Robert Priest


Reviews of Children's Books and Music


"Rich and original!"

- Canadian Children's Literature

"It is a Canadian gem. For 2-5 year olds it's perfection itself. This should be in every child's home."

- Michelle Lansberg CBC Book Panel

"Robert Priest is a children's entertainer of considerable charm."

- The Globe & Mail

"Priest is a poet of undeniable talent."

- Quill & Quire

"Designed to stretch kids' already limber imaginations and tickle their funny bones."

- The Toronto Star

"All in all this is wonderful, slightly wacky stuff, as sophisticated as kids and as naive."

- Performance Magazine

"Priest's world is colourful and peaceful, a place for kids (and everyone else) to learn and grow."

-Now Magazine

"This is a lovely book! A child's garden of verses for the nineties."

- Quill & Quire

Priest's prose mesmerizes through alliteration and rhyme, making The Ballad of the Blue Bonnet a treasure to be passed down or a keepsake to refresh memories forever.

-Books in Canada April

"Colourful, loaded with repetitions, and with captivating images and phrases, these poems will undoubtedly be memorized and sung for a long time to come. Highly recommended.

- Canadian Book Review Annual

"This (The Secret Invasion of Bananas) is a big book! It's laugh-out-loud but it's also a very thoughtful book. These are the sorts of poems that you can read out loud. It's a great book for sharing and I think that children as they're reading through it will find the poems that they want to share and they want to read out to the rest of the family. There is word magic. It's wonderful."

- Ken Setterington, CBC Summer Book Panel


"Pure magic!"

- The Kingston Whig Standard Magazine

"...ideal for parents and others who can use this program at home to entertain pre-schoolers as nap-time preparation, or to work off an imbalance between boredom and excess." energy."

- Kitchener-Waterloo Record

"The Teds deliver a sweet 20-song collection of children's music that seems as much of a child's experiences as it is about them... The music, in fact becomes a kind of psychological drive shaft for the energy and wonder of children at play."

- Craig Macinnis, The Toronto Star

"Lullabies and Playsongs is very different from anything on the kids' market today in that parents (or any adult) are as likely to love the music and lovely lyrics as their kids. Pick one up for your kids. Or maybe one for yourself."

- Kids Toronto

"-full of charm and innocence... soothing and reassuring. The album never condescends. It teaches and shows resect for the child's world and the child's place in it. It's a fine addition to any child's collection; as important, adults won't quickly tire of hearing it."

- The Beacon Herald

"The Teds are three very talented artists. Pre-schoolers will enjoy the gentle lyrics and soothing arrangements on Side A. The basic rock and roll beat of A Hill is a Thrill will have your toddler bouncing and jumping... guaranteed to set little feet in motion."

- The Toronto Sun


- Eleanor Barrington of Today's Parent Magazine

"Children's entertainment of considerable charm"

- Liam Lacey, Toronto Globe & Mail


"The Boinks are smart and witty and hip kids love their songs. Their space-punk shows are wonderful exercises for the imagination. The Boinks' Summerlong L.P. is sensational."

-The Toronto Sun

"-a zany new wave band that tickles the imagination with its space-age lyrics and fanciful imagery."

-Toronto Life

"The Boinks fill the gap between Sesame St. and Duran Duran. No other group does what The Boinks do and I can't imagine another one that does it with such care or imagination." -Peter Goddard The Toronto Star

"The record has a science fiction fantasy theme, and is exceptionally well conceived and performed. It may even appeal to any adults within hearing."

-The Globe & Mail

"The songs on Summerlong do not condescend to the little ones lyrically or musically - instead they draw from a broad range of musical styles and poetic imagery to create a delightful and whimsical, yet instructive set that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike."

-Now Magazine

"Playful, sensual and fanciful."

-Quill & Quire

"-Delightful entertainment for children of all ages?

Music Express

"The most inventive entertainment for kids to appear in Toronto in years...All in all this is wonderful, slightly wacky stuff as sophisticated as kids and as naive.

- Performance Magazine

"-a special kind of orchestrated mayhem designed to stretch kids' already limber imaginations and tickle their funny bones...The Boinks are providing something unusual in the genre of kiddie pop: A broad spectrum appeal..."

- The Toronto Star


"Priest has created a remarkable world in Knights of the Endless Day, a world which, like Narnia and Ursula K. Leguin's Earthsea, will remain with the reader long after the book is finished. More than a simple fantasy story, the book is filled with symbols and references that modern children will both comprehend and find meaningful. A book for children to share with the adults they love. Highly Recommended."

