Fractured: Fairy Tales Remixed by Tara Trudel

Happy, happy Friday! I am EXCITED to welcome songwriter and musician Tara Trudel to Watch. Connect. Read. to finish my sentences. We discussed James Yang, fairy tales, music, A Home Named Walter, and more. I wrote the words in purple, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Tara! 

James Yang’s illustration for Fractured: Fairy Tales Remixed’s album cover is more charming than any prince. James did an incredible job translating the music into a modern, whimsical piece of art. And those adorable characters? I would love to play “tag yourself” with this illustration, but I’d never be able to choose only one answer. It was such a pleasure to collaborate with James and get an inside peek at his creative process. He’s so talented!

”I Just Needed a Nap” and much like Sleeping Beauty, I kept getting interrupted! Each song on Fractured: Fairy Tales Remixed is sung by a different fairy tale character sharing a fresh point of view about their stories. In “I Just Needed a Nap,” Sleeping Beauty (played by actress Carisa Barreca) is a busy princess who becomes notorious for taking one little rest. This song is a great example of “write what you know," because I have two young kids who don’t like to sleep as much as princesses...or me.

Fairy tales are ripe for remixes. I loved fairy tale books and movies as a child. They also left me with some questions. What did the Brothers Grimm miss? Why do fairy tales always take place in the woods? And most importantly, why doesn’t anyone learn that free snacks, like apples and gingerbread, lead to danger? There’s a lot to think - and laugh - about when you look at these stories from a modern perspective.

Music is one of my favorite forms of storytelling. I’ve written music for kids, sketch comedy shows, and other people’s stories. This album combines all three of those things. As a former music teacher, I’ve seen the power that both music and literacy have in kids’ lives. It’s my hope that combining music and stories will help kids become interested in both.

A Home Named Walter turns one next month, so it’s a great time to revisit this beautiful book. Chelsea Lin Wallace and Ginnie Hsu did a wonderful job balancing moments of grief, love, and humor. I loved writing Walter’s theme song. Fun fact: Chelsea Lin Wallace and I have teamed up again on a theme song for her next book, ODE TO A BAD DAY. Both the book and song are coming soon!

John Schu, you should have asked me anything but THAT. To find out what THAT is, you’ll have to listen to Fractured: Fairy Tales Remixed on 5-5-23, available everywhere you stream or buy music!

"HI, I’M TARA! I’ve been a music teacher, a touring musician for a comedy group, and a songwriter for kids books. I combined all those things to create my new album FRACTURED: FAIRY TALES REMIXED. Fractured is a pop-comedy exploration of everything the Brothers Grimm missed, from frustrated fairy godmothers to underused magic mirrors. It features guest performances from a hilarious cast of my favorite comedians." -Tara Trudel

James Yang graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in communication arts and design. His work has appeared in numerous prestigious trade publications and his book Bus! Stop! was selected as an outstanding picture book by the New York Times. The follow up, Stop! Bot!, was the 2020 Geisel Award winner. James Yang’s subway wallpaper can be seen on trains in the New York City Subway. He is the creator of the acclaimed A Boy Named Isamu (an APALA Honor Title for 2022) and the illustrator of Lola M. Schaefer’s Lift, Mix, Fling! James Yang currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. 


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