Under a Shady Tree

Common Sense Media says

Fun songs with wordplay and repeating melodies.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
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 there's rhyme, rhythm, and simple melodies in these lighthearted original songs that will entertain young children but may not stand up to repeated listening by adults.

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What's the story?

Laurie Berkner's UNDER A SHADY TREE is a fifty-minute CD with twenty songs of in-the-moment entertainment for young children. Brian Mueller, Susie Lampert, and others back her up in full productions with some variety. The guitar, bass, piano, horns, and percussion occasionally give way to something a bit different, such as a cappella with sound effects in the catchy \"Drive My Car\" or ukulele in \"Mahalo.\" Other than \"Shortnin' Bread,\" all the songs on the album are written by Berkner.

Is it any good?


Berkner's pleasant voice is easy on the ears, and her songs often seem as if she'd composed them on the spot. In her liner notes she mentions how effortlessly songs emerge from an overheard phrase or an observation while walking in her neighborhood. Often she goes too quickly to easy rhymes and familiar themes, and in doing so plays down to kids' intelligence, as in "I'm me and you're you...it doesn't matter what we do." But the content is simple and age appropriate: sense of self; animals--a chimp, elephant, dancing dragon; and nature--flowers, sun, rain.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about writing song lyrics, and come up with some of their own ideas, stories, and verses for songs.

Music details

Artist:Laurie Berkner
Release date:October 1, 2002
Label:Two Tomatoes Records
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Under a Shady Tree 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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Adult Written bydgg207 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Adult Written byndp April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


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