The Year in Music for Kids Kids' music comes in virtually every style and stripe, and varies wildly in quality. The best kids' albums of 2007 have appeal for kids and adults alike, and are suitable for listening, even while the whole family is in the car together. Highlights include Recess Monkey and many more.


The Year in Music for Kids

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(Soundbite of song, "The Man from Utopia")

Mr. FRANK ZAPPA (Singer): (Singing) I know this girl. Her name is Mary Lou.

Unidentified Group: Mary Lou.

Mr. ZAPPA: (Singing) Her very, very favorite thing to do, to do.


The song we're hearing is on some list as a top recording of the year. It's inspired by (unintelligible) politely call Classic Rock like the Beatles and the Beach Boys - but it's for kids. And it was made with kids. Wonderstuff is a rock-opera made with the help of kids at the UCDS summer camp in Seattle.

And Wonderstuff by the Seattle-based band, Recess Monkey, is the top pick from Kathy O'Connell, host of Kids Corner on NPR's station WXPN in Philadelphia.

KATHY O'CONNELL: This is kind of the band's wide album. It's a two-disc set. It's kind of a multi-layered audio theater piece. But the best part of it is that the songs stand on their own. So you've got raps in it; you've got slacker dudes. You've got a male narrator named Penelope(ph), who kind of holds the whole thing together.

One of my favorite songs on the CD is something called "Don't Wanna Go To Bed," and it's this rhythmic kind of lit me of reasons to stay awake. But it sang by grown ups. It's kind of a role reversal. And through the whole song, you hear kids voices yelling go to sleep.

(Soundbite of song, "Don't Want To Go To Bed")

Unidentified Band: (Singing) I need you to…

Unidentified Group: Go to sleep.

Unidentified Band (Band): (Singing) I don't want to go to bed. I'm not sleepy head. Can we watch to see at bed? I don't want to go to bed. I'm not sleepy head. How about a game instead? I got the (unintelligible) PJs, monsters my room. Come up and chase them away with a broom.

Unidentified Group: Go to sleep.

O'CONNELL: "Pool" is another good one. It's as though Brian Wilson had written a kid song. It's about waiting for the time to pass between when you eat your lunch and you can go back into the pool.

(Soundbite of song, "Pool")

RECESS MONKEY (Band): (Singing) Just ate lunch, waited 15 minutes, I wanna, I wanna, wanna get right in it. All my friends are headed, headed where it's cool. All my friends are headed, headed to the pool. They're all headed to the pool.

O'CONNELL: And it's not suddenly goofy voices. It's just done with real, musical qualities, the same kind of musical quality that you would aim at an adult audience, they do for kids and family audience.

(Soundbite of song, "Pool")

RECESS MONKEY (Band): (Singing) Everybody's splashing in the big blue. They're all swimming in the pool.

INSKEEP: We got that review from Kathy O'Connell, host of Kids Corner at WXPN in Philadelphia. You can see and hear Kathy's picks on the top ten kid's albums of the year and two dozen more year-end top ten lists at our new music Web site,

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