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Children's Corner (12/10/99) Write to CD Shakedown
With Christmas around the corner, here are some fun and thought-provoking CDs for children of all ages.

Universe of SongsUniverse of Song (Music for Little People) - Universe of Song is the first in a bilingual series, and includes fourteen children's songs in English and Spanish, with vocals by Maria Del Rey.

This fun and educational CD mixes the two languages on such classics as "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "If You're Happy and You Know It," "I've Been Working on The Railroad," "Sailing, Sailing," and "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain."

These multi-cultural releases are designed for children from pre-school to 4th grade level. Educators say that the exposure of a second language to young children can result in a higher probability of that child becoming bilingual. Maria Del Rey adds to the educational value with her polished enunciations and key words in each song. A lyric book in both languages is also included.

We especially enjoyed tracks six, "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," as my kids sang along with the animal words and sounds. Also, "If You're Happy and You Know It" (track 12) is fun for the children to clap their hands, stomp their feet, laugh and scream to.

At the end of each song, a child is matched up with Maria to review several words: the child says the words in English and Maria will repeat the word in Spanish. It's a wonderful tool to enhance the learning and accents of Spanish.

Universe of Song is an engaging CD that will be enthusiastically welcomed by many talented children. Introduce the world of global sounds to your young and eager child to fill their mind with wisdom and rhythms.

Classical MusicA Child's Celebration of Classical Music (Music For Little People) - Have your children heard of Meryl Streep, Bobby McFerrin, Danny Kaye, David Bowie or Carol Channing?

These talented artists are all on this CD, accompanied by such renowned symphonies as the Boston Pops, New Zealand Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The performances of these artists will excite and stimulate the ears and imaginations of your children. The violins, cymbals, flutes, kettle drums, tubas, piano, oboe, clarinets, bassoon, and french horns may be unfamiliar to children at first, but soon will become favorites.

Classical music"The Mozart Effect" written by Don Campbell asserts that "certain forms of baroque and classical music in particular, have an impeccable form that can help organize one's mind and body," facilitating pattern development leading to higher reasoning. Make the connection of music to your children and release the wonderment.

As an alternative to quiet time, put on the Child's Celebration of Classical Music and share the words of "Peter and the Wolf," "Tubby the Tuba," and "Sleeping Beauty." It will be a relaxing and delightful experience for all.

Jr. Jedi Training ManualThe Junior Jedi Training Manual - Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (Kid Rhino) - Take the Jedi Challenge!!

The Junior Jedi Training Manual consists of 24-page listen and read-a-long book with dramatic, full-color photos for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. An official Jedi patch is included with the CD and cassette versions.

This well-written piece of work begins with the Jedi Code, followed by the Jedi Oath and then descriptions of the Dark Side villains, whose path is to destroy the Jedi Knights and conquer the galaxy. The Jedi guardians of peace must never underestimate the power of the Dark Side villains!

LightsabersThe book includes photos from the movie and the Jedi lightsaber defensive positions; at ready, lower block, left-side block, et cetera. (It's cool!)

Also included is an Alien Identification Chart, which every Jedi Knight must read. One example:

Species: TOYDARIAN
Planet: Toydar
Behavior: Rude (and that's on a good day)
Favorite Food: Unknown...but they love cigars
Greeting: Hi chuba da nago? ("What do you want?")
Good-bye: Da gowanna! ("Aand don't come back!")

Star Wars The manual closes with a Certificate of Training of the Junior Jedi.

This intergalactic piece of work stimulated my children and their friends to become Jedi Knights in the middle of our Family room. I recall the Jedi oaths and words of wisdom coming from these children of strength and character. The transformation was amazing.

If you or your children are Star Wars fans, purchase the Junior Jedi Training Manual and let the Force guide you.

Silly SongsA Child's Celebration of Silliest Songs (Music For Little People) - This CD is filled with carefully-selected silly childhood favorites that will have most listeners laughing, singing and dancing. The star-studded cast of child performers include such well-known artists as Raffi, Julie Andrews, Little Richard, Cheech Marin, Burl Ives and the lovable Danny Kaye.

This long-playing CD with 20 songs (what a bargain!!!) features such childhood favorites as "There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea," "My Name is Cheech the School Bus Driver," "The Riddle Song," "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt," and of course, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (click this one!)

If you have a home care situation for children or the love of music put this CD on the player and watch the excitement and fun children build. We put this CD on after dinner to dance and sing the last bursts of energy my children still hold. These Silliest Songs will also have a great effect on expanding your child's vocabulary.

Fill you Life with Joy and Laughter - pick up A Child's Celebration of Silliest Songs. It's a good pick-me-up for parents, too!

- Randy Krbechek © 1999

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