- Kelly L. Green (The library Journal)

"Cleverly parodies the heroic epic. Priest's use of language is a pleasure."

- Andrea Deakin, The Vancouver Sun

"Most young readers will love Knights of the Endless Day...While the plot is fantastic, Ogo's realistic character makes this book special."

- Carolyn Heiman, Times Colonist

"Brilliantly hilarious."

- Books in Canada

"A hilarious rollicking spoof of epics."

- Our Choice 1994, The Canadian Children's Book Centre

"Priest offers a politically aware fairy tale whose charm is similar to that which sustains Munsch's Paper Bag Princess. ... Priest raises questions of heroism, gender roles, pacificism and environmentalism. But he is never cloying or pedantic. Sounds improbable, unpalatable? In Priest's capable hands this story is both funny and moving."

- Marnie Parsons, Canadian Children's Literature


"Non-violence and respect for the environment are two themes prominent in Knights of the Endless Day. Cleverly, they're incorporated into the show without robbing the play

of its action, without turning it into a Sunday School lesson. There are enough prospects for mystery and danger to keep a young audience stimulated and excited without being terrified... There's lots of humour, notably in writer Priest's word play and in the infectious toe-tapping melodies of composer Ted Dykstra."

- Stewart Brown, The Hamilton Spectator

"The play has an enjoyably theatrical sense of fun, a desire to skewer pomposity and just the right amount of whimsy. Flamboyant combat scenes gently send up macho

sword brandishing, while militarism is mocked in clever comic vignettes."

- Jill Lawless, Now Magazine

"A magical mystical musical!"

- John Coulbourn, The Toronto Sun

"There is something eternally compelling about a great quest and a great fight. Robert Priest is smart enough to know that and build Knights of the Endless Day around that theme, but he uses a wonderful new poetic language that speaks honestly to both kids and parents... Knights of the Endless Day is very timely, hopeful and happy and it suits everybody just fine."

- Laurie Brown, The Journal, C.B.C.

"Not only is this play lighthearted and entertaining, but it also has some very powerful messages for the audience. People of all ages could learn from it."

- Irene Toye, Lexicon

"It's great fun, has catchy songs, cool dancing and expounds the beauties of non- violence and environmental awareness. But the best feature of Knights is that it takes an otherwise predictable medieval fantasy and turns the whole idea of romantic chivalry on s ear...Knights is guaranteed to hold any kid's attention."

- Moira MacDonald, Excalibur

"The play is a musical (Ted Dykstra wrote the melodies) with enough acrobatic sword play, wise-cracking giants and jokes about dragon poop to keep four-year-olds high as kites. But Priest also lobs puns way over their heads for parents and for the sheer play of it."

- Val Ross, The Globe and Mail

"I was happy and excited. I enjoyed it tremendously...It's totally charming. Yes, there's a message, and there are lines like "The greatest victory is not to have to fight.", but it's slid in. What makes it work is that Robert Priest has written it with a great deal of humour... You get totally taken away. I just sat back and realized I'm smiling and enjoying it. And I felt that way all the way through it. If you have children of any age from five right on up to adolescence I'd take them and the parents will have a great time as well. " -Richard Ouzounian, Later the Same Day, C.B.C.


"In this delightful show for those four and older, a magic red hat inspires its wearers to speak in poetic riffs. Priest provides some nonsense verse for the very young and some sly political satire for their parents, but his unobtrusive theme is the power of the imagination for those of any age. NNNN"

- Jon Kaplan, Now Magazine

"Bright boisterous and ebullient, Minibugs and Microchips celebrates the child and the imagination in all of us. Based on Robert Priest's delightful poetry for youngsters - some of it nonsense verse animated by its own sounds, some of it laced with a sly touched of global and local politics - the musical piece dances with energy."

- Jon Kaplan, Now Magazine

"A show that tells you poetry is okay and that there are no limits to youthful imagination, even if a robot teacher believes there is... A close listen reveals, however that many of Priest's lyrics are not silly at all - the 'kids' explore their minds and language to good effect in the service of his witty commentary on life... A delightful fantasy."

- Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star

The Wolf Is Back (2017)
An Illustrated Poetry Book

The Milton Acorn Memorial People's Poetry Award, 1989
Special Choice Award, Children's Book Centre, 1993
Socan Airplay Award, 1994
Chalmer's Award, Theatre for Young Audiences, 1998

416 466-0047

197 1/2 Jones Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, M4M 3A2 If you want to book Robert as a singer/songwriter call 416 466-0047 or email

All intellectual property on this website including lyrics, music and recordings is copyright 1979 - 2018 Robert Priest. All rights reserved.