I found the cassette version of Wee Sing Around the World (Wee Sing) for $2.99 last year in our grocery store bargain book bin, which, incidentally, has really yielded a surprising wealth of wonderful books! Unfortunately it is a tape and I have recently decided that we will definitely need a CD version due to all the use the poor old cassette gets.
I just found out that at Amazon, the CD and accompanying 64 page book is only $9.99, and is even eligible for the 4-for-3 promotion. I love that promotion. What a great excuse to by more fun books that I didn’t even know we needed! OK. So I am not exactly “simplifying my life” with this attitude, but it is all for my children’s sake really!
This collection consists of children’s songs from around the world. I count 40 countries on the list, most with one song, but the US has three (Native American, Native Hawaiian, and basic, classic kids’ song – “Eentsy Weentsy Spider”), India has two. When the songs are in a language other than English (as most are), then it is sung once in the native language and once in an English translation so we English-speakers can understand what it is about.
One of the things I like most about this collection are the introductions. Before each song the singer introduces him or herself by saying “Hello, my name is ____ and I am from___.” They first make their introduction in their native language, and then in English. So fascinating! I love hearing all the different languages, and so do my children. They often end up sitting on the kitchen counter top next to the speaker of our little counter top stereo so as not to miss a thing.
What a rare find, children’s music that I actually LIKE to listen to as much as they do. This is a very good thing since it is my 5 and 7 year-olds‘ favorite music, and has become our Kids Cook Night background music, and background music for many other moments as well.
The songs are all brief enough to accommodate short attention spans (even when sung in two languages). Since they hail from a wide range of different countries (Jamaica, Ghana, Iran, and Ukraine for example), they illustrate a variety of different musical styles.
One of the things that I hope to instill in my children is a sense of the beauty and variety of life around the world, yet the realization of how similar we all really are. I want them to understand for example, that while people from other countries might have different languages and different types of music, we all enjoy music and singing and dancing! I think that this collection is a great first step toward that very ambitious goal.
Photo thanks to morguefile.com and photographer clarita.