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Holiday Music & Storytelling

Music can underscore and enhance any celebration. Whether celebrating traditions or respecting religious observances of the holiday season, consider some of these recordings for children and families.
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Candles Long Ago
Ages: All Ages
Artist: Sharon, Lois & Bram  
Drive Entertainment, $15.98 (CD)    $9.98 (Cassette)

This lushly orchestrated collection for Chanukah includes traditional songs and one comic delight. Sample

Not a Traditional Christmas
Ages: All Ages
Artist: Jessica Harper  
Alacazam!, $15.97 (CD)    $11.98 (Cassette)

Despite the title, this is traditional Christmas music. Harper's strong, pure voice, self-assured delivery, and uncomplicated arrangements make it more than a seasonal delight. Sample

Elmo Saves Christmas
Ages: 2 - 6 yrs.
Performed By: Various Artists  
Sony Wonder, $13.97 (CD)    $9.98 (Cassette)

The "Sesame Street" gang gets into the holiday spirit in this collection of traditional and original Christmas music, enjoyable for its sunny sparkle and cozy familiarity. Sample

Arthur's Perfect Christmas Arthur's Perfect Christmas
Ages: 2 - 10 yrs.
Rounder Records Corporation, $12.99 (CD)    $9.99 (Cassette)

Arthur and Friends are back with this companion soundtrack to the Arthur's Perfect Christmas TV special. Sample

Cha Cha Chanukah with The Shirettes Cha Cha Chanukah with The Shirettes
Ages: 2 - 10 yrs.
The Shirettes, $15.00 (CD)   

The spirited SHIRETTES trio of Ditza, Judy and Sue once again bring us a fun-filled recording children of all ages will love. The 14 Hebrew and English selections include fresh takes on well known holiday favorites I Have A Little Dreidle (with new verses), Take A Potato, a medley of Oh Chanukah, S’vivon, and Chanukah (Chag Yafeh), Chanukah Blessings and Haneirot, plus catchy original new songs Cha Cha Chanukah, My New Chanukiah, Bubi Makes Latkes, and Red Candle.

Shine Little Candles
Ages: 2 - 10 yrs.
Artist: Rachel Buchman  
Rounder Kids, $12.99 (CD)    $8.99 (Cassette)

Accompanied by a chorus of children and friends, Rachel Buchman performs a collection of Chanukah songs in English, Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino.

Teach Me...Felíz Navidad Teach Me...Felíz Navidad
Ages: 2 & Up
Teach Me Tapes. Inc., $14.99 (CD)   

Celebrate the culture of the Christmas season by learning your favorite songs in Spanish. With bilingual lyrics included, this CD is perfect for the whole family.

Teach Me...Joyeux Noel
Ages: 2 & Up
Teach Me Tapes. Inc., $14.99 (CD)   

Celebrate the culture of the Christmas season by learning your favorite songs in French. With bilingual lyrics included, this CD is perfect for the whole family.

Celebrate! Holidays of the Global Village
Ages: 4 - 9 yrs.
Chris McKhool Music, $14.95 (CD)   

In a comprehensive celebration of music that explores multicultural holidays, Chris McKhool has written (and performs) a fine selection of original songs, augmented by a few well-chosen covers and traditional tunes which commemorate such holidays as Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and many others, including Native American and Pagan traditional celebrations. The musical styles accurately reflect the culture being represented; the musicianship and production values are top notch.

Dinosaur Holiday Dinosaur Holiday
Ages: 4 & Up
Museum Music, $15.95 (CD)   

Masterminded by the American Museum of Natural History, here is a wholly unique and deliciously enjoyable concept album. Here's the assignment: Take twelve well-known holiday songs from Classical, Christian, Jewish and Kwanza celebrations, and create all new lyrics to teach children about dinosaurs. Bring in exceptional musical talent and first-rate production values and the Broadway star voices of Maureen McGovern, Brad Oscar, Victoria Clark (and many others). The result? A recording that will have listeners roaring with laughter.

Kwanzaa for Young People (and Everyone Else!)
Ages: 5 - 12 yrs.
Performed By: Various Artists  
Charphelia, $12.99 (CD)   

A beautifully produced, inspirational pop and R&B celebration of Kwanzaa, the life-affirming African American winter holiday. Sample

A Classical Kids Christmas
Ages: 5 & Up
The Children's Group, $15.98 (CD)    $8.98 (Cassette)

Performed by children's choirs, soloists and instrumentalists, A Classical Kids Christmas features more than 30 timeless carols and poetry of the season. Sample

Second Chance Christmas: A Symphonic Story Second Chance Christmas: A Symphonic Story
Ages: 7 & Up
Sir Fir Audio Books, $14.95 (CD)   

With the cadence of both Dr. Seuss and Clement Moore (author of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas), this poetic story is a reminder of the power and strength of beautiful music masterfully performed. The tiny village of Second Chance had been struck by a mining catastrophe decades earlier, resulting in the Scrooge-type mayor's mandate that "not one note of music" could ever again be played or sung in her town. An accompanying booklet provides the complete text to the symphonic story and the words for all included songs.

Lights & Laughter: Joel ben Izzy Spins Hanukkah Tales
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Artist: Joel ben Izzy  
Old City Press, $17.00 (CD)    $12.00 (Cassette)

Award-winning travelling storyteller Joel ben Izzy shares eight traditional tales for the festival of lights. Warm and humorous, these tales are sure to be appreciated by both young and old.

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