Readin' in the Rain

The acoustic, compelling "plink, plink" of higher note piano keys appropriately sets the mood for paging through Yellow Umbrella (Children's Forecasts, noted Nov. 25), a wordless picture book packaged, and designed to be read with, a classical-style music CD. Originally published in South Korea, the volume is both delicate and handsome, with author/illustrator Jae Soo Liu presenting a high-rise view of colorful umbrellas carried by children on a rainy-day walk to school. The umbrellas (and joyful hues) multiply with each successive spread, until a rainbow of galoshes and bumbershoots approaches the school building. Composer Dong II Sheen gracefully glides between rhythms throughout the 15 tracks (a deep, persistent beat accompanies paintings that include a train, jaunty notes indicate a sprinkle of rain in other scenes), maintaining an overall happy tone. (Kane/Miller, $19.95 all ages ISBN 1-929132-36-0; Oct.)

Tot Tunes

Families looking for a one-stop shopping approach to a children's music library will be pleased to discover 125 Songs for Kids, a three-CD set from Childish Records. "Grandpa Ken" Kaganovitch, a writer-producer, has assembled a sturdy lineup of child singers as well as adult vocalists and accomplished musicians to accompany him in performing a cornucopia of traditional favorites ("Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," "Skip to My Lou") and original songs. Each CD has a theme—Fun Time, Quiet Time, New Classics—so that parents can select appropriate listening for any time of day/situation. (Childish Records [213-876-5614], three-CD set, $29.99 all ages; Dec.)