"Six stories with songs that deal with issues facing children and parents.... Lipman possesses the means to open up a lane, and drive straight to your
heart." - Medford Citizen
In each story, the Amazing Teddy Bear sings a song to help a child who is encountering a difficult situation: a too-busy father, a fight with a friend, problems learning the alphabet, name-calling by other children, an unemployed father, a mother struggling to meet many demands. In three of the stories, the Teddy Bear also reaches out to a parent, gently helping a mother or father understand how they most want to behave toward their child.
"Will comfort young children.... School and public library collections should use this [recording] for parents, counseling situations, and classroom discussions on behavior and self-concept...." - School Library Journal
Linda Palmstrom is an occupational therapist who works with school children. This story--first recorded on Story Stone 5--was inspired by one of her experiences with a client.
2. You Are Amazing
A children's radio show out of Alaska ("We Like Kids" from KTOO-FM, Juneau) called me for a story about reading. As I created one for them, two quotations inspired me. First was Jay O'Callahan's mention of a splendid teacher from Marshfield, Massachusetts, Miss Bradford, who taught children to read by connecting reading to their special interests. Second was Pablo Casals' statement that, instead of teaching children that one and one is two and that Paris is the capitol of France, we should be teaching them that they, like all human beings, are marvels.
3. Look in Your Heart
A television show, "A Likely Story," asked me if I had five-minute story about friendship. I said, "No, but I'll make you one." I wanted to show that friendships need to be built through problem-solving, not discarded when difficulties arrive. I borrowed the structure of a Chinese tale about a stonecutter who wishes to be a succession of increasingly powerful beings--and ends by choosing to be a stonecutter.
4. Just By Having Fingers
The chorus of this song/poem was intended as one of Aunt Dorothy's songs in "I Will Hold You." In time, it grew into a separate piece.
5. A Good Hat to Wear Today
A popular theme for summer reading programs in libraries is "Hats Off to Reading." As a result, I've had many calls for stories about hats. At first I thought, "Who cares about hats?" Then I realized that hats can symbolize the many responses available to us in every situation.
6. I Will Hold You
In a more rational society, parents would be given as much resource as it takes to do the invaluable job of raising the next generation. In our society, on the other hand, parents are not only expected to do this job without enough help, they are also made to feel guilty for needing help.
No one or two human beings can meet all the needs of a child. Fortunately, however, there are plenty of other humans around!
Want to Read the Song Lyrics?
A listener emailed me with a request to post the lyrics to the songs sung by the Amazing Teddy Bear in each of the above stories.
On "Just By Having Fingers" and on "I Will Hold You," Doug plays a three-row button accordion that was handmade in Italy by the Castagnari family.
Unlike the more common "piano accordions," button accordions (called melodeons in Ireland) have rows of buttons on each side, and sound two notes for each key: one played by pushing the bellows in, and the other by pulling them out.
Unlike concertinas, button accordions are not hexagonal or octagonal, but shaped like small piano accordions. Button accordions are commonly used in folk music of the British Isles, Germany, Italy, and French Canada, as well as in Tex-Mex and Cajun music.
All stories and songs created and performed by Doug Lipman, with 12-string guitar, 6-string guitar, 5-string banjo, flute & button accordion.
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