Tor Hyams has composed scores for film and TV and produced top recording artists and live music festivals for children. He wrote and produced “A World of Happiness” and co-authored a book by the same name. He launched the first KindieFest Family Music Conference in 2009, and his family music label, Happiness Records.
Michael Berick is the calendar editor at L.A. Parent, where he also reviews children’s CDs. He has written about children’s music for the Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly, and about music, in general, for more than 20 years.
NAPPA’s best music for kids 0 to 92.
This hip and fabulous set of nighttime music features originalsand well-chosen cover tunes. Putumayo Kids, 2011; $14.98; putumayokids.com; infants to age 5.
Ella Jenkins, the “First Lady of Children’s Music,” is back witha healthy dose of classic African American folk songs. Thisinspirational collection infuses deep, soulful joy in the listener.The featured child singers and authentic American folkinstrumentation make this album a must-have, never-give-awayclassic. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2011; $15; folkways.si.edu; infants and up.
A Life of Song
A San Diego-based duo delivers an engaging set of travelingtunes. Hullabaloo Music, 2011; $12; hullabalooband.com; infants to age 6.
Road Trip by Hullabaloo
Music for Little People has delivered classic children’s musicfor years. Music for Little People, 2010; $13.98; musicforlittlepeople.com; ages 1-2.
Trout Fishing In America tells a comical tale about a cat namedChicken Joe whose barnyard pals have a fun surprise for him.Includes storybook and CD. The Secret Mountain, 2011; $16.95; thesecretmountain.com; ages 4-10.
Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important
Tom Chapin’s new CD is steeped in the traditional folk genre,while addressing modern issues. Sundance Music, 2011; $15; tomchapin.com;
ages 3 and up.
Give PEAS A Chance
The Hipwaders, a California-based “kindie” rock group, payshomage to their home state. The Hipwaders, 2011; $11.97; hipwaders.net;
ages 3 and up.
The Golden State
The sage-like Peter Alsop shares his enlightening music. MooseSchool Productions, 2010; $15; peteralsop.com; ages 4-12.
Grow It At Home
Imagination Movers will get kids movin’ and groovin’ to thesehighly energetic tunes. Walt Disney Records, 2010; $11.98; waltdisneyrecords.com; ages 2-5.
In A Big Warehouse
Brady Rymer’s album captures the joy of youth through his RoyOrbison-meets-Tom Petty rock stylings. Bumblin Bee Records, 2011;$9.90; bradyrymer.com; ages 4 and up.
Love Me For Who I Am
George Handel’s life and work come alive. Performed by Yadu,Bonnie Ward Simon, Stephen Simon and the London PhilharmonicOrchestra. Maestro Classics, 2011; $16.98; maestroclassics.com; ages 9 and up.
My Name Is Handel
Alastair Moock’s knack of filling catchy ditties with humorouslyrics will bring a smile to your face. Moockshake Music, 2011;$15; moockmusic.com; ages 3-8.
These Are My Friends
Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights give us an album with a stylefor everyone – from funk and blues to country and pop, with even alittle hip-hop thrown in. City Kid Music, 2011; $15; citykidmusic.com; ages 2 and up.
What A Zoo!