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Sandra Boynton and Yo-Yo Ma! Plus snoozing jungle animals! Two celebrated artists come together for JUNGLE NIGHT, a soothing bedtime board book. (Okay, MOSTLY soothing.) The book guides us through the jungle to hear the distinctive, gentle snore of each animal: "Listen to the tiger: ZEEE-ZOOO-HAAA. Listen to the cheetah: CHEE-CHEE-TAAAH." A free downloadable JUNGLE NIGHT recording offers a narration of the book, with each and every animal snore interpreted by the expressive, playful cello of Yo-Yo Ma. He even does the elephant's stop-the-show snore—though admittedly that took Ma's cello PLUS the classic horn salute of the James R. Barker steamship. (Seriously.) All of this fabulousness leads into the coolest lullaby ever: "Jungle Gymnopédie No. 1", a polyrhythmic jungly arrangement by Boynton of Erik Satie's renowned piece, with Yo-Yo Ma on cello, guitar played by Ron Block of Alison Krauss Union Station, and drums by Kevin MacLeod. "Yo-Yo and I chose this piece because it's the most gorgeous and mesmerizing night song imaginable," explains Boynton. "And there was surely nothing else that could get those animals back to sleep after that elephant blast."
About the Author
Sandra Boynton is a popular American cartoonist, children's author, songwriter, producer, and director. Since 1974, Boynton has written and illustrated over sixty children's books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers. More than 70 million of her books have been sold, "mostly to friends and family," she says. She has also written (with Michael Ford) and produced six albums of renegade children's music. Three of her albums have been certified Gold (over 500,000 copies sold), and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, has gone Platinum (over 1 million copies sold). Boynton has also directed twelve music videos of her songs, including the award-winning "One Shoe Blues" starring B.B. King, "Alligator Stroll" starring Josh Turner, and "Tyrannosaurus Funk" (animation) sung by Samuel L. Jackson. She lives in rural New England, and her studio is in a barn with perhaps the only hippopotamus weathervane in America. Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Yo-Yo strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity.
Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and three years later moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. After his conservatory training, he sought out a liberal arts education, graduating from Harvard University with a degree in anthropology in 1976. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the Leonie Sonning Music Prize (2006), the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), Kennedy Center Honors (2011), the Polar Music Prize (2012), the Vilcek Prize in Contemporary Music (2013), and the J. Paul Getty Medal Award (2016). He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.