Pacha’s Pajamas: A Story Written by Nature is an award-winning children’s musical story adventure. Combining a precautionary tale about the damage we’re doing to our planet with lots of kid-friendly “Eco-Pop” music, this story is both entertaining and carries a serious message.
Pacha is described as a “little girl with big dreams” who loves music. One night after Pacha suffers a frightening asthma attack, her mom makes her a pair of magical pajamas that appear to glow and are covered with dancing animals, singing plants, and shiny stars. Pacha falls asleep as her father starts to tell her a bedtime story, and falls into a magical dream of talking plants and animals. A hummingbird rescues a drowning whale by removing a plastic bag from his blowhole, and then helps Pacha disguise herself with a gorilla mask so she can join the animals. Pacha listens as the jungle creatures sadly discuss the damage being done to the planet – the hummingbird’s nests keep disappearing, the watering holes are drying up, mountains are being mined into rubble, forests are being cut down. Pacha asks what can be done to help, and Mushroom (voiced by Cheech, which amused me immensely) suggests throwing a Nature Festival (basically a “Save the Planet” rally hosted by the plants and animals).
They decide to organize the greatest festival on Earth to unite all species. They build a stadium—half land, half water; powered by electric eels. Fox News is reporting but its real foxes. Acts include an insect music band called The Beetles, a black-eyed pea that raps, and a beaver named Just-in-Time. At the end of the show, all eyes are on Pacha. As she finishes her dance, her mask comes off revealing to the audience of plants and animals that she is actually human!
Seventy artists spanning four generations came together to create this album, which has twenty-eight tracks including the fun, catchy theme song (which caught my music-loving one-year-old’s attention instantly); four musical story tracks that lead up to the festival; eleven songs from the festival itself interspersed with fun little interludes; and the final story track. One of the interludes that really tickled me was the BBC Anemones reporting on the PACHA JAMMA competition: “The black widows, crickets, and praying mantises are vowing to shut down the festival if another male wins the championship.” (Little snippets like this also provide a great opening for learning experiences with your kids as you explain WHY these particular creatures would be upset about males winning the competitions, and then hop online with them to learn more).
Check out the amazing talent that came together to create this magical musical tale!
Voiceover Actors (in order of appearance)
- Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) as the Narrator
- Ta’Kaiya Blaney as Pacha
- Genevieve Goings as Mami
- Danny Pardo as Papa
- Lyrics Born as Whale
- Ashlie Cortes as Hummingbird
- Gerald C. Rivers as Jaguar
- Talib Kweli as Pebble
- Majora Carter as Tree
- Cheech Marin as Mushroom
- Genevieve Goings as Spider
- Talib Kweli as Butterfly
- Lester Chambers as Grandpa Bear
- Jazz Mafia
- Larry Cragg
- Steve Carter Group
My kids really enjoyed listening to the story and music, and it led to a lot of conversations about nature, environmental sustainability, recycling/reusing and other things we as a family can do to help the planet, and why female black widow spiders eat their husbands (we don’t really know why, but we spent WAY too much time looking at creepy spider pictures on the internet – one of the occupational hazards of being the mom of four boys). One negative comment: the narrator pronounces the word “asked” as “axed” – more than once. It’s a little thing, but it’s one of those little things that grates on my nerves so I had to mention it.
The music is very catchy (although sometimes in the way that music written for children can be stuck-in-your-head-for-days annoying for parents), and encompasses several genres. There’s even a country song in the mix (much to my husband’s dismay). As I mentioned, my one-year-old son in particular was a big fan of the music – this is the kid who, when he hears music, will stop whatever he’s doing, look for the source of the music, and start spontaneously dancing. So musical stories are a spectacular source of entertainment for him, particularly for situations like long trips in the car where he’s confined. Car-seat-dancing is a great way for him to stay entertained and somewhat active when we make the hour-long trip to visit my sister, or the three-hour trip to visit my husband’s siblings.
Pacha’s Pajamas has received numerous awards, including the 2013 Family Choice award, the Creative Child Award, the Mom’s Choice Gold, the Mr. Dad Seal, and the Academic’s Choice Smart Media Award. The song We Are All Connected recently won first place for songwriting in the 2014 Eco-Arts Awards.
Buy the Pacha’s Pajamas Double Album on their website:
2 CD Set: $19.99
Or from Amazon:
Connect with Pacha’s Pajamas:
Enter to win a digital download of the Pacha’s Pajamas Double Album OR the CD of Volume 1!
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