recess radio program

Green Gorilla, Monster, & Me
    by John Cech

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You can build a very aerobic morning, or afternoon, or evening in your house around this song alone. It's called, as you might guess, "Dance Around," and it's on the new Ralph's World CD called Green Gorilla, Monster & Me This high energy music from Mr. Covert, who lives in Chicago, that city of the big, new sounds, is tuned to the everyday lives of children -- like finding those private spaces where your imagination can roam, and even invite in a green gorilla to play -- which leads to a delicate situation.

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There's a long and hallowed tradition of oddly colored fruit and strange visitors in children's poetry and art. Just think of Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham and the Cat in the Hat. It's a sensibility that fits Ralph's World to a tee. The odd and the ordinary, the incongruous and the everday are the stuff that dreams and songs are made from. That's the world that Covert takes us to here. A tower of blocks that a child builds becomes a stairway that leads up into the sky. A piece of candy that looks deliciously sweet turns out to be mouth-puckeringly sour and starts a meditation about the surface nature of things. Even a simple trip to the swingset at the park becomes an occasion for something more, something with a little funk, a little R and B.

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Copyright 2007 John Cech

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August 2007
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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."