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Youngsters Can Rock Out to These New Tunes

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Children's music has had one of its most successful years in recent history. These new kids' CDs should keep young ones rockin' and rollin' on trips and at parties and play dates.

Keep in mind that prices vary from store to store, and that most children's CDs cost about $15 each.

"European Playground" from Putumayo Kids.

Putumayo's acclaimed "Playground" series of worldly children's CDs is a classy, yet fun, way for kids to tour the Earth without packing suitcases. This latest collection of multilingual tunes is easy enough to sing and dance along with, and makes sure to speak to youngsters' universal interests and imaginations.

A Swiss tune sings of a magical land where teddy bears come to life, while German favorite Alex Schmeisser celebrates the friendship between a big cow and a little mouse. And Swedish duo Sas & Kopp sing the joys of trampoline jumping. Other friendly, magical tunes hail from Hungary, Scotland, Spain, Italy and Ireland, to name a few of the 15 CD's song origins. Liner notes are in four languages — English, Spanish, French and German — while a free, downloadable teaching guide and map of Europe are available at www.putumayokids.com.

"Pink!" from Rocknoceros.

Already a hit on Sirius XM radio and among CD buyers, Rocknoceros — a popular beltway phenomena made up of "Coach Cotton, Williebob and Boogie Woogie Bennie" — offers Beatles-esque vibes and old-school pop styles. On their latest CD, the trio sings pop in "Gonna Cut My Hair," alternative rock in "Playground," a horn-filled harmony tune called "Crossing Guard," and even a hymn-like ode in "Always Tell Your Grandma."

Using plenty of technology and a wide array of instruments and singing styles, this smart kids' band already rocks out on Facebook, MySpace and ReverbNation. Want to check them out first? Visit www.rocknoceros.com.

"Emphatical Piratical" from Captain Bogg & Salty.

My favorite children's band, really for all ages, is the hilarious pirate-themed "Captain Bogg & Salty." Their latest CD includes lots of ska, reggae, rock and exotic sounds in songs, such as "Don't Drink Sea Water," "Purple Tiki," "Sea Monster II" and "Never Smile at a Crocodile." A true favorite in this house, even among teens, "Emphatical Piratical" is the perfect playlist for birthday parties and for getting scalawags motivated to tidy up.

It's lively and rockin' enough for even adult pirate fans.

"Banjo to Beatbox" from Cathy & Marcy.

Talented Grammy Award winners Cathy & Marcy invite young hip-hop sensation Christylez Bacon to the mix in this funky new release, which meshes beatbox with banjos and nursery rhymes with hip-hop.

Unique and charged with fun energy, "Banjo to Beatbox" showcases a popular family-friendly performer who rhymes, raps, beatboxes, plays percussion and banjo ukulele, and even reverberates off the more traditional sounds of Cathy & Marcy eloquently. For more information, visit www.cathymarcy.com.

"Sweets 'n' Treats" from Tracey Singer.

Produced by Buck Howdy — two-time Grammy nominee for children's music — this debut CD features 13 original tunes with sophisticated harmonies, smartly crafted compositions and up-to-date clarity, not to mention lots of fun and adventure. The wit and talent show up in songs like "Mall Mom," "Foxy Joe," "Camping Trip" and "Nana Nana Boo Boo," proving that talented musician Singer (yes, his real name) has a long career ahead of him.

KIDBITS

More new children's musical recordings include:

"What a Ride!" by Eric Herman and the Invisible Band; Hap Palmer's "Multiplication Mountain"; funky folk in the fabulous "Happy Accidents" by Billy Jones; Ben Rudnick & Friends' jazzy, summery "A Frog Named Sam"; and the wacky "Field Trip," from Recess Monkey.

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.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



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