Little Nut Tree Music Poster Image

Little Nut Tree



Folk tunes encourage kids to enjoy life's simple pleasures.

What parents need to know

Educational value

"The Farmer Is the One" tells kids where our food comes from (not just the grocery aisle) and encourages them to think about what they put in their tummies. "Thank You" is a sweet homage to all the beauty and nature around us.

Positive messages

Songs encourage kids to embrace the simple things in life: Just singing, dancing, and rocking out in the basement can be fun.

Positive role models

Encourages kids to be grateful and aware of the beauty that surrounds them. Songs inspire little ones to use their imaginations.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that children's music master Dan Zanes is back to his roots, so to speak, with colorful folk music that encourages kids to imagine, dance, and be themselves. As always, Zanes (with friends like Joan Osborne, Sharon Jones, and Andrew Bird) gives kids a lesson in fuss-free, organic tunes with positive messages about having fun and loving life. There's a mention of God but nothing objectionable in any of the lyrics.

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What's the story?

Dan Zanes, rocker turned iconic children's musician, supposedly played the Jamaican classic "Little Nut Tree" for his daughter right after she was born, with its hopeful lyrics, "She was to be what God wanted her to be." Now many years later, he's taken that truth even further on his album LITTLE NUT TREE. With various friends including Joan Osborne, Father Goose, Donald Saaf, and the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Zanes sings about the simplicity and beauty in everyday life, from locally grown food to having fun in your basement.

Is it any good?


It's no surprise that Zanes continues to make great children's music, and he doesn't disappoint on the endearing grab bag of tunes on Little Nut Tree. Whether he sings about dancing in your basement ("where you won't get carded at the door") or gives homage to all the things around us in "Thank You" ("thank you when the lion runs and for the morning mist out on the golden plain"), his music and lyrics teach kids about the sweeter, simpler things in life without preaching or pretense. Little Nut Tree makes you appreciate family, life, and the everyday beauty we might sometimes forget in the rush.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the song "The Farmer Is the One." Do you understand where our food comes from? What does it mean when something is organic?

  • It can be hard to get kids away from the computer screen, the TV, or their handheld gaming systems; what message do you think Zanes is trying to share about everyday life and play? Do you really need all of those gadgets to have fun? How can you have fun and use your imagination without technology?

Music details

Artist:Dan Zanes
Release date:September 27, 2011
Label:Festival Five Records
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Little Nut Tree was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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