“What is ‘adopted’?”
“Can Jesus make my heart his home?”
“Why is that man singing about his sock?”
Those are the ponderings of my preschooler in recent weeks. In her four years of regular exposure to the Bible, she has never asked such things before. So why now? Well, it’s not preaching, or discipline, or even Sunday school lessons.
It’s song, and story, and silliness. It’s Slugs & Bugs.
Slugs & Bugs Under Where?, just released this week, is the latest batch of musical brilliance from Randall Goodgame. I don’t know enough fancy musical terms to tell you how they made it so delightful to the ears. But I do know that it’s full of creativity, diversity, and humor. And that’s before anyone starts singing.
Under Where? and its predecessors (Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies and A Slugs & Bugs Christmas) are among the catchiest, highest-quality, and least irritating children’s albums I’ve ever heard. They’re so much fun that I regularly play them for my kids by choice, instead of waiting for the kids to request them and then grumbling all the way to the iPod. Add to that the fact that they get little people asking about the Gospel, and I’m ready to don my high school cheerleading uniform and unleash my liveliest spirit fingers.
I was tempted to compare Goodgame’s blend of goofiness and Gospel to tricking kids into eating vegetables by hiding them inside sweeter treats. But that didn’t seem to fit quite right. Then I read Jonathan Rogers’ review of the album in the Rabbit Room, and I understood why. Here’s an excerpt:
There is a long tradition that treats story and song as a means of sneaking lessons past our children’s defenses. “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” according to Mary Poppins. . . That’s not what happens here. In the Slugs & Bugs world, the sugar is the medicine. It’s a world where delight carries the day, whether that’s the delight we experience in ninjas and lightning bugs and getting dizzy, or the delight that God experiences when he sees the children he loves so deeply. Slugs and Bugs reminds us that delight is intertwined with grace, coming and going.