NAPPA 2006: Music for ages 4 and Up

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NAPPA Holiday Shopping List

By John Wood

Nappa Gold Winners
We have a lot of exciting talent to share with you this year. There are familiar voices, bright new voices and instrumentalists galore! Music from around the world is especially well-represented, and it's a great way to expose kids to other cultures. Remember, children's music is evergreen - the gift that keeps on giving - so check out these talented NAPPA Gold winners and give a gift of music this year!

Gold Award Winners

CELLAbration! A Tribute to Ella Jenkins, Various Artists, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2004; $11.98. This all-star tribute to the "First Lady of Children's Music" is a warm, tremendous retrospective of her 30-CD musical legacy. Features Tom Chapin, John McCutcheon, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Sweet Honey in the Rock and others.
The Giggling Dragon, Dan Crow, Alls House Family Entertainment, 2005; $15. This worldwide touring artist's songs about dragons, gnomes, pixies, trolls, giants, imagination and books are inventive, funny and finely constructed. This uplifting musical adventures will tickle your eardrums.
Meltdown!, Justin Roberts, Carpet Square Records, 2006; $15. This CD will get the whole family laughing and singing together. Roberts has an uncanny ability to write clever and insightful songs, mix in a childlike perspective, and then morph it all into an upbeat toe-tapping, finger-snapping, sing-along good time.
My Beautiful World, Jack Grunsky, Casablanca Kids, 2006; $14.98. This artist is the real deal with his spot-on connection to children, his world music sensibilities, and his top-notch production.
Scat Like That - A Musical Word Odyssey, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Rounder Records, 2005; $14.98. More fun-filled, upbeat tunes from two veterans who educate as they deftly entertain with songs about pirates, tongue twisters, limericks and riddles.
Tall and Small, Rebecca Frezza, Big Truck Music, 2006; $15. Keep your ear on this artist, whose strong, pure vocals and harmonies - coupled with assured songs and arrangements - make her a bright and welcome presence.

Honors Award Winners

A Duck in New York City, Connie Kaldor, The Secret Mountain, 2005; $16.95 Book & CD; A consummate performer and songwriter, Kaldor sings about a friendly hippopotamus, waltzing alligators and operatic slugs - while taking on belly buttons, clouds and tomatoes. So you see, it's not all about the duck.

Beethoven's Wig 3: Many More Sing Along Symphonies, Richard Perlmutter, Rounder Records, 2006; $12.98; Perlmutter focuses on specific orchestral musical instruments and opens the classical blinders to more composers and, in doing so, he enlightens, illuminates and reinforces what we already know deep inside: these piano-bangers were the rock stars of their time.

Come and Make a Circle 2: More Terrific Tunes for Kids, Teachers and Families, Susan Salidor, Susan Salidor Productions, 2006; $14.99; Effervescent vocals, solid arrangements and good pacing. Anyone who can put a new spin on "The Wheels on the Bus" has our vote!

Cowboy: Tippy Toe Toons Bath to Bedtime Musical, Geoff Koch, Duet Inc., 2006; $13.99; This rip-roaring cowboy mini-musical may be just the tool to help frustrated parents get their buckaroos and buckarettes from bath to bed with nary a discouraging word.

Earth Songs, Susan Reed, Susan Reed Productions, 2006; $15; We so appreciate the integrity and talent of Reed's work - the music, stories and musicianship are all first-rate.

Every Day Is a Birthday, Brady Rymer, Bumblin' Bee Records, 2006; $15;; for up to age 10. Unabashed rock with some serious sock! Brady Rymer has proven that he is a positive force to be reckoned with.

Gary Rosen Sings A.A. Milne, Gary Rosen, GMR Records, 2006; $14.98;; for up to age 8. You can't go wrong when two wily veterans like Rosen and Pooh get together. Hooray for Rosen & Pooh and A.A. Milne, too!

Gobs of Fun, Stephen Fite, Melody House, 2005; $14.95;; for up to age 8. Fite knows how to get kids up, involved, and learning - a great tool for the classroom and at home.

Hot Air Balloon, Vanessa Trien, Fox Run Records, 2006; $15;; for up to age 10. This talented newcomer brings a lot to the picnic: a harmonically sound and confident voice; engaging, original tunes; and an absolute joy that cannot be detained or deterred. Trien takes the trite and makes it relevant.

Make A Good Choice! Lou Del Bianco, Story Maker Records, 2005; $12;; for up to age 12. Once again, this seasoned children's performer delivers a well-produced collection of songs that convey support and messages of honesty, responsibility, tolerance and self-respect, among other core values.

Marvelous Day, SteveSongs, Rounder Records, 2005; $14.98;; for up to age 8. Steve Roslonek has seasoned himself in the pressure cooker of live performances and learned the songwriting craft from the inside out. He exhibits a genuine love for children and his exuberance shines through on these songs.

Paws, Claws, Scales & Tales, Monty Harper, Monty Harper Productions, 2006; $15;; for up to age 9. Harper's songwriting skills take a backseat to no one, and these creative animal songs are a pleasure to the ear.

Spin Your Web, Mary Kaye, Mary Kaye Music, 2006; $15;; for up to age 8. Kaye's music and voice just keep getting better and better. This is one web you want to get caught up in.

Turn Up the Music! Lanny Sherwin, Sandman Records, 2006; $9.98;; for up to age 9. Sherwin pumps up the volume once again with 12 original tunes that offer a variety of styles, tremendous performances and downright singable lyrics.

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