Sesame Street Playground

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Sesame Street Playground Music Poster Image
Lively CD gives familiar songs a world music spin.

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age 18+
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The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Positive messages about taking care of the earth and learning about other cultures.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's no age-inappropriate content in this lively, upbeat, world music-influenced CD. With multilingual versions of Sesame Street songs that many young kids will already be familiar with, it's fresh and engaging as it features positive messages about taking care of the earth and learning about other cultures.

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What's the story?

A vivid collection of sounds, flavors, and languages, SESAME STREET PLAYGROUND takes the Putumayo vision (presenting world music in pleasing compilations with lively, appealing packaging and selling it in non-traditional retail outlets) and mixes it up with Sesame Workshop's mission: reaching children worldwide and helping them learn about each other's cultures.

Is it any good?

The result is an ambitious, multilingual collection that mostly works very well. Highlights include the ear-bending (for English speakers) "Sesame Street Theme" (performed here in Dutch), "Rubber Duckie" performed by Ernie in Mandarin, and the Bollywood sound stylings of "Galli Galli Sim Sim," the theme song of India's version of Sesame Street. Liner notes in English, Spanish, French, and Dutch tell a little story about each song, and an accompanying DVD provides helpful subtitles.

Appropriate for preschoolers who love to watch Sesame Street, the CD might also be fun for older siblings studying foreign languages in school -- and the DVD is a fascinating glimpse of how Sesame Street translates to other cultures.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the fact that Sesame Street airs in countries all over the world. What do you think the many versions have in common? How might they be different? Are the characters the same if they're speaking a different language? Families can also talk about "The Pollution Song" (performed here in the Venda language of South Africa). What can you do to help keep the Earth clean?

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