A Rare “Starred Review” In The National Trade Publication of School Library Journal
by Stephanie Bange, Wright State University, Dayton, OH, January 1, 2012
“In order to call attention to the prevalent problem of bullying…” here’s a collection of… “37 outstanding songs and poems by a wide range of artists including Little Steven Van Zandt (“Science Fair”), Blue October (“Jump Rope”), Peter Alsop (“Courage”), Frances England (“Best Friends”), Barry Louis Polisar (“Town of Round”), Debbie and Friends (“Walk Away”), Eric Ode (“Labels,” “Keep Your Chin Up”), The Battersby Duo (“I Know a Kid”), Judy Pancoast (“Tall Jenna””),”Jonathan Sprout (“Until I Met Tim”), Marla Lewis (“Leap of Faith”), Debbi Calton (“Bully on the Bus,” “A Cyber Tail”), Jim Cravero (“Knock Knock for Isabelle,” “Where Are Ya?”), Steve Pullara and His Cool Beans Band (“My World Is a Bicycle”), and Eric Bazilian (“Shorty’s Big Bounce Back,” “Turning the Page to a Good Vibe Is Best”). The album features a wide range of musical styles and excellent performances.” ” The topic is timely and the selections cover important issues such as identifying bullies, what to do about them, and what to do if you are a target of bullying. All profits from the sale of the album will be donated to PACERKidsAgainstBullying.org.”
Reviewer: Julie Kerties, L.A. Parent Magazine & Parenthood.com, “Parenting Gems, All About Bullies … Big and Small!” January 4, 2012
Producers Steve Pullara and Jim Cravero tackle a serious subject but still manage to entertain audiences of all ages in their latest GRAMMY-nominated release, All About Bullies … Big and Small! The compilation features 31 original tracks made just for this project and six vintage tracks – all addressing a problem that plagues hundreds of thousands of American kids each year. Alt Rock band Blue October’s “Jump Rope” encourages kids to stay hopeful amid life’s ups and downs. Other contributions come from familiar artists including Steve Van Zandt, Peter Alsop, Steve Pullara and His Cool Beans Band, and Debbie and Friends, and many will help parents start a conversation about this critical topic. The disc covers bullying of all types through funny songs and spoken word pieces, and I bet there isn’t one person – big or small – who cannot relate to at least one tale on this CD. Most tracks have happy endings with an element of forgiveness, acceptance or changing for the better. All proceeds benefit the Pacer Center’s National Bullying Prevention Center, dedicated to uniting, engaging and educating communities to address and put a stop to bullying.
Reviewer: Eve Tannery, Television News Host and Reporter, WFMU, ALLENTOWN, PA. February 2012
“All About Bullies Big and Small” is a powerful project that promotes anti-bullying, one person at a time. As part of the project, local artists have contributed to what’s being called one of the most significant children’s CDs of the year.
Reviewer: Joann Jackson , was awarded the Bernie Cohen “Best Middle School Teacher” in the Bethlehem Area School District. She a certified Glasser trained therapist, and was inducted in Great Teachers and Educators in America. January 10, 2012
“My name is Joanne Jackson and I am a special education teacher at East Hills Middle School. I would like to attest to the wonderful success of “All About Bullying, Big and Small”. This collection of poetry and music is so delightful and is so effective in the classroom. I teach eighth grade students and have used the music and the poetry in my daily warm-ups to stimulate a conversation about the topic of bullying. It is a natural for the students because they love music. It is also a wonderful mentor text to use for story starters, rap songs about bullying, and quick draws about what and what not to do in those types of situations. The voices, musical background, and overall sheer joy of listening to such an important message in a most creative way is to be commended.”
Endorsement: The Phillie Phanatic mascot from the Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Team, January 5, 2012
“The Phillie Phanatic endorses the All-Star team work and efforts on the CD “All About Bullies…Big And Small” which is GRAMMY Nominated for Best Children’s Album. It’s a home run loaded with hits! Enjoy it! Share the songs and stories contained on this disc at your family dug outs and tell his fans in the stands!!!! He thinks it’s the best in the field.”
Reviewer: Karen Miller, Health & Physical Education Teacher, Abington School District, PA , January 19, 2012
Upbeat melodies combine with positive messages to create a wonderful array of music that my primary students can enjoy while they are participating in physical education class. The response from the children and teachers alike is exciting.
