Absorbing Reads for Middle Graders These new novels for 4th- through 7th-graders feature lions, aliens, a Bronze Age adventure, a boy who sets out to save his sister's life and the environment, and a heartwarming tale of a homeless girl. "Feral Pride" by Cynthia Leitich Smith; …Read more. Pet Tales To Please These funny new books star a rambunctious bunch of pets sure to make children laugh and then want to read more. "Dogs Are People, Too" by Dave Coverly; Henry Holt; 214 pages; $12.99. "A Collection of Cartoons To Make Your Tail Wag," as it's …Read more. Rock and Relax with These New CDs Music made for children has evolved dramatically in the past 10 years. With high-quality music just as lush and well-produced as adult tunes, this gamut of new CDs is well worth a listen. All are, or soon will be, available at such outlets as iTunes …Read more. Books for Clever Teen Girls Young adult fiction has come a long way in the past 10 years, mostly due to the sheer volume of intriguing, fun and smart novels and the popularity of teen reading. These are a few of the most promising reads aimed at girls. "The Perfectionists" by …Read more.more articles
Incredible New Music for Kids
Historically, music meant for children has not had the coolest of reputations. That has certainly changed in the last few years, with some of rock's top musicians dedicating their talents to CDs aimed at young audiences. Here are some of the latest and greatest ways to zest up your car ride. Prices vary according to retail outlet, but most range from $9.99 to $14.99.
"Kids" by Keller Williams; KW Enterprises.
Talented multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams has lent his vastly amazing sounds to concerts everywhere. In his 16th CD, he plays bluegrass and innovative guitar. He also uses the influences of Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin and plays them at warp speed. Known as a popular musician who can't possibly be "boxed" into one category, Williams' high musical standards make "Kids" a superb CD for all ages.
With songs titled "Hulahoop To Da Loop," "Soakie Von Soakerman" and "My Neighbor is Happy Again," "Kids" is unique and joyful. For more information, visit www.kellerwilliams.net.
"Bayou Boogie" by Buckwheat Zydeco; Music for Little People.
Music for Little People — an award-winning independent children's music label — celebrates its 25th anniversary with the early November release of Buckwheat Zydeco's "Bayou Boogie." Not many music forms are as perfectly adapted to family fun as Zydeco, with its' rocking organs, smoking accordions and "yee ha!" down-home zip.
Heavy on "get up and dance" tunes, this Creole gumbo mix is designed to introduce children to a party at Buck's place on the bayou, with good time boogie classics like "Barefootin'' and "Walking the Dog." Buck's own "The Mice Ate My Rice" and "Ripsy Dipsy" prove that Buck, aka Stanley Dural, pulls out all the stops to ensure young listeners have a rootsy-good time.
"Sunny Day" by Elizabeth Mitchell; Smithsonian Folkways.
Elizabeth Mitchell's gentle, soothing voice has a reassuring manner that instantly brings peace, love and wonder to any space.
Keeping the project all in the family, Elizabeth's husband and 9-year-old daughter also contribute with talent and joy. Songs cover reggae, folk, and even a surprising ditty from a musician named Moondog who once had a duet with Julie Andrews. A 28-page booklet is full of awe-inspiring details.
"Wake Up Clarinet!" by Oran Etkin's Tibalooloo.
Tibalooloo is a unique new method of enriching children's innate musicality and overall development as thought up by New York City musician composer Oran Etkin. Etkin has taught over 600 children, who thrive on his innovative playful methods.
Etkins' CD presents all the elements of music he believes young children relate to — with high and low concepts as well as chords and melodies. He makes sure to play tunes that are spontaneous, energetic and full of life. The enhanced CD can also be played on the computer to show a bonus video of a live performance with Clara Net and Big Mama Tuba. Ready to embark on a musical adventure? Visit www.tibalooloo.com or oranetkin.com for more games, activities and information.
More super-worthy new family CDs:
"Use Your Words" from Jeremy Plays Guitar; Jim Cosgrove's "Swimming in Noodles"; "The Best Candy in the Whole World and Other Stories" by Bill Harley; "What Are the Odds?" from Monkey Monkey Music, with Meredith LeVande; "The New Explorers Club" by the Flannery Brothers; "This is Fun" from the wacky but fabulous Caspar Babypants.
To find out more about Lee Littlewood and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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