Silly Songs That Tickle Funny Bones
Storytelling with a smile, served up by such accomplished humorists as Daniel Pinkwater and Bill Harley. Romps through the ups and downs of childhood by a slew of wonderful musical artists. Audio books that are read with just the right narrative touch to add an irresistible dimension to an author’s work.
Of course, a terrific family movie can be a blast for families to share, but entertainment that’s listened to, rather than watched, goes just about anywhere—during travel time, chore time, bedtime—and the best part is that the imagination supplies the pictures. Here are some releases that come with quality smile time.
This Grammy-winning alt-pop duo’s first CD is off-the-wall wacky and as playful as all get out with songs that gleefully bend reality. Its second ABC’s release follows suit, and manages to be educational to boot.
Dan Crow Live: Songs and Comedy for Kids & Kin.
Ages: 4 - 6 yrs.
Performed By: Dan Crow
Allshouse Family Entertainment, $20.00 (CD)
Children’s music veteran Dan Crow, a pun-master and word-play wizard, is about as goofy as they come, yet nearly every one of his silly songs and shaggy dog stories has an educational aim. He just thinks that if kids are going to get acquainted with homophones and homonyms, vowel sounds and consonants, they might as well have a giggle doing it.
Richard Perlmutter’s witty, Grammy-nominated albums combine humor, satire and an infectious appreciation for classical music by adding lyrics to famous works by great composers.
The Town Around the Bend
Ages: 4 & Up
Round River Records, $15.00 (CD)
Humorist Bill Harley is in top form in this tall tale about the zany town he lives in, where pillows sing, belly buttons are not what you think, and it’s "Nighty Noodles" to all.
It’s a Puzzle
Ages: 5 - 12 yrs.
Producer: Trout Records, $14.98 (CD)
Inventive duo Trout Fishing in America melds musical sophistication with daffy lyrics in songs that fly far afield, from cafeteria lunches to a black bug looking for a belly rub.
The Moose Tales
Ages: 5 & Up
By: Daniel Pinkwater
Audio Literature, Check Your Local Stores or Library for Pricing & Availability
An oldie but goody, one of children’s book author Pinkwater’s all-time best for ages 5 and up and most definitely for adults, too. In this collection of hilarious tales, read by Pinkwater, a blue moose in the backwoods is hired as a waiter, becomes a best-selling author and a celebrity, then looks for a 50-foot moose monster with fangs.
Pat Dailey Sings Shel Silverstein’s Underwater Land
Ages: 6 - 12 yrs.
Olympia Records, $17.98 (CD)
Shel Silverstein, who died in 1999, left a legacy of brilliantly humorous wordplay (think of "Where the Sidewalk Ends, "A Light in the Attic," and on the gentle side, his deeply moving parable, "The Giving Tree." ) Silverstein's longtime collaborator, singer-guitarist Pat Dailey, here turns some of that richly comic legacy into a riot of musical gold.
Old Mr. Mackle Hackle
Ages: 7 & Up
Performed By: Gunnar Madsen
T-Rexes were "Born to Chew," a little pig lives life "The Evelyn Way" and a mosquito sings comic operetta as Gunnar Madsen, founding member of the capella group the Bobs, mines gold from the wildly fantastical and the everyday.
Ages: 8 & Up
Written By: Eoin Colfer Read By: Nathaniel Parker
Listening Library/Random House, $28.00 (CD)
Eoin Colfer’s mad action thriller for ages 8 and up, read by British actor Nathaniel Parker, about a 12-year-old mastermind, who discovers magical and militaristic fairies, covets their advanced technology and abducts a captain of the elite "LEPrecon Unit."
Celery Stalks at Midnight
Ages: 8 & Up
Youngheart, Check Your Local Stores or Library for Pricing & Availability
Canadian comic Al Simmons takes an off-the-wall approach to humor with this album for ages 8 and up that sports a funny film noir send-up as the title track, a "Clothes Encounters" laundry saga with a waggish flavor of "St. James Infirmary," old time novelty songs and puns galore.
Ralph’s World: Peggy’s Pie Parlor
Ages: All Ages
Mini-Fresh, $15.98 (CD)
Cavemen, bears who tango, a banana-seat bike and polkas: a terrific romp from Chicago rocker Ralph Covert, who’s made a splash in recent years with inventive tunes set in the highly fanciful world of his offbeat imagination.