Monthly Archives: December 2015

Here Comes Christmas

Note: I received a promotional copy of this album for review.

GregPageHereComesChristmasGreg Page, a retired member of the original Wiggles has a new Christmas album, “Here Comes Christmas” released on November 24. The Wiggles have entertained toddler and preschool crowds for years, and grownups seem to either like or strongly dislike them. I can listen in limited doses, but was interested in learning whether a Christmas album by a former band member would work.

“Here Comes Christmas” contains 26 songs, including four “bonus” tracks (completely unrelated to Christmas) that promote Page’s kids TV show, Butterscotch’s Playground. I hoped it would exceed my expectations by offering a palatable departure from the Wiggles world (although the fact that “the original Yellow Wiggle” is under his name on the album cover was a clue). But unfortunately this album, at best, is a mixed bag.  While several songs are enjoyable (versions of “Let It Snow”, “Little Drummer” and “Christmas Song” are worth your time), it relies too heavily on showy, sappy renditions of favorite Christmas tunes. Some incorporate kids singing along and annoying sound effects, both irritating habits with children’s music.  If you and your kids are fans of the Wiggles, check it out. Otherwise you may want to save your sanity and enjoy something else.

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Friday Favorite: Cuddlebug Parade album

Note: I received a promotional copy of this album for review.

Cuddlebug paradeIf you have a young child in your life, consider sharing Michal Peanut Karmi’s album “Cuddlebug Parade” with them.  All 18 songs are unique and range from silly to sweet to pure joy (“Pizzapants”,“Six Little Pickles”, and “Where’s Your Belly Button” are some of my favorites).

An L.A. based kid’s musician and entertainer, Peanut’s warm, gentle voice and exuberant personality combined with skillful ukulele playing make this album delightful. Some adults may find her voice a bit high-pitched but this is endearing not annoying for me. As a children’s librarian, I like the activity songs she includes like “Stompin’ at the Market” and “In the Pot” and may use those in a storytime program. The first half of “Where’s Your Belly Button” could be a great closing song for a Baby storytime program.

Peanut includes Spanish and Hebrew in some songs, adding to the distinct sound of the album. Little ones 4 and under will find themselves singing and clapping along- especially fans of Laurie Berkner, Elizabeth Mitchell and Frances England. I recommend this album for any preschool, library or home collection.