We recently had the pleasure of attending one of Justine Clarke’s Sydney shows on her Great Big World Tour. I must admit I’ve been a fan of her work for some time, both on Playschool and her music DVDs. What I love about Justine’s work is that it doesn’t talk down to kids at all. It’s playful and fun, but it’s also clear that the producers and musicians are dedicated to creating a quality product. So much of what’s produced for kids is second rate in terms of production quality (ie tacky graphics, poorly produced music and video clips that lack any kind of creative vision). This was what I found most refreshing about Justine Clarke’s I Like to Sing DVD when it was first released. The quality of the animation and music is enjoyable for adults and children alike, which seems so much more respectful to kids.
Well, the newest production, Great Big World, continues Justine’s tradition of quality lyrics and music, delightful clips and a joyful spirit. Whether its My Granny Loves to Laugh, Scoot on My Scooter or My Shadow and Me, the songs refer to the ordinary features of a child’s world, with with a spirit of wonder and excitement. The DVD also exhibits the emotional depth of Justine’s previous releases with tracks like The Softest Song of All, Beautiful Beautiful and Happy Dog offering children a diversity of emotional experiences.
But it is the appeal to the imagination that is the strongest feature of Justine’s work. While this is evident in her DVDs, it bursts forth in the energy of the live show. Justine is a seasoned performer and she engages the children beautifully. Justine Clarke is a wonderful introduction to the world of music and storytelling for pre-schoolers. Going to the concert was a wonderful experience, not only for my daughter and niece, but also for my husband and I. Great Big World was an enjoyable reminder that the world is a wonderful place to explore and the animals and people in it are to be cherished.