Reader's Digest - Children's Songbook: Over 130 All-Time Favorites To Play, Listen And Sing

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Nursery Rhymes, Party Tunes, Funny Songs, and More

Dec 8, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The trivia facts about each song; 130 tunes included

Cons:The CD has only 12 songs

The Bottom Line: This is a nice, large songbook that belongs in any home with young children. The CD isn't much, but the book is very useful.

Kids love music. When they are young and innocent, children are attracted to music instantly and some will dance and sing to the tunes they hear on television or on the radio. My two little girls love to sing songs and dance and they like most any type of music. Their interest is what led me to purchase this book, Reader’s Digest Children’s Songbook: Over 130 All- Time Favorites to Play, Listen, and Sing, a musical book for kids.

Basic Contents of This Book:

This 252- page book is both spiral- bound and hard- bound. It includes the following sections:

Index to Sections
Index to Songs

After these opening sections (comprising the first three pages), the book then launches into the songs themselves. The songs are divided into sections of songs with similar themes. Some of the themes include “Tunes from Cartoons”, “Absolute Nonsense”, “Party Dances”, and “Nursery Rhymes”. Each song includes a brief background on the song, followed by sheet music and the lyrics. If the writer of the song is known, it is indicated beneath the song title. Along with the book, there is also a music CD. This CD includes a total of twelve songs, with each of them coming from the book.

Final Thoughts:

Reader’s Digest Children Songbook is a good book to have on hand for anyone with young children. Most all children love songs, and my two little girls are no exception. They love to dance to music of any type, and they enjoy trying to sing the lyrics of songs, even if they usually come out as jumbled, impossible- to- understand words.

Since my girls love their tunes, I picked up this songbook for them. They cannot read, of course, so they have no interest in looking through the pages. Each of the songs does include a drawing at the top, complete with animals and other figures, and kids do like these pictures, but the majority of the pages in this book are sheet music, so there are limits to what kids can do. This book is intended, of course, as an adult song guide: A reference to 130 classic children’s tunes that kids have been enjoying for generations. From the Muppet Show Theme to Happy Birthday, this book contains many children favorites. The only missing ingredient is the adult or older brother/sister who can read the lyrics and sing along with the child.

One surprise with this book is the background information on each song. There are facts about the songs, like the composer and any popular recordings, along with trivial facts for some of the tunes. I like this part of the book for its educational value. Children won’t care about this at all- it’s the adults in the household who will enjoy reading these tidbits of music trivia.

The songs included in this book are very good and there is a wide enough variety that all children will find something they like. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the included CD. My main complaint with the CD is that it includes only 12 songs. When I first purchased this book, I wasn’t paying close attention and didn’t realize the CD had only twelve tunes. Of course, I wasn’t expecting all 130 songs to appear on a single CD. But I certainly expected more than 12. Also, the singing isn’t the greatest on all the songs. There are several that I skip each time I play the CD to my girls, mainly because I get irritated with the singing.

Overall, Reader’s Digest Children Songbook is a good book to have in the house. Many adults already know the lyrics to some of these songs by heart, but it is still nice to have a book like this for looking up less popular songs and for looking up new songs to introduce to young children (as well as having the sheet music so pianists and guitarists know how to play the songs on their instruments). The CD is a disappointment, but the songbook itself is worth the expenditure and I recommend it to anyone who has youngsters in the house.

Recommend this product? Yes

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