by John Wood
Popular Canadian children’s entertainers Judy & David have teamed up with Canada’s leading provider of educational products to present an upbeat, fun and interactive musical tool for teaching math. Their initial outing, MathJam 1, incorporates curriculum aimed at first-graders. Clever songsmiths with years of experience – 13 albums with worldwide sales of 5 million – the duo craft sing-along tunes about counting, graphing, shapes, capacity, probability, symmetry and patterns, among other first-grade classroom concepts. True to their credo “music is not a spectator sport,” Judy & David have brought their award-winning high-energy performances to stage (GoldiRocks) and TV screen (Judy & David’s Boom Box). MathJam 1 features excellent production, solid performances and, as a bonus, the CD has interactive menus when played on a computer.
• MathJam 1, Judy & David, All Together Now Entertainment, 2004; $12.99 CD; 877-MY-SONGS, www.judyanddavid.com.
Out of the Pacific Northwest like a fresh breeze comes new children’s artist David Hall with a fun and folksy pack of tunes called bee positive. Whether breaking down the dynamics of “The Diaper Change” or imagining a “Wedding at the Petting Zoo,” Hall infuses his original songs with light-hearted humor and his band has that in-the-room feel, giving the listener a sense of personal attention. Hall has a gentle accessible singing voice and a definite love for the little ones. As the little bee, Luis, says in the title song, “be positive!”
• bee positive, David Hall, Karenna Song, 2004; $12 CD; 503-309-7438, www.beepositive.bz.
– John Wood
You can read more of John’s reviews of music for children at www.kidzmusic.com.
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United Parenting Publications, September 2004