A playlist of cool things for cool kids!

Kids rock! There's no question about it. They are simply much cooler than you and me. This playlist is for those of us just trying to keep up with these mod toddlers and hip preschoolers. It's about promoting children's books, music, and other media that rock just as much as our kids do. Check out something cool for your cool kid.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Yo Gabba Gabba

A friend of mine once said that all kids are on acid. Which I took to mean they experience life as full of magic and music,  in vivid color, attended by dancing robots and monsters, and in thrall to a benevolent disco puppetmaster. Which basically describes this show. Yo Gabba Gabba! (hey!) I felt a slight prick of guilt as my son watched a Super Music Friend Show segment featuring Cornelius performing their heavy psychedelic number Count Five or Six while stars sprung forth from the forehead of -- was that a unicorn? I had to pinch myself.  I was tempted to ask him if he was seeing what I was seeing.  

But there's more:  Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh does the art segment. Biz Markie hosts a Beat of the Day. Guest stars have included the Shins, Tony Hawk, and Laila Ali. There is great music by Dean & Britta, Mark Kozelek, and others. Children's programming on TV is typically askew (see also: Teletubbies, The Muppet Show, H.R. Pufnstuf, etc.) but this show is pretty screwy by any standard.  Check it out. 

You can buy episodes on iTunes or catch it on Noggin/Nickelodeon.  

Sunday, June 29, 2008

And Tango Makes Three

At first glance, this book might seem out of place here. The artwork is certainly conventional. The story of two loving parents is conventional as well. But make no mistake: this book rocks.   Based on the true story of two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo who become loving adoptive parents of a baby penguin, Tango. What is bravest about this book is how traditional this loving family is presented. Highly recommended.  Bonus points: It's one of the most banned books in America!

Buy this book:  And Tango Makes Three

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's Okay to Be Different

It's actually TOTALLY AWESOME to be different. But this is a minor quibble for such a charming book with an important lesson for kids. It is, for example, okay to have two mommies or two daddies. Or to eat macaroni in the bathtub (though no one would dare legislate against that!) Your child will love the bright illustrations (think Keith Haring). Todd Parr's work as a whole is positive and fun, but this book in particular feels very generous and true.

Buy this book: It's Okay to Be Different

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Elizabeth Mitchell

Ida has long been a favorite band of mine. In fact, Ida probably qualifies as "music for parents that kids will like too." When Elizabeth Mitchell became a mom (with Ida bandmate/husband Dan Littleton) they began to record some lovely records for children: You Are My Flower, You Are My Sunshine, You Are My Little Bird. There are many classic songs on these records that your child will recognize instantly. And better still, there are some inspired covers like "What Goes On" by the Velvet Underground! I can't recommend these records enough. They are filled with warm, acoustic arrangements and lovely harmonies. Elizabeth also recorded an album of children's music with Lisa Loeb called Catch the Moon.

Buy these albums:

You Are My Little Bird

You Are My Sunshine

You Are My Flower

Catch The Moon

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sergio Makes a Splash

This cute penguin gets over his fear of swimming. The simple color pallette and sharp design are very charming. Hipster points: this guys designs posters for rock bands like the Arcade Fire.

Buy this book: Sergio Makes a Splash