A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this lovely CD of Asian lullabies should prove engaging and relaxing for them as well as their children, thanks to the stellar lineup of musicians and the variety of traditional instruments featured (such as the thousand-year-old Chinese erhu -- a two-string fiddle). Even though our ratings system recommends media titles for kids older than 2 years old, this series is best for little ones under 2.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The mellow sounds of ASIAN DREAMLAND, a collection of lullabies from Putumayo Kids, might bring to mind spa waiting rooms and meditation gardens -- not bad places to imagine yourself while trying to get your fussy baby or tantrum-prone toddler to sleep. Interestingly, most of the artists are women, like Zulya (a Tatar star) and acclaimed Tibetan folksinger Kelsan Chukie Tethong, a cultural nod to the tradition of mothers soothing their children with song. Notable exceptions to the female lineup are Ali Akbar Khan, the legendary classical Indian musician, and the Yoshida Brothers, veritable rock stars in their native Japan.
Is it any good?
The 10 tracks on this languid CD are far from generic New Age background noise. These traditional bedtime songs from China, Japan, India, and even the Siberian Republic of Tatarstan are performed by world-class musicians who also sing on about half of the tracks. The downside of any album geared toward lulling little ones to sleep is that the music itself can be a real snore. But in this case, the dreamy songs are a welcome chance to slow down and catch a few winks alongside baby.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the diverse instruments featured -- how is a Japanese shamisen different from an Indian sitar? The CD can also serve as the soundtrack for naptime, peaceful playtime, yoga time for Mom or Dad, or just relaxing. Parents may want to seek out other less kid-focused albums by these musicians for their own collections.