Interview with Tim Friedlander and Tena Fanning
The Playdate Kids: The I Like Me Dance
The Playdate Kids: Island Potty Party
Today, Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views is interviewing Tena Fanning, author of “The Playdate Kids: Booger Boogie” and lyricist for the accompanying CD. We are also joined by Tim Friedlander, who composed the music for the CD.
Tim has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance with a minor in Psychology. He is currently working on a Master’s degree in Music Education. Tim is the author and composer of the first two Playdate Kids books “I Like Me” and "Island Potty Party". For the third book, “Booger Boogie”, he composed the music while Tena Fanning wrote the book and lyrics. Tena Fanning has been the co-founder, developer and producer for some of the world's leading music videos and commercials showcased on MTV, VH1, FUSE, CBS, NBC, ABC, as well as premiere international networks which skyrocketed her company to the top in the production field.
Thank you, Tena and Tim, for joining me today. I must say I love the idea of the “Booger Boogie”. I don’t have children of my own, but I vividly recall being in school as a child and many of the other children having some serious issues with snot dripping out of their noses. I am sure your book will fill a need for parents and teachers.
Tyler: Tena, I know you’ve had a lot of business success in other multi-media fields. What made you decide to become involved with writing for children?
Tena: I felt it was time to give back to the world. With over twenty years of creative management experience, I feel confident I can repeat my previous business success with “The Playdate Kids”, and I’m thrilled to be part of something that seeks to improve the lives of children everywhere.
Tyler: Tena, could you tell us a little bit about where you came up with the idea for the book?
Tena: My girlfriend is a 3rd grade teacher and she said her students like to pick their noses in class. So I came up with a fun way to give a lesson on personal hygiene with “Booger Boogie”. “The Booger Boogie” is the physical act of grabbing a tissue.
Tyler: Tim, I know you are a talented musician, both as a composer and as a performer. You play the clarinet and guitar, and you are a voiceover artist, just to name a few of your musical accomplishments. With such a wide range of talent, what made you decide to write music for children?
Tim: My work with Tena on “The Playdate Kids” was a happy accident. As an artist I am always looking for new opportunities and new ways to learn. A few years ago I was given a great opportunity by Tena to try my hand at a few kids’ songs and the results have been amazing.
Tyler: What is it about music that you think makes it an effective way to teach children?
Tena: Music brings levity to the lesson and makes remembering the text easy. The kids can rerun the lesson over and over in their minds by singing the lyrics, thus making the lesson stick.
Tim: The great thing about music is that it has no age limit. Through music you can teach and pass along lessons in a way that is easy to understand. It’s tough teaching a kid to blow their nose, but put that in a song with a great beat and a great melody and it becomes a lot easier and much more enjoyable.
Tyler: I understand “Booger Boogie” is the third book in “The Playdate Kids” series. Could you tell us a little about the other two books?
Tim: The other two books are “I Like Me” which deals with body issues and positive self-esteem, and “Island Potty Party” which help teach potty training.
Tyler: What sort of responses have you received from parents, teachers, or children regarding the “Booger Boogie”?
Tim: Usually the initial response is either “gross” or a nervous laugh. But once they have seen the book and heard the song the responses have been great. A lot of people have remarked about how simple and effective the “Booger Boogie” lesson really is. Just grab yourself a tissue and blow it out!
Tena: At the Los Angeles Festival of Books this past month we had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of parents and kids. The parents thought it was hilarious and the kids liked the colorful pages and catchy jazzy beat.
Tyler: The reviewer of “The Playdate Kids: Booger Boogie” here at Reader Views said when she put in the CD her children, ages one and three, both started dancing right away. Tena, would you share with us a few of the lyrics that children find most enticing?
Tena: Confidence is built on reaffirmation of something familiar, so the lyrics (Don’t wipe it on the couch, don’t put it in your mouth) the kids found enticing. As I watch their faces I see a look of self-reliance as they read or sing these lyrics, most likely because they have been told this by their parents and are familiar with the hygiene rule.
Tyler: Do either of you have children yourselves and what have been their responses to the book?
Tena: I personally do not have kids but I feel I am just one big kid myself. I love playing, reading and the company of children. Most importantly I love to listen to what kids have to say. They are the pure essence of this planet.
Tyler: What future lessons do you see “The Playdate Kids” imparting to other children?
Tena: The goal of “The Playdate Kids” is to instill upon young children today to love themselves, be a good friend, help others, be polite, and that they are never alone because everyone has the same life experiences...all of these qualities are cool to possess and pass on.
Tyler: Thank you so much for joining us today, Tena and Tim. How can our readers find out more information about your books and where to purchase them?
Listen to interview on Inside Scoop Live