Songsmiths for Youngsters

"I want to make music thatís fun but also write songs that speak to the whole of a childís experience," says Justin Roberts about his new recording, Not Naptime. "These songs speak to issues that were important when I was growing up," he adds.

Though Chicago-based Robertsí voice and styling have been favorably compared to James Taylorís, he has his own definitive sound. The 12 original songs on this new recording are clear, bright and directly hit the ups and downs of growing up in a fun and loving way. Some of the highlights include: "Nightlight," something we all have used at one time or another; the tragedy of having to bathe after "Three Days" of collecting dirt is a hoot; "98.8" pulls out all the stay-at-home excuses when homework is due; and a touching tune called "Moving" hits home as a youngster misses everything from the picket fence to the rooftop. The title tune will ring a bell with any parent or teacher whose little one battles the dreaded naptime with predictable results. A nice collection from one of childrenís musicís truly gifted artists.

ē Not Naptime, Justin Roberts, Hear Diagonally Records; $14.99 CD; 877-345-4992 or

Respected songwriter, performer and educator Peter Alsop asks a peculiar question: What would happen if you could be magically transported back to preschool? I donít know about your answer, but Alsopís hilarious collection (22 songs in all) called Uh-Oh! boldly reverts to the world of diapers and innocence at break-neck speed. Along with pals Bill Harley and Mar Harman, Alsop provides enough jokes and asides to keep adults laughing while the kids are hopping. The charming childrenís chorus adds buoyancy to the recording and Alsopís doctorate in educational psychology is invaluable in the liner notes as a jumping-off point for parents and teachers for each of the catchy songs.

This nice mixture of older and newer voices in the world of childrenís music is waiting for you to share with your families.

ē Uh-Oh!, Peter Alsop, Moose School Productions; $14.98 CD; 800-676-5480 or

More music reviews.

From United Parenting Publications, April 2003