***Little Miss Ann***

OK, we all know the superpop kids' album thing can be done, and done well (see Morgan Taylor's Gustafer Yellowgold, Doug Snyder's the Jellydots, Lee Feldman's STARBOY, etc.). So, after hearing several amazing records geared toward, say, six- to ten-year-olds, it's refreshing to find a nice little CD like this. Little Miss Ann's Music for Tots is exactly that: tunes your littlest music fans can recite, sing with and dance along to.

Ann Torralba is an alumnus of Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, home of the Wiggleworms children's music programs and creator of three CDs chock full of traditional folk songs. Torralba and her husband have recorded an album of songs that are really ... well, for lack of a better term, groovy, but I mean that in the best way possible. The production is very warm and intimate, and there are lots of killer harmonies. Think Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention with less elaborate instrumentation and simpler vocal arrangements.

The album begins with Torralba's quietly welcoming "Hello", and follows with Arthur Hamilton's "Sing a Rainbow" from the movie Pete Kelly's Blues, but Torralba's arrangement, I swear, could have been a soda pop commercial in the early 70s. Next is "Pirate Ship", a great Toddler Time movement song; then comes Torralba's funky "Dance with Your Daddy", and a completely original arrangement of Jimmie Davis' "You Are My Sunshine".

The silly "Edamame", based on the traditional "I Had a Rooster", offers an international buffet for the listener (who knew tortillas and latkes grew on trees?), and the simple but extremely catchy adaptation of "There's a Little Wheel" coulda been a hit for Linda Ronstadt back in the mid-70s. The album ends with Torralba's "Moon Jelly", Elizabeth Cotton's "Freight Train", and the traditional "Golden Slumbers".

This is a cozy and fun CD worthy of any preschooler's music collection. Get one for their daycare or Kindergarten classroom, as well. I think they'll dig it.

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