Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Kid Pan Alley: I Used to Know the Names of All the Stars

Kid Pan Alley: I Used to Know the Names of All the Stars

Fall 2010 Music
Ages: 5 & Up
Producer: Kid Pan Alley
CD Price: $15.00

Crushes, losses, fears, wishes, family, friends and expanding horizons are the subjects of this winning collection of songs. Most are inspired by the real-life grade-schoolers in Charlottesville, Virginia area schools working with songwriters Paul Reisler and Terri Allard. The poignant title track captures a child's wistful look back at a younger self. A mom dispels that scary something in the closet in "My Mother is a Dream Catcher" and "Take a Chance" urges kids to open up to life's possibilities. And then there's "My Dog Did My Homework," a funny spin on that old excuse, written by third graders with Reisler and Allard: "My dog did my homework/And I accidentally ate it/It tasted like science/It tasted like math…."

Sissy Spacek and John McCutcheon are among the expressive singers who bring the songs to life. The music is a cut above, layered with expertise and style. Part of Reisler's respected, curriculum-based music enrichment program, these collaborative songs underscore the sense of discovery that can result when kids are listened to and encouraged to explore the rich territory of their imaginations.

Lynne Heffley   ©2010 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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