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Lisa Loeb Sings About Pancakes And Reads Eric Carle

Above her singing career, acting gigs, and eyewear line, this mom prioritizes reading with her 1½-year-old daughter.

By Megan Hess | null , null

Lisa Loeb photo: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
Lisa Loeb channels summer camp in her new book, Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs. Some of the other “zany songs,” like “Fried Ham” and “Chewing Gum,” are ones she used to sing on the way to breakfast, in the dining halls, and out by the lake as a young girl. Her fond memories also fueled the creation of the Camp Lisa Foundation, which helps to fund children’s summer camp expenses.

Parent & Child: How has parenting influenced your music?
Lisa Loeb:
I started The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs while I was still pregnant with my daughter, Lyla. So it was more informed by my experience of being a little kid; I wanted to be entertained by funny songs with lots of words. I also loved simple activities we could do at the table or in the car, so I included some of those activities in the book, too.

P&C: What are you working on now?
In the future, if I write music for kids who are Lyla’s age — around 1½ — they should be even simpler and more repetitive. When I started doing kid’s shows, I was worried I wasn’t doing enough complicated, interesting songs. But the simple stuff is what lots of kids enjoy and can participate in.

P&C: What's your favorite song to sing to Lyla?
We’ve been singing lots of "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt."

P&C: Have you always loved singing?
Always, ever since I was a little girl. I was an early reader, too; my mom read to us constantly, and we had lots of books in our house.

P&C: Any book recommendations for children?
I love Little Green Tow Truck, Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever, and anything by Eric Carle. I also love to sit with Lyla and look at picture books while we sing.

P&C: You mentioned inspiration from your experiences growing up. Some of the songs in your sing-along book are about fried ham and chewing gum! Where do those ideas come from?
Right from my summer camp, Camp Champions in Central Texas. Those are the songs we used to sing walking to breakfast, in the cafeteria, and out by the lake. They’re fun to sing in a group, and most have a little movement that goes along with them.

P&C: Recently, in Fright Night, you played the part of a mom. How did that compare to being a mom in real life?
It was very similar! In the movie, though, I was a stay-at-home mom; in my world, I’m also juggling being a career person. I prioritize the mom part, but luckily, I have a lot of different projects going on that allow me to spend time with Lyla.

P&C: Okay, now a fun question to wrap up. If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?
I would want to speak every single language.

Be sure to follow Lisa on Twitter at @lisaloeb4real.

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