Tim “T-Bone” Arem, M.Ed., T-Bone’s Radio Active KidsSend, America’s Health & Fitness Ambassador, December 26, 2011
All About Bullies…Big and Small addresses one of the most pervasive social issues in our society. By using positive themes, unique musical groves ranging from jazz, pop, hip hop and native American flute and everything in between……, this CD is a perfect icebreaker to open up discussions on friends, self esteem and bulling. The talent on the disk is a who’s who of family entertainment. Educational and fun is the vibe of this cool CD. I would encourage families, teachers and anyone who deals with children to give this a listen. Songs, poetry and storytelling are interwoven masterfully. All About Bullies…Big and Small is a perfect classroom or in home addition to any kid-friendly music collection. As one of the artists, Little Steven Van Zandt shares, “sometimes you need to be a friend to make a friend”.
Penny Peck of “Bayviews” from the California Library System in November 2011
“Bullying is a big issue in most schools and has yet to be addressed effectively in many. The 37 pieces on this compilation album can help a teacher introduce the subject to a wide age range, from kindergarten to middle school. All proceeds for the recording will be donated to www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org. The talent on this compilation is extraordinary! The opening song “Jump Rope,” by Blue October, sets the tone that this is rock for kids, with strong instrumentation, soaring vocals, and lyrics that don’t talk down to kids. Even middle schoolers could perform this and not feel like it is a “kid’s song.” Other performers heard on the album include Barry Louis Polisar, Little Steven Van Zandt, Peter Alsop, and many others. Half of the cuts are not songs, but spoken word poetry such as “Labels” performed by Heidi Swedberg, “Rolling with It” by Cyndy Drue, and “I Opened My Locker” by Grover Silcox. “A Cyber Tail” is especially useful to help children understand cyberbullying. Styles of the cuts vary but are all contemporary. “Cooperate” by Sugar Free Allstars & Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is solid hip-hop, with a zingy chorus and a strong rap that really flows. “Walk Away” has an ’80s electronic feel. “No Matter How Small,” has a nice country folk vibe, sung by Dave Kinnoin featuring a great slide guitar. “Get to Know Me” by Helen Bruner and Terry Jones has a disco beat. One song, “Leap of Faith,” performed by Marla Lewis, was co-written by Lewis and Bay Area singer (and librarian) Nancy Schimmel. It has a great chorus, simple but catchy melody, and would be great for a school assembly or chorus number. Another memorable song is “Two Wolves,” a folk rock ballad set in the Native American community with a striking harmonica solo. The production values are outstanding, with great background vocals, sound effects, and musical accompaniment. This is sure to be popular when librarians recommend it so teachers, parents, and children can enjoy it together and sing-along in the car. Highly recommended.
Ami Lanning, Founder and Director of “Listen Live Music,” November 21, 2011
“ALL ABOUT BULLIES… BIG AND SMALL is an eclectic collection of songs and narratives aimed at both victims and bullies alike to raise awareness of the bully issue that is unfortunately so prevalent today. Lots of topics are covered, from the importance of friends to cyber-bullying to the eternal question of “who” writes the rules that make us “normal.” An enjoyable listen with worthwhile lessons for kids, parents and anyone who works with children.”
Professor John DiFiore, Eng/Fine Arts/Modern Languages, Union County College, Plainfield, NJ, November 21, 2011
“This is a great CD to play in the car when traveling with children. It cannot be compared to any other CD or music collection. There are poems, stories, and music all centered around ways to recognize and respond effectively to bullying. Children will infer valuable lessons as they enjoy listening. Every track is high quality and was performed in a masterful way so that each one can be appreciated again and again.”
Paula Slade of “National Children’s Entertainment” on November 15, 2011
“All About Bullies is a masterfully crafted gem that marries spoken words delivering wise messages, poetry and music, and toe-tapping tunes with meaningful lyrics. The end result offers up 37 unique tracks, with a mix of genres created from one of the largest assembled musical casts, each participating artist offers their own special message and approach on the subject of bullying. Steve Pullara’s commitment to this anti-bullying project is best summed up when he says “Always keep in mind, we have another tomorrow and that bullying shouldn’t be a part of childhood.” To read the full review click here.
