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Article:    Children's Music Releases

 
 

Children's Music News & Mini-Reviews

Recommended Children's Musical Recordings:

Putumayo Kids offers children and families an amazing array of global sounds:

Brazilian Playground-- Samba, bossa nova and forró are among Brazil’s most popular and accessible musical styles for adults and children alike. This new CD features these and other engaging rhythms, reflecting the country’s diverse culture and easy going way of life. In celebration of the exuberant sounds of this fascinating country, Putumayo Kids has collected 13 child-friendly songs from many of Brazil’s most talented musicians. A portion of Putumayo's proceeds from the sale of this CD will be donated to the Axé Project in support of its efforts to educate and defend the rights of disadvantaged Brazilian children. Putumayo Kids Presents: Brazilian Playground

Celtic Dreamland – This is the latest release in Putumayo Kids’ acclaimed Dreamland collection. Full of beautiful and lyrical songs from the musically rich traditions of Ireland, Scotland and Canada, these songs will soothe even the most wintry nights.

Animal Playground- This collection of songs from around the world celebrates the wild side of life with an amazing mix of international sounds. A 2007 NAPPA Gold winner, the enhanced CD includes full-color liner notes and an enhanced music video, "No More Monkeys". A portion of proceeds from the sale of this CD are donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society, in support of its activities that save wildlife and wild lands. Putumayo Kids Presents: Animal Playground

 

Scat Like That: A Musical Word Odyssey is a fabulous, playful, and educationally rich children's recording by Grammy-Award winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. Kids will adore the scat singing, yodeling, Pig Latin, and tongue twisters; and parents will marvel at the diverse musical styles and expert musicianship on the recording. It's upbeat, musically diverse, and encourages interactivity with a kids' chorus backing up the talented musicians.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Scat Like That: A Musical Word Odyssey at Amazon.com]
 

There is a fabulous children's DVD (and audio CD) on the horizon by They Might Be Giants and Disney Sound entitled Here Come the ABCs. We had a sneak peek at the DVD, and we have fallen in love with it. Set to be released on Feburary 15th, both the DVD movie and audio CD are now available for pre-order. Here Come the ABCs DVD features songs about letters set to fun animated scenes that will entertain the whole family, and educate preschoolers. They Might Be Giants (John Flansburgh and John Linnell, an alternative rock musical duo who first ventured into the kids' music market with the album, No!, a recording that debuted at #1 on Billboard's Children's Music Chart) had complete creative control on the DVD, and employed graphic artists, illustrators, and puppeteers from around the globe in order to create this funky and charmingly out-of-the-ordinary project. TMBG recently wrote the theme song for the animated series, "Higglytown Heroes", on Playhouse Disney, and twelve of the Here Come the ABCs videos will begin airing on Playhouse Disney shortly. One video claims that "LMNO" are sometimes confused for one letter, but they're not! Others include, "C is for Conifers", "F is for Fake-Believe", "ZYX", and "The DVD is hosted by John and John as puppets. This DVD is distinctive, highly "edutaining", and a must-own for families with young children.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: 

They Might Be Giants - Here Come The ABCs (With Exclusive Amazon.com Content) (DVD) or Here Come The ABCs (With Exclusive Amazon.com Content) (audio CD) 

 

coverMike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is the first release in a new series, Stories in Music, and it's wonderful. Featuring original compositions and performances by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and based on the classic tale by Virginia Lee Burton, this CD and program book set offers children an unforgettable experience. The classic story is first told in full, and then executive producer Bonnie Ward Simon offers more information about the the author and her story. Composer Stephen Simon discusses techniques composers use, and then the story is told again. This gives listeners the chance to listen to the story with newfound information. A jazzy arrangement of the original tune is included, and an instrumental of the same tune allows kids to sing along karaoke-style. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is an impressive set that will please both children and their parents. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel at Amazon.com]

 

coverZak Morgan's When Bullfrogs Croak is witty and refreshing, and appeals to both kids and adults alike. When Bullfrogs Croak was nominated for a 2004 Grammy Award in the category, "Best Musical Album for Children", and is filled with fun wordplay and imagination. This recording is warm and wordy, featuring such kid-friendly topics as chicken pox, apples, a new sibling, and, naturally, bullfrogs. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: When Bullfrogs Croak at Amazon.com]

 

coverSixteen original blues songs are featured on Even Kids Get the Blues. This recording is designed to introduce kids to the blues genre, and to encourage self-expression at the same time. Twelve children belt out the blues, along with Big Joe Burell and Sandra Wright, with themes such as sibling rivalry, homesickness, and the frustration of waiting. Backed up by The Unknown Blues Band, whose musicians have played with legends like John Lee Hooker and Etta James, this recording is inspired, sincere, and empowering.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Even Kids Get The Blues at Amazon.com]

 

coverA follow-up to the decidedly unique, Grammy Award nominee, Beethoven's Wig, is now available. Beethoven's Wig 2: More Sing Along Symphonies features 11 new songs that help introduce kids to classical music in fun and inspired ways. Silly lyrics grab children's attention in renditions of classical music from the likes of Dvorak, Chopin, Schubert, and more. Designed to help children remember composers and their musical pieces, this collection of songs helps build appreciation for classical music. What fun!

