Artist: Various Artists (The Secret Mountain)
Album: Songs from a Journey with a Parrot: Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from Brazil and Portugal
Age Range: 0 through 6
Description: The latest book/CD combo from Canadian publisher The Secret Mountain heads to a couple Portuguese-speaking countries for a selection of lullabies and nursery rhymes. The selection (originally published in France in 2003) is well-produced and diverse in its musical stylings (the songs were collected by Magdalene Lerasle). Unlike the Putumayo disks, which are typically compilations of previously-recorded material from a wide range of artists, each Secret Mountain production tends to keep itself to a narrower range of artists. Here arranger Paul Mindy leads a handful of vocalists. The adults may want to turn to the detailed liner notes (lyrics, translated lyrics, song backgrounds, credits) in the back while the kids will probably stick with the front half and Aurelia Fronty's vibrant illustrations and brief lyrical snippets.
The 45-minute album is a lot more uptempo than the subtitle "Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes" might suggest, so if you're looking for a lullaby album, look elsewhere. But for a playful collection of Latin melodies (and non-Spanish-language ones at that), this is an excellent introduction. Recommended.