I have always appreciated albums that respect children's ability to handle a variety of musical styles, and this is definitely one of them. From the "scat" of the title track, Cathy and Marcy branch out into a Latin rhythm, a polka, blues, even a sea shanty, taking kids on a musical adventure over land and sea.
The value in this collection of tunes comes not only in the diverse genres from which it is drawn. Interspersed between and within these delightful cuts are a variety of sound and word plays as well. Have you ever been around a kid who's just discovered knock-knock jokes? There's no doubt that the material here will be just as intriguing to the elementary-aged set. Limericks, yodeling, tongue twisters, riddles, and more spice it up to get those brains stretching and tongues wagging-in a good way! That's right-this collection of CDs has the added benefit of being (…Shh! Don't tell your kids!…) EDUCATIONAL!! Literacy, geography, social skills, Spanish, they're all here, with an extra helping of silliness that makes it more fun than anything to kids.
Here's what I found:
Scat Like That — "Ba bee ba da doo'n dee da'n doo da." Have you ever wondered how they do that?? This celebration of improvisational jazz singing, invites kids to exercise their "syllables, consonants, rhythm, and design."
Flip Flapjacks — Tongue twisters! Kids of all ages will enjoy wrapping their mouths around "double bubble gum, shredded swiss cheese," and more…
I Love Pie (Pastel) — A bilingual celebration of pie (pastel) to a rhythmic Latin beat!
A-E-I-O and U — A yodeling song! Yodeling from both the American West and the Swiss.
Fifty States — This song, written by Sally Rogers to the tune of Yankee Doodle, will put kids in the mood to march their way through the states. As an educator, I think this song can be considered a great one for helping to make memorization fun!
The Limerick Song — This one had my 15-year-old-daughter asking "Wait a minute…What did she say? How can that be?" New sillies in the old tradition of the limerick.
A Pirate's Life — A just-bawdy-enough sea shanty for the younger set, complete with all the right lingo. Now go swab the deck, matey! ARRRR!
Pig Latin Polka Dance — "Old Mac's" farm animals use a secret language to plan a secret "Igpay Atinlay Olkapay Anceday" and an unexpected guest shows up!
Dagnabbit! — A blues style exercise in "appropriate" and creative language, as a child on "time out" tries to come up with less offensive ways to express anger. An instrumental portion featuring blues harmonica (played by Howard Levy, with Ralph Gordon on bass) finishes it off.
A Riddle in the Middle — Classic plays on words, all to the hummin' of the fiddle and the strummin' of the banjo and mandolin. Kind of a kids' "Arkansas Traveler."
Black Socks — The "old camp song" performed in a round by the University Park Elementary School Ensemble.
Is Not, Is Too! — Written by Bill Harley, this cut highlights the struggle with learning to move beyond the dead-end "I'm right/you're wrong" argument and into a place of listening and really hearing each other in a dispute. As in "Dagnabbit!," Cathy & Marcy convey a child's perspective, creating safe ground from which to explore developing social skills.
It Only Takes a Minute — A one-minute exercise in how to say "I love you" twenty different ways, whether with a smile, with a "meal that's divine", or by saying it in Hawaiian (Aloha wau ia oi).
IM4U (by Jose Melis & Sev F. Marino) — A 10-line song made up of a letter and number puzzle!
Kids—and adult fans of music for kids—won't be disappointed by this upbeat collection of tunes, for which they have received their 11th GRAMMY nomination! Fortunately, all of the lyrics are included, 'cause you and your young ones might need a little help learning some of the more "strenuous" parts. I did! And, like me, I'm confident you'll have a blast doing it!
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