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Beethoven's Wig 2: More Sing-Along Symphonies at Amazon.com]

 

coverSing Along with Putumayo features top artists singing family-friendly folk, blues, and reggae classics. Arlo Guthrie, Keb Mo, Taj Mahal, and more American roots artists perform familiar songs like Old MacDonald Had a Farm, You Are My Sunshine, Love Train, Michael Row the Boat Ashore—plenty of sing-along fun for the entire family. This recording is a blast!

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Putumayo Kids: Sing Along With Putumayo at Amazon.com]

 

Although the songs featured on Time to Sing! II are familiar, the tempo of the album is unique. Music is such an important part of children's development, but many kids with language or speech delays are somewhat intimidated by the pace of nursery rhymes and other children's songs when it comes to singing along. This clever children's recording slows down the tempo of favorite kids' songs, such as Happy Birthday, Muffin Man, Hush Little Baby, and This Old Man. Time to Sing! II not only encourages younger children to sing along, it can be very useful for children learning English as a second language.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Time to Sing! II at Amazon.com]

 

coverIt's difficult not to find at least one of Sandra Boynton's playful books on preschoolers' bookshelves. Moo Baa La La La, But Not the Hippopotamus, Opposites, and more fun board books, feature whimsical line drawings and simple concepts that preschoolers--and their parents--adore. Philadelphia Chickens was originally published as a book-and-CD set, and is now available as a CD-only release from Rounder Records. This jazzy, humorous recording is described by Boynton as an "imaginary musical revue", featuring songs like Cows: The Seldom Herd, Nobody Understands Me (Meryl Streep), BusyBusyBusy (Kevin Cline), and more. Hilarious!

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Philadelphia Chickens at Amazon.com]

 

Hap Palmer is back with a follow-up to his excellent One Little Sound. With more than 20 children's recordings and the wonderful Baby Songs videos under his belt, this established leader in children's educational music knows what he's doing. Two Little Sounds: Fun with Phonics and Numbers is designed for a slightly older audience this time around as he explores beginning and ending sounds, word families and rhymes, letter blends, money math, place value, and more through music and movement. Packed with fun activity songs, this recording is brimming with educational opportunities for children ages 4-8. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Two Little Sounds - Fun With Phonics And Numbers at Amazon.com]

 

coverHear and Gone in 60 Seconds is a fabulous concept album that's ideal for families who would like a sampling of some of the fantastic children's musicians out there today. The idea behind the recording is this: each of 29 award-winning children's performing artists were given a challenging assignment to create a song that runs for only one minute. The result is a fun, diverse, and unique recording brimming with talent. Tom Paxton, Ralph Covert (Ralph's World), Tickle Tune Typhoon, Joanie Bartels, and Fred Penner are just some of the quality artists on the album. This spirited, musically diverse recording offers family exposure to the top children's performing artists around today. More than just a sampling, however, this recording offers creative, humorous, and heartwarming songs for the whole family. Highly recommended! Rating: A

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Hear & Gone in 60 Seconds at Amazon.com]

coverTrout Fishing in America's latest children's recording, It's A Puzzle, explores the mysteries of family life through unusually fun, high-quality, and intelligent songs the whole family will enjoy. Alien in My Nose, Why I Pack My Lunch, and It's Like are just some of the humorous songs that make up an excellent album that's ideal for family road trips and easy weekend listening. Highly recommended! Rating: A

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: It's a Puzzle at Amazon.com]


Putumayo Presents: Christmas Around the World

With such beautiful recordings as African Playground and Dreamland under their belt, Putumayo World Music have established themselves as first-rate international music publishers. Although designed primarily for kids, Putumayo Presents recordings are as parent-friendly as they are kid-friendly. Their latest release, Putumayo Presents Christmas Around the World, offers classic Christmas songs with an international twist. This multilingual recording is fresh, rousing, and rich with culture. 


[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Putumayo Presents: Christmas Around the World at Amazon.com]

 

Celtic Lullabies & Gentle Worship is lovely! Featuring Sheila Walsh, a Grammy Award nominee, this lullaby album uses traditional Celtic instrumentation and gentle, loving lyrics to soothe little ones to sleep. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Celtic Lullabies & Gentle Worship at Amazon.com]

cover African Playground is part of the Putumayo's World Music series, and it's fantastic. It has quickly become a family favorite. This is the kind of album that leaves no member of the family behind. The opening song is a favorite--Battu by Angelique Kidju--is simply uplifting and fun. This is the perfect tune for picking up energy (a natural substitute for coffee!). Rating: A+

coverNeed help lulling your child to sleep? There's a new title in the Putumayo series of world music for kids, and it will relax every member of the family: Dreamland is just lovely. Featuring lullabies from around the world (some traditional, others contemporary), Dreamland is a rich recording that is more than just acceptable for adults. The first song is Naimi, a gorgeous lullaby written by Angelique Kidju to her daughter with Carlos Santana on guitar, and the recording maintains its momentum to the end. Outstanding! Rating: A+

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: African Playground or Putumayo Kids Presents: Dreamland at Amazon.com]

 

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