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Songs from the Neighborhood

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Author, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Illustrator . Memory Lane Syndication $17.98 (www.memorylanesyndication.com
) ISBN 1-932806-43-1

As children and fans of all ages know, the late Fred Rogers's legacy lives on, most recognizably in repeats of his beloved PBS children's program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood . Now comes this recording on which a number of country and pop artists pay tribute to everyone's favorite neighbor by giving a new twist to some of his most popular songs. Amy Grant lends smooth vocals and a reassuring tone to "It's You I Like," while Jon Secada turns in a velvety and upbeat R&B–flavored "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" (and Roberta Flack performs a ballad version of the same song). Maureen McGovern's voice soars on a jazzy rendition of "This Is Just the Day" and former disco diva Donna Summer tries a different musical approach with the inspirational introduction to "Are You Brave?" then kicks into gear with a more hip-hop beat for the rest of the song. The entire ensemble joins voices on "Thank You for Being You," to round out the proceedings. Those who grew up with Rogers's neighborhood will be most fond of the concept's novelty and the quality orchestral treatment here, and a new generation of youngsters may just see the show with new eyes after hearing these original arrangements. All ages. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/14/2005
Release date: 00/00/0000
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