With experience singing in Old Town School of Folk Music Wiggleworms classes, Chicago-based Ann Torralba would seem a logical choice for recording a CD targeted at the preschool set. And sure enough her debut kids' CD as "Little Miss Ann," Music For Tots, is geared for exactly those kids. A folk-poppy blend of traditional kids' songs, covers, and originals, the 22-minute disk is notable for its arrangements, which take out-of-the-ordinary approaches to familiar songs. Sometimes these arrangements sound great, such as on "You Are My Sunshine," which is given a different melody and jazzy percussion background, or "Pirate Ship," which employs a tin whistle to fun effect. Other tracks' arrangements aren't as endearing (the rhythm on the Pete Seeger-inspired "Edamame" was just, well, too angular, for example), but Torralba gets points for at least trying something different. (And I particularly enjoyed the Torralba originals.)
The disk is appropriate for kids ages 1 through 5. You can hear samples of all the tracks (and purchase the CD) here. With its reinterpretations of traditional songs, this disk would work really well in preschool programs. And while I don't think the CD will become the favorite of many families, Little Miss Ann's musical and lyrical re-interpretations on Music For Tots are good for the occasional sing-along for young families.