A Child's Celebration of the World

Music review by
Cynthea Riesenberg, Common Sense Media
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Fine, but not as good as others in the series.

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The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this album includes some marvelous songs, as well as a few most grown-ups will not want to hear.

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What's the story?

Talent aplenty is amassed for A CHILD'S CELEBRATION OF THE WORLD. Raffi has never sounded sweeter than he does in "Like Me and You," a charming melody naming children from around the world ("Janet lives in England, Pierre lives in France") and explaining how they are "a lot like me and you." Other highlights include Joan Baez's soaring soprano, which meshes beautifully with simple guitar chords on "Kumbaya," and the magnificent Miriam Makeba leading the rollicking party tune "Pata Pata." But Maria Muldaur's "Fala Nina, Fala Nana" sounds gravelly rather than musical, and listeners older than 8 groaned at the Chenille Sisters' silly humor in "On a Vacation" and begged that the song be turned off.

Is it any good?

This international entry in the A Child's Celebration of series includes many talented artists -- unfortunately, the resulting compilation is an uneven mix of the wondrous, the mediocre, and the downright annoying.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how music can help you learn another language. For example, Sweet Honey In The Rock helps us learn how to count in French and Swahili, while the Chenille Sisters present rather silly phrases ("My sister needs a diaper change") in German and Japanese.

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