A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
While the subject matter is awfully goofy -- and awfully fun -- there's far worse things for young children to hear than a collection of 19 songs about belly buttons, cows, islands full of pigs and taking naps. What's really fun is the record's latent ability to introduce kids to real 20th century American forms of music.
Is it any good?
Whether it's a chorus line of cows, Meryl Streep doing cabaret jazz, or the Bacon Brothers swinging with chickens, it's all upbeat (even the ode to grumpiness "I Like to Fuss"). All the original tunes were penned by Sandra Boynton and musical collaborator Michael Ford. This is by no means a complicated record. Who can't relate to the heartfelt longing for chocolate chip cookies that stay just out of reach for little hands, aptly described in the piano ballad "Faraway Cookies?"
Though PHILADELPHIA CHICKENS is a family record, it's mostly for preschool-age kids. You wouldn't want to "insult" most elementary and middle school children by buying them this album. Ironically, the record can skip a generation and appeal in a wry way to the adults in the house.