If singer Jean Louisa Kelly looks familiar, it's with good reason: You probably recognize her from her longstanding role on popular sitcom "Yes, Dear," which ran through 2006 and can still be seen in syndication today. The multitalented actress-by-trade decided to branch out into music this year with a charming children's collection, Color of Your Heart, inspired by her own two kids and a desire to get children in touch with their feelings.
"A few years ago, I sat in agony at the toddler table in my kitchen. My son would not eat his dinner, and I was locked in a futile battle of wills," Kelly explains regarding the genesis of her project. "I had tried it all: threatening no dessert, bribing, playing games, pretending it was no big deal, using reason, begging… you get the picture.
"Suddenly in a moment of clarity, I was able to see through this comic/tragic dance we mothers sometimes do. How bossy and obnoxious I must seem to this 5-year-old, who in truth is just another human being, as I try to regulate his every bite!
"In a moment of surrender, I ran from the table, threw myself onto the piano bench and started banging out chords, howling the first lyrics of what was to become 'Worry About Yourself,' the second track of my album."
After her initial breakthrough, Kelly decided to concentrate on articulating a range of emotions that kids could relate to. "[The album] is my attempt to give voice to feelings and solutions. As a wise friend of mine often says, growing is hard work! I hope that children and adults alike can relate and feel less alone, as I did when these songs came through me."
Curious as to what a real, unbiased 5-year-old thinks of the project? I played the album for my favorite kindergartener, Audrey G., who gave it a thumbs-up. "I like it a lot," she noted. "The first song has all the colors of the rainbow. The lady has a pretty voice."
What didn't Audrey like about the album? "I don't think anything!" There you have it, folks.
If you'd like to learn more about Kelly's music, you can visit her official website for more details.