Sunday, August 9, 2015

Family Friendly Music that Makes Kids Smile



We were just introduced to a new CD for the family called Cuddlebug Parade! And I'm so glad we were! Michal "Peanut" Karmi is the L.A.-based musician who has created this little gem.

As a mom of three children, music has always been an important part of our everyday experience. Now that my kids are getting older (10, 7.9 and 4.6 years old), their tastes and requests are evolving more into the pop genre, which includes the Kidz Bop and Disney channels on SiriusXM, away from the Kids Place Live, that has always been my fave choice for the family ride. Cuddlebug Parade has brought back some of that early childhood silliness that we love.

To be honest, in attempting to review this CD, it was extremely difficult to get all the children to settle down and listen with me. 'Herding squirrels' is my reality these days. However, I was able to play Peanut's music for the kids individually, one-by-one, and even for their neighbor friends. Here are some of the comments I gathered from them:
"She's so pretty!"
"I love her voice!"
"I like her creativity!"
"I love ALL the songs!" 
Personally, I am smitten with Peanut and Cuddlebug Parade. It is definitely NOT obnoxious and annoying like some children's music. The songs are all very unique; some are silly, fun and playful, others are educational, while others are sweet and mellow. The lyrics are so cute and catchy, as are the various instruments that are played (ukelele, drums, bass, not to mention hand claps and finger snaps.) My youngest chickadee and I listened to the whole CD together and were immediately singing along and laughing with the music. I treasure sweet moments like that with my children. Especially now that I'm getting a taste for the pre-teen angst with my oldest. :/ But I'm hopeful if I continue to play quality music like this for her, it will suspend some of her hostility.

I genuinely think that Peanut is one of those gifted people who connects with children and touches their lives. Reading about her background is very inspiring. Peanut says of her musical journey:
"After I graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Sustainable Food Systems and Environmental Ethics, I looked for a way to combine this rigorous course of study with a profession that was right for me. Happily, my efforts led me to build a career in children's music through an eco-friendly, animal-friendly, humanitarian, love-oriented lens. Besides, when my voice makes tiny little humans light up, and I see that it is touching their hearts, I know I'm doing what I'm meant to do."
"My great joy is sharing my music with children.  All I ask is a chance to touch their lives with truly appropriate, kid-friendly music that makes children smile, feel good, and think at the same time."
I think it's so cool that Peanut is fluent in three languages (English, Spanish and Hebrew) and incorporates it in several of her songs. She was raised in Israel and had lots of travel exposure including backpacking/hosteling in Central America. Apparently she performs at the farmers market in L.A., which would be awesome to go see sometime.

We watched some of her videos on YouTube and they are highly entertaining! I encourage you to watch them with your kids. It's irresistible to smile and sing along. This one was my youngest chickadee's fave - "Silly Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."



The Cuddlebug Parade CD include these songs for your listening enjoyment:
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Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this music review; I was provided a free download of the CD to facilitate a review. My opinion of the music is authentic.