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Books Make The Best Presents Best advice I have this holiday season? Give books as gifts. They don't require batteries or SIM cards; they're educational and full of art and wonder. Here are a gaggle of brand new gift-worthy books for youngsters. "Counting Lions," by Katie …Read more. Books That Offer Sage Advice These new books for kids will help motivate and advise young readers. They also tackle very vital and timely subjects, such as guns and bullies. "Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns" by Harper Teen; 348 pages; $17.99. "One powerful subject. …Read more. Friendships, Whether Real or Imaginary, Are Vital Imaginary friends are real to many preschoolers. They're also a creative, comforting part of early childhood development. These books tell reassuring tales about the importance of friendships, both invisible and real. "Imaginary Fred" by Eoin …Read more. Real Life is Just as Fascinating as Fiction. Non-fiction books can be as exciting as those that are made up. These picture books capture the perilous journey of wild horses, the Motown sound, bees and honey and much more. "Wild at Heart: Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them" by …Read more.
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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

"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.

"Sunny Day" inspires a rhythm of family togetherness by gently guiding listeners throughout a typical day — from bedroom to kitchen to school and so on. The songs remind us of the magical and fabulous moments that fill every day, and for that, "Sunny Day" is a keeper.

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 or 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



1 Comments | Post Comment
Check out the history of the banjo for kids at MEET ME AT THE CORNER< Virtual Field Trips for Kids. NYC Banjo player Curtis Eller talks to kids about the history of the banjo and the importance of bluegrass music.
MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids ( is a series of educational video podcasts for kids ages 6-12. New episodes are uploaded every two weeks, with a Learning Corner of questions and extended activities, a list of recommended books and links to fun websites about each topic.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Donna W. Guthrie
Sun Oct 3, 2010 1:03 PM
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