By the Numbers
Digits get their due in two clever new recordings. My Favorite Musical Numbers, a concept album by Mandy Manley Little, devotes one song each to the numbers zero through ten. With her clear, cabaret-quality voice and humorous lyrics, Little creates memorable scenarios focusing on the individual numbers. In "Three" a skating contest for trios is hosted by "two famous commentators/Dick Glutton and Peggy Phlegm" and in "Eight" an octopus happens to be all eight callers to radio station 88.88 during an on-air contest. Spare yet inventive arrangements include keyboard accompaniment by David Lange. (MVO Records [206-567-4831], CD $15.98, ages 2-up, ISBN 0-9677763-2-5, June) When listeners take a ride in Terry's Taxi, they get some practice at solving math problems while the meter runs. Already a popular segment on the New York Kids public radio program on WNYC in New York City, "Terry's Taxi" now hopes to reach an audience beyond the five boroughs. Mark Milstein, a teacher and writer, plays hapless cabbie Terry, a kindhearted guy who is terrible at math. On this spoken-word recording, listeners help Terry get out of various scrapes by solving the math problems that leave him scratching his head. Terry's wife Marge and Terry himself provide tips for making the calculations, along with lots of comic relief. Terry's Taxi: Volume One focuses on money and decimals and is aimed at third- through fifth-graders. (Terry and Friends, [212-691-1520], CD $14.95, ages 8-12, Apr.)
World Music Windfall
Fans of world music have plenty to enjoy on two recent releases. Brown Girl in the Ring, an all-star greatest hits collection from Music for Little People includes outstanding tracks like "La Bamba" performed by Los Lobos, "Choo Choo Boogaloo" by Buckwheat Zydeco and "Silkie Song" by Karan Casey. (MFLP [800-409-2457], cassette $9.98, CD $15.98, all ages, May) Katherine Dines (Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Halloween) gives a crystalline vocal treatment to 37 chants and chant-like songs from around the globe on Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Chants. The field holler "Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta-BOO," the inspiration for Dines's music label, is one of the rousing numbers here. "Zum Gali Gali Gali" from Israel and "Pajarito" from Mexico are among the other interesting selections. Lyrics are included and additional cultural information about the chants can be found at www.hunktabunkta.com. (Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Music [800-448-6369], CD $15.99, ages 4-up, May)
Fun facts abound on 9 Dinosaur Songs by the Bergman Broom Haywire Ensemble, a compilation of jaunty folk-flavored tunes about the ever-popular prehistoric beasts. Listeners get a sense of how long ago dinosaurs walked the earth in "Sixty-Nine Million Years" and learn about the tyrant tendencies of "That ugly, little three-horned beast" on the song "Triceratops." Other tidbits about various dinosaurs' appearance and behavior are also woven into the lyrics. (Dinosongs Music [315-662-3456], cassette $10, CD $16, all ages, May)
The Audio Publishers Association presented its sixth annual Audie Awards on June 1 during BEA. For a complete list of winners (including the children's honorees), see page 49, this issue.