We have some great summertime tunes that your whole family will enjoy. Perfect for your next road trip, a day at the beach or just an impromptu dance party in the kitchen! Listen and enjoy!
Strawberry Wind by Jessie Baylin
Jessie Baylin, a Nashville based songwriter and mother of two young children, aimed to create an honest album for kids and parents that represents what she calls the “beautiful divide” of juggling family life with her creative life. Strawberry Wind is a dreamy collection of original tunes produced by Baylin’s longtime collaborator, producer-songwriter-musician Richard Swift (The Shins, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Foxygen). Our NAPPA music judge calls this album “a gorgeous set of songs drawing upon pop, country and rock sounds from mainly the 60s and 70s. Exuding a dreamy, child-like quality, the music is not tied to any one generation. This is an album that you will be playing even when the kids aren’t around.”
$11.98 CD, $9.49 digital, $16.69 vinyl
Why Why Why? by Ants Ants Ants
With stylistic nods to the Beatles, 1970s era Sesame Street, School House Rock, and “The Point” by Harry Nilsson, Why Why Why? celebrates a childlike wonder at the natural world, beginning with the first track, “Morning Song” and continuing with songs about where the moon goes, what the largest mammals on Earth are like, the lilting “Willow Tree” and the soothing “Stars” above. Our NAPPA music judge says “Ants Ants Ants is great, great, great. The main characteristic of Why Why Why is the hooky, sunny quality of this Portland, OR-based group’s songs. If you like the Beatles (particularly George in his “Apple Scuffs” mode) or the heavily Beatles-inspired power pop line of music, then you will be dancing around with joy to tunes like “Helicopter Leaves,” “Morning Song,” “Where Does The Moon Go,” “Pinwheel” or the title track. Meanwhile, children will dig the catchy little tunes about the fun little things in life. So, why, why, why not give this delightful disc a listen?”
$15, $9 digital
Ages 2 to 10
Hand in Hand by Suzi Shelton
Hand in Hand is Suzi Shelton’s fourth album filled with sweet songs that delve into more sophisticated stylings and production. The nine original songs encourage self-discovery, expression and kindness. Some of the tunes are childlike and whimsical, about things like ladybugs and raindrops and blue fin fish. Others are meant to be inspiring and socially conscious. Our NAPPA music judge says “it is easy to imagine youngsters immediately responding to such friendly, upbeat tunes” and many of lively numbers “will engage kids and have them acting along with the songs.”
Camp Andyland by Andy Z
Camp Andyland is the camp every kid will want to go to. Filled with strikingly crafted pop songs for kids, with stick-in-your-head lyrics and catchy melodies – plus a memorable cast of characters that bring kids into Andy Z’s world. An infectious collection of songs compiled from the popular Andyland series that takes kids on a destination-based musical adventure. Our NAPPA music judge calls this album “a marvelous amusing CD populated by all sorts of creatures (bees, butterflies, squirrels, and dinosaurs) and kooky characters like Cecil the Serpentine Dragon (not to be confused with Cecil the Sea-Sick Dragon from the old Beany and Cecil TV show), the Spanish-speaking Como C. Llama, and the laidback Rancher Dude. Additionally, Andy Z keeps the album zipping along with a whimsical range of musical styles (poppy ditties, camp-fire sing-alongs, funny tunes and message songs) as well as boosting the humor level by singing in a variety of different character voices. Highly entertaining.” $14.98
Ages 3 to 7
I am 4, 5, 6 by Margot Bevington
“I am 4, 5, 6” is twelve original songs about imagination, creative problem solving, and finding your heart. As the name suggests, families with children ages 4-6 can enjoy this fun and reflective mix of folk, rock, and classically inspired tunes- all about the 4-6 year-old’s tremendous developments of creativity and empathy. Our NAPPA music judge says “enjoying I Am 4, 5, 6 is as easy as 1, 2, 3. The dozen tunes here deliver a cheery set of music that adds up an entertaining album for youngsters. Bevington composes songs that hold subtle complexities in the music while keeping the lyrics easy for youngsters to understand.”
$12.97- CD $9.99- digital
Ages 4 to 6
Wild Is Everywhere by Sara Lovell
An award-winning songwriter and producer known for “imaginative lyrics, sparkling harmonies, intriguing musical layers” and “a voice rich in both purity and nuanced detail,” offers a new album, Wild is Everywhere, of 14 original songs. With a wide range of topics and musical styles, Sara takes listeners on a journey through a landscape populated with flying children, misplaced animals of a certain size, and insects or flowers that turn up in the most unexpected places.
$15, $9.49 digital
Ages 5 to 9
Happy Listening & Dancing. Remember to #PlayLearnConnect with #NAPPAAwards!
Elena Epstein is a mom of two and the director of NAPPA Awards, the longest running and most respected awards program in the industry, celebrating the best in family products for 28 years. For more product reviews, visit nappaawards.com.