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Sing, Dance and Dream With Your Kids

Lee Littlewood on

Fresh, clear and lovely, Penner's songs are as lilting and fun as can be.

"Just Dance" by Twinkle; Twinkle Time Records; $10 CD & download.

Called the kids version of Lady Gaga, effervescent Peruvian-American artist Twinkle released her energetic pop and glam hip-hop dance CD recently, which should move kids off the couch to shimmy and shake. With an EDM slant and a positive, life-affirming theme, "Just Dance" makes sure the Bruno Mars- or Lady Gaga-esque music is age-appropriate and unique, like "a whirling, swirling ... confetti explosion!" It's wild and fun, perfect for dance parties and exercise time.

"Lead Belly, Baby!" from Dan Zanes and Friends; Smithsonian Folkways.

Iconic children's performer Dan Zanes says Lead Belly was the reason he became a singer. Belly was "The King of the 12-String Guitar," who loved performing for children. On this album, his folk standards are performed in a variety of styles by Zanes and friends, with smart wordplay and uber-cool presentation. Like Belly, Zanes' dozen albums draw innumerable family fans.


From MCs who trade lines on "Skip to My Lou" to a psychedelic folk interpretation of "Rock Island Line" and a bilingual version of "Cotton Fields," "Lead Belly, Baby!" offers up 15 groovy tunes, a 40-page booklet with lyrics and liner notes, and top-notch presentation from Smithsonian Folkways.

To order, visit the Folkways website.


To find out more about Lee Littlewood, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



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