Gomez Frontman Tom Gray Releases Puppet Showtunes

Gomez singer Tom Gray has soundtracked popular puppet-show adaptations of three of award-winning children's author/illustrator Polly Dunbar's books.

The songs are everything great children's music should be: whimsical, goofy, musically playful, but not so simplistic or repetitive that parents can't love them too. All three shows are now available in the U.S. for the first time via the iTunes Music Store

The first of Gray and Dunbar's collaborations, "Shoebaby," was based on the book written by Dunbar's mother, Joyce Dunbar, and illustrated by Polly. The puppet production of "Shoebaby" won the award for the best children's show at the Brighton Festival in 2006 and was the main children's Christmas show at the Komedia theater and cabaret venue in Brighton that year. The cast was invited to Downing Street to perform at U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Christmas party. The BBC's Shella Parkin wrote in a review, "Perfectly paced for its half hour duration, this puppet show's trippy story about a magical baby's adventures in a shoe is beautiful, odd, and a huge hit with its young audience.... The music for the puppet show was created by Gomez's Tom Gray -- which makes me feel slightly less embarrassed about the frequency with which I find myself humming 'Toot, toot, scoot, scoot in my magic motor shoe' in the shower.'"

The success of "Shoebaby" led to another collaboration on Polly Dunbar's "Flyaway Katie" in 2007, and then her Nestle Children's Book Prize-winning "Penguin" this year. All three shows continue to tour the U.K., with dates scheduled into 2011.

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