Julie’s November Media Round-up

Ahhh… the baby movies. We’re baaaack. Except this time, I have the big boys to tell me what’s hot and what’s not. And, honestly, they’re loving the old Baby Einstein’s (which is why I’m not returning mine for a refund.) We recently found a few new ones DVDs to enjoy as well. And, of course, some new music which is always welcome in our Pilot.

sosmart So Smart! Productions and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment released a new DVD series this fall. In the So Smart! Baby’s First Word Stories series, which is aimed at ages 1-3, children and parents watch stories based around the theme word, in the case of the sample we received, House, Pets, Get Dressed. Through the main characters, children are introduced to the theme word, then sentences and a story form around the base word. The DVD smoothly and calmly introduces young children to language, and how words form meaning. Of course, parents are encouraged to watch the DVD with the child and interact throughout.  The kids enjoyed watching this DVD together. The boys “educated” the baby, describing and narrating when the real narrators were quiet.

zenbaby For calmer times, we’re enjoying Zen Baby. Both the sound and the picture are calming, a great one to watch when you need a quiet break or a change of pace. The children all watched this one quietly. While its created for babies and toddlers, even my 6 year old was mesmerized watching the inspiring images and listening to the sounds. He surprised me by asking for it again.

put While its not quite time to be belting out holiday music, I do love playing it and recently sampled Putumayo Kids’ A Family Christmas. As always with Putumayo, the album has an eclectic mix of style and culture, this time singing Christmas music. You’ll find Christmas classics and favorites on this CD, mixed into jazz, country and blues. I’ll admit, as annoyed as I get with early sales and decoration, sneaking in listens to this CD is getting me into the spirit early this year.

waggaloo If you love folk, then this very folksy CD should definitely be on your list for your family. Released last month, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Family’s Go Waggaloo is a fun CD with songs easy to sing along to. And while the sound is folk, you’ll be surprised to find songs about DVDs mixed in with She’ll Be Coming ’round the Mountain. Most of the tracks on this CD were written by Sarah Lee or by her Grandfather, Woody Guthrie, who is best known for penning “This Land is Your Land”.

gnr This months’ release of RockABye Baby!’s Lullabye Renditions of Guns & Roses once again takes heavy rock (now aka “classic rock”) and does what many never would have thought possible, makes it pretty and calm. The kids relax in the car listening to bells and soft chords playing Patience, while I sing out the words I remember from high school, and they think I’m making them up. The husband and I have become big fans of RockABye Baby Lullabye Renditions and shake our heads in disbelief every time they add another favorite to the collection.

snow New from MacMillan Audio, we’re enjoying Snow, by Uri Shulevitz. The book and CD set make a great gift, and the kids, who don’t get carsick, love paging through, enjoying the Caldecott Honor pictures as we drive around. The 4-year-old especially loves “reading along.” Snow is one of many in the children’s audio book and CD sets from MacMillan Audio.

Finally, being released November 17 is Eat a Bowl of Cherries by the Rhythm Child. Included with the CD, which is up for a Grammy award nomination, is a rhythm shaker that the kids love. We’re having a great time boppin’ a long to the fantastic beat. The music is a mix of blues with a little bit of classic rock. A lot of old favorites (like Wheels on the Bus) have been changed up for a modern twist.  Trust my 4-year-old, this is ”much fun music” in a very fun CD, totally worth pre-ordering it today. Or wait til next week when you can sample the music. But I know you’ll love it.

All items reviewed in this post were provided by their parent companies or agencies as samples for review. Additionally, the producers of the So Smart DVDs are personal friends of the writer.

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