thanks and good luck!