Andy Vineberg, Reporter, Courier Times, Philadelphia, PA, October 18, 2011
“You won’t find many musical projects that include past and present members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, a GRAMMY-nominated R&B duo, John Lennon’s ex-girlfriend, a Texas-based alternative rock band, an all-star lineup of children’s performers and the woman who played George’s ill-fated fiancèe on “Seinfeld.” In fact, there’s only one — that I know of, anyway. The eclectic mix of talent, which also includes Eric Bazilian of the Hooters and several well-known Philadelphia-area radio and TV personalities, has come together for “All About Bullies … Big and Small,” a locally produced children’s CD that has attracted national attention.” You can read the whole report and review by clicking here.
Watertown Theater, Rochester, NY October 16, 2011
“Flash Mob” Dance Routine breaks out in Rochester, NY on October 16 with Miss New York to the song “Jump Rope” which is featured on the Children’s Album “All About Bullies…Big and Small’.” Artists from the CD roster, Blue October, send a message against bullies. Here’s a link to the video.
Bob Etier, “Technorati Lifestyle Blog,” on October 5
“All About Bullies…Big and Small emphasizes self-awareness, compassion, and empathy. The songs and poems detail the pains of being bullied and some of the reasons that bullies are the way they are. Unlike situation comedies of old, learning to box or fighting back is not encouraged; instead children are counseled to enlist an adult—a parent, counselor, or teacher—to help. Also stressed are the talents that make each person unique, and—no matter how “different” a person may seem–he or she isn’t all that different from everyone else.” To read more click here.
Mona Rodriguez, Host & Producer “The Assorted Women’s Show”
WDIY-FM, Bethlehem, PA, Pubic Radio on September 17, 2011
“I’ve been in radio for many years and am also an author; by far this is the greatest production of music and spoken word geared toward younger audiences that I’ve heard. Suitable for all ages, and not “dumbed down” to insult, in fact the words (and music) are crafted with an agility to inspire, bring awarenss, and all out create an atmosphere of fun. I absolutely love “All About Bullies… Big and Small,” and plan to enjoy it for years to come with my little ones.
From the popular national blog “Mommies Links,” NY Metro on September 15, 2011
“The reason for this recording’s quick popularity is that it puts a whole new twist on the serious issue of bullying in a hopeful, creative, inspiring and often entertaining way. Parents like it as much as the kids and enjoy listening to the colorful music and sound-bedded poetry. The artists that wanted to be involved in this project range from two members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band – Steve Van Zandt and Vini Lopez, to the Sugar Free Allstars with Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, to Frances England, to Trout Fishing in America’s Keith Grimwood, as well as many more!”
Cyndy Drue, Philadelphia Examiner on September 1, 2011
“Music has often been a way to heal or bring you up when you’re feeling down. Music is also a great way to bring awareness to certain issues. All of this has been accomplished with the new CD “All About Bullies…Big and Small.”
Continue reading this review and interview on Examiner.com-click: Philadelphia musician creates anti-bullying CD – Philadelphia Local Rock Music | Examiner.com
Good Grade From A Teacher & Mom
“As a teacher, my job is to help students learn to self-advocate against negative behaviors and people. “All About Bullies” is a wonderful CD that helps parents and teachers communicate constructive, positive ways young people can work out their differences. This CD and its artists capture the messages of cooperation, communication, endurance and self worth, and wrap them up neatly in upbeat songs and poems. This CD is a real treat for kids and parents. A+ from this teacher!”
Author: D. L. Carmelengo, Teacher, Long Valley, NJ on August 24, 2011
Contributing musicians Blue October, Universal Records Recording Artists on September 1, 2011
“Bullying is an ever-present issue and we all have to remember to “be strong, don’t you give up hope, it will get hard, life’s like a jump rope.” Blue October is proud to be a part of the Children’s CD “All About Bullies…Big and Small”.
NewSound Kids in Oregon on September 14, 2011
“Funny stories and songs about teamwork, bus rides, multi-culturalism, diversity, new friends and being too tall or too small abound on this almost 75-minute collection. Includes music from: Debbie and Friends, Oran Etkin, Dave Kinnoin, Jonathan Sprout, Blue October, The Battersby Duo, Heidi Swedberg and more.”