Teddy Bears & Shel

Teddy Bears come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors and have given pleasure to children of all ages for more than a hundred years now. In 1902, a political cartoon appeared in the newspaper featuring President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt and a "teddy bear" – a stuffed remembrance of Roosevelt sparing a bear cub during a hunting trip. Ever since, the warm and fuzzy friends have been among us.

Flash forward in time to a lovely recording, Teddy Bear Tunes Volume 1, written by composer/producer Doug Pell and celebrating eight original teddy songs with a couple of classics thrown in for good measure – "House at Pooh Corner" and "The Teddy Bear Picnic" – inspired by Pell’s young son’s attachment to his own bear.

The arrangements are top-drawer and a stellar cast of fine musicians display their musical wares, playing like they are really enjoying themselves. You’ll enjoy this recording, too!

Teddy Bear Tunes, Volume 1, Rounder Kids; $15 CD;

The late Shel Silverstein left a treasure trove of music and literature to be enjoyed by generations to come. Who could ever forget his books, The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends? Underwater Land is a collection of 17 children’s songs written and produced by Silverstein and sung by his longtime friend and collaborator, Pat Dailey, whose voice is a perfect fit for the raucous tunes. The Nashville musicians are none too shabby, either. Silverstein joins in on many of the tracks and together they sound like they’re having a ball! The 32-page booklet with many previously unpublished Silverstein drawings is a great addition, too. So get ready to "ride a bike with the pike, eat your meals with the seals, and have more fun than you ever planned in Underwater Land."

Shel Silverstein’s Underwater Land, Olympia Records; $17.98 CD;

More music reviews.

From United Parenting Publications, March 2003