• Who Is A.J. Jenkins?

    An elusive singer-songwriter who is winning the hearts and minds of millions of children (and parents).


    I was out to dinner the other night with a friend who is new to parenting (six months in), who asked me (the parenting editor) if I was a fan of A.J. Jenkins. Embarrassingly, I couldn’t say because I had never heard of him.

    Have you? If not, it’s time to discover his work, especially if you have an infant or toddler. (Discovering who he is as a person is another story; I’ll discuss at the end.)

    With lyrics that are at once simple and clever, tuneful music, and a voice of experience like an indie folk-rocker, A.J. Jenkin’s work has won over millions of families for its enjoyment and education value. One parent fan described him as “the Jack Johnson of children’s music.” Another appreciates how he is “never cloying or cutesy.”

    For really young kids, I think his work might have the appeal of a great Eric Carle book, like Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  For older young kids, his songs probably stir up a sense of learning together and having fun. I’ve noted in the comments on Youtube how his appeal spans the young ages—and includes families with children with special needs.

    But of course there’s no better way to appreciate him than by sharing the work with your babies and toddlers and seeing what happens.

    Start with the videos, which you can access on Youtube under his name or KidsTV123. Or you can simply visit the website kidsTV123.com (where you can by songs and videos).

    You can also buy his two collections, Kids Songs ABC and Kids Songs 2, at amazon.com.

    And who is A.J. Jenkins?  I think he’s British, but there’s nary a trace of him on the web, so I think we can assume, at the least, that he wants to keep the focus on the music.

    Fine with me.

    Eric Messinger is Editor of New York Family. He can be reached at emessinger@manhattanmedia.com