The children's music industry is flooded with CDs that claim parents will love 'em as much as their kids do, and only some of the time is this true. A lot of CDs have cool packaging or lead singers with "punk" hairdos that make the record look like an alternative music playground, but in reality, it's the same boring crap about rubber ducks.
Here's a list of CDs that get a gold star from the author, who also happens to be a mom. Add other great kiddie records by using the talkback feature.
Jam Toast, "Silly Grown-ups, Punk Is For Kids." This one's from Canadian punk rocker Michael McKinnon and contains classic three-chord punk songs written for mini-rockers. Some are pretty clever, like "Toys on the Dance Floor," but others are a bit contrived. In any case, kids really dig these simple, intense songs, but that might make ya wonder why you don't just load up the CD player with real, (lyric-appropriate) punk rock instead.
"Juanita the Spanish Lobster." This is the third release from the Stories in Music series, featuring the London Philharmonic, and it's a great one to listen to in the car, especially if you'd trying to avoid the popular automobile DVD player. The story is pretty simple: Juanita's a crabby crustacean who pines to live on land, but it's the combination of the cute, interactive story and spunky flamenco music -- among other music genres -- that make this a natural gateway to the kingdom of audio books.
The Nields, "All Together Singing in the Kitchen." Indie folk-rock sisters Nerissa and Katryna Nields offer their sweet singing voices to classics like "Aikendrum," along with Shel Silverstein's "The Unicorn," "Red, Red Robin" and "The Rattlin' Bog." It's nice, mellow music, complete with very pretty sister-to-sister harmonies.
The Terrible Twos, "If You Ever See An Owl." This record is
super upbeat and danceable, featuring front man Michael Pryor, formerly
of the Get Up Kids. It sounds a little like They Might Be Giants, only
with songs about ladybugs, math and pizza with chocolate milk (and the difference is? -ed.).
Woody Guthrie, "Songs To Grow On Mother and Child." This remaster is a seriously low-fi version of the 1956 record, so much so that it contains nostalgic pops and crackles just like the original vinyl version. The songs are sweet, funny and catchy, from "I Want My Milk (And I Want It Now)" to "Good Night Little Darlin'" which, 50 years later, remains an anthem for all parents, especially those who ever wished their little one would fall asleep so they can move on to other grown-up nighttime activities ... whatever those may be.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.