The Sunny Side of the Street

Common Sense Media says

Hamming it up, Broadway showtune style.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Great messages: Slow down and appreciate life, be kind to animals, eat good foods, face challenges with joy.

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this album is a wonderful collection of children's songs that won't grate on your nerves. John Lithgow returns to his musical theater roots in this Grammy-nominated CD which -- due to his small band, his friendly comments during the songs, and the help of the Children's Choir of the United Nations International School -- creates a intimate feel. You can just sense silly Lithgow prancing around a stage singing these Broadway showtunes in his distinctive voice. This CD is enhanced and contains a preview of Lithgow's kids' show Paloozaville, which can be viewed on a computer.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Adults hearing John Lithgow's THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET might ask, "Is that kids' music?" Indeed it is, but these kid-friendly tunes -- actually originally written to entertain adults -- end up delighting both audiences. Lithgow amasses an impressive array of talent to enhance his already considerable skills. Cabaret singer Maude Maggart sings with him on "Baby!" a song that alternates between being wryly sentimental and hysterically funny. Wayne Knight (of Seinfeld fame) banters with Lithgow on the Jimmy Durante classic "Inka Dinka Doo." The sweet and gentle "Lullaby in Ragtime" is a duet with Sherie Rene Scott. The Children's Choir of the United Nations International School is adorable in "Getting to Know You" (but tends to be intrusive on other tracks).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

John Lithgow is able to ham it up with accents and voice inflection to bring personality to each song without going over the top. One minute he's faking a New York City accent on "Song of the Sewer," next he's "whoo-ing" and "oh yeah-ing" on "Ya Gotta Have Pep," and then he's giving us such a belly laugh on "The Laughing Policeman." The diverse selection of songs from The Great American Songbook delivers an initial impression of levity and silliness, but there are valuable lessons contained within. The title track is about facing challenges with joy, and "Pick Yourself Up" is a peppy song about perseverance. The messages, the talent, and the song choices ensure that this CD has definite staying power.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the genre of musical theater and how it's different from generic children's music. Families can also discuss the themes in the songs: How can you be nice to plants and animals? Why is it nice to get to know people? What are the benefits of staying positive during hard times? Kids can also bring the songs outside by going to the grocery store to find foods that give you "pep" or to the botanical gardens to find some flowers to talk to.

Music details

Artist:John Lithgow
Release date:August 29, 2006
Label:Razor & Tie
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of The Sunny Side of the Street was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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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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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 June 10, 2012
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

sunny side street

Families can talk about the genre of musical theater and how it's different from generic children's music. Families can also discuss the themes in the songs: How can you be nice to plants and animals? Why is it nice to get to know people? What are the benefits of staying positive during hard times? Kids can also bring the songs outside by going to the grocery store to find foods that give you "pep" or to the botanical gardens to find some flowers to talk to
What other families should know
Great messages

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