Tumble Bee

Common Sense Media says

Fantastic, fun folk music; great for families.





What parents need to know

Educational value

A lesson in traditional children's folk music, as well as the physics surrounding why a bird can't eat an elephant or a mouse eat a streetcar.

Positive messages

Sweet folk songs highlight and embrace the honesty of life and curiosity of childhood.

Positive role models

Folk music's unpretentious and honest content is always refreshing and worthwhile music for kids to enjoy.

Violence & scariness

"The Fox" is a song about a sly daddy fox that must feed his family by killing a grey goose and a duck. Although we find out at the end that it's for his kiddos, be prepared to answer questions about the tiny foxes "chewing on the bones" after their parents have "cut up the goose."

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the songs are covers of children's folk tunes that aren't necessarily well-known unless you're a fan of folk. There's a song about a fox that must feed his family by hunting other animals, so be prepared to answer some questions about the Circle of Life for little ones. Otherwise it's squeaky-clean and appropriate for any age.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

TUMBLE BEE is Laura Veirs' first children's album, believe it or not. Her previous work, July Flame, received many accolades but Veirs, after the birth of her son, has turned her tune to some lesser-known children's folk songs such as \"All the Pretty Little Horses\" and \"The Fox,\" as well as \"Jump Down Spin Around\" (a version of \"Pick a Bale o' Cotton\"). Bela Fleck lends his banjo talent on \"King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O.\"

Is it any good?


From beginning to end, the songs on Tumble Bee show Veirs' talent for sweet, flawless, and fuss-free vocals on folk tunes that everyone in the family can enjoy. Parents might even forget that the album is intended for the kiddos. Kids may be lulled to sleep with dreamy tunes like "All the Pretty Little Horses" and "Prairie Lullaby." For quiet playtime, "Tumble Bee" (the only original song on the album), "The Fox," and "Why Oh Why?" celebrate life and childhood in all its forms.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes folk music different from other types of music. Is it the instruments used, the words, or both? Can you think of other popular or familiar songs that sound like folk music?

  • Veirs covers many folk songs from other artists. Do you recognize any of the songs? Which song is your favorite? Why?

Music details

Artist:Laura Veirs
Release date:November 8, 2011
Label:Raven Marching Band Records
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Tumble Bee was written by

About our rating system

  • 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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Our star rating assesses the media's overall 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, okay 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 Written bylaowens January 5, 2012

Awesome sweet and memorable album for 2-10 year olds..

This is a great album! If you love acoustic music, if you love Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music or Elizabeth Mitchell you will really love this album. Great vocals, and fun to sing along! Also sophisticated enough you will not be bored listening to it yourself.


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