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Foreign Language & Culture

Sesame Street Playground Sesame Street Playground
Ages: Infant - 8 yrs.
Putumayo World Music, $14.98 (CD)   

Putumayo gives listeners a tour of the iconic public TV show's music as interpreted and heard in countries around the world. (It's "Galli Galli Sim Sim" in India, "Vila Sésame" in Brazil, "Killimani Sesame" in Tanzania.) Elmo sings his "Elmo Song," U.S.A. style, and the album includes the show's original "Sing" anthem, too. Sample the show's visual differences, including a rainbow of varied signature Muppet characters, in the accompanying DVD of "Sesame Street" music videos excerpted from shows in India, Mexico, Israel, South Africa and Russia.

Ages: Infant - 10 yrs.
Musical Kids International, $15.98 (CD)   

This noteworthy collection of traditional songs from Latin America and Spain are performed with authenticity and gusto; the accomplished musicians add heartfelt energy. Speakers of any language will find this enchanting.

African Dreamland African Dreamland
Ages: All Ages
Putumayo World Music, $15.99 (CD)   

The peaceful hush of famed Ladysmith Black Mambazo's dream-inspired "Nomathemba" ("Hope"). The extraordinary beauty of "Mimi," a song of thanks sung by noted, new artist Mapumba of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The soothing simplicity of "Usa Cheme" ("Don't Cry'), sweetly crooned by Zimbabwean singer Chiwoniso Maraire. "Salaman," an instrumental caress played on the African harp by Toumani Diabatè and Ballakè Sissoko of Mali. A tranquil respite from the day's rush and fuss awaits listeners of any age in this beautifully considered collection of African lullabies and gentle love songs.

Asian Dreamland
Ages: All Ages
Putumayo World Music, $14.98 (CD)   

A compilation of musically intriguing lullabies and soothing songs from the continent of Asia, the quality of the CD is beyond compare. As a collection of 10 mellow and relaxing songs from Japan, China, India, and the Siberian republic of Tatarstan, the songs work equally well for young children at naptime, and for adults during meditation, yoga or simply savoring rare quiet moments.

Brazilian Playground Brazilian Playground
Ages: All Ages
Putumayo Kids, $14.98 (CD)   

It's hard to go wrong with Putumayo's family-friendly collections of music from around the world. These effervescent, swing-and-sway, toe-tapping vocals and traditional and contemporary instrumentals include samba and bossa nova rhythms as part of many offerings from a variety of Brazilian cultures and traditions. The colorful liner notes add further dimension and interest.

French Playground French Playground
Ages: All Ages
Putumayo World Music, $15.98 (CD)   

Listeners travel to France, Haiti, the island of Mauritius and Canada's Quebec province in this well-produced, playful and atmospheric collection of songs sung in French. The liner notes, as usual, offer not only French and English lyrics, but little snippets of information about the songs and their context.

New Orleans Playground
Ages: All Ages
Putumayo World Music, $14.98 (CD)   

Drawing from the cream of the crop of New Orleans' Cajun and Zydeco musicians, and aided by some very tuneful kids, this album is thirty minutes of pure pleasure. Highlights include Clifton Chenier's jazzy "Choo Choo Boogie," The Meter's rocking boogiloo; "They All Ask'd For You," and Kermit Ruffin (and some great kids) doing the yummy, horns infused "Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner." Extensive liner notes provide background information about all the musicians and songs in four languages.

Reggae Playground Reggae Playground
Ages: All Ages
Putumayo World Music, $15.98 (CD)   

In a festive selection of tunes that reflect the crossover appeal and worldwide influence of reggae, Judy Mowatt, gets listeners moving with her rousing "Let’s Dance." Rita Marley’s classic anthem "Harambe" teaches the importance of respecting our differences and the need to work together. Several other artists from diverse musical traditions have also adopted the reggae style and made it their own in this collection.

Siente: Night Songs from Around the World
Ages: All Ages
Yellow Tail Records, $15.98 (CD)   

The care that went into this collection of lullabies - Indonesian, Spanish, Irish, Italian and more - is evident in each exquisite track, thoughtfully selected and executed with tenderness and grace. Classical guitarist Hilary Field did the research; her collaborator Patrice O'Neill supplies the lovely vocals; violin, flute, cello, piano and other instruments add layers of soft, rich textures. "Lullabies are love songs sung to children and passed on through generations, " Field and O'Neill say in the liner notes. Their album reflects that simple truth.

World Family Folk Celebration World Family Folk Celebration
Ages: All Ages
Maria Jameau, $15.00 (CD)   

In her first children's album, Maria Jameau displays a graceful empathy for sounds, rhythms and music that are just right for young to older children. World Family Folk Celebration features a multicultural mix of folk favorites which draw from a wide range of traditions including West Indies, Ghana, French, Yugoslavia, Korean and Mexico, among others. Her arrangements are fresh and lively, backed by professional World musicians. Jameau's love and enthusiasm for the music come shinning through on every track as she celebrates both musical and cultural diversity.

Barney: Celebrating Around the World Barney: Celebrating Around the World
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Andrea Blain Public Relations Inc., $14.98 (DVD)   

Celebrating Around the World uses the same formula of storytelling adventures as Barney and friends explore different cultural events across the globe. When party planning between two friends quickly turns into a bickering session, Barney uses the opportunity to teach them about tolerance. By taking a magical train, Barney, Baby Bop, BJ and friends travel around the world to see different cultures coming together to celebrate Carnival in Brazil, St. Patrick's Day in Ireland, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan, a music festival in Kenya and the Festival of Lights in India.

Spanish for Beginners: Vamos a Jugar Spanish for Beginners: Vamos a Jugar
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Whistlefritz LLC, $19.99 (DVD)   

Featuring children from infants to age 9 or so, young viewers are introduced to the names of body parts in Spanish through a combination of play, song and dance. Our pre-K test group participated happily and repeatedly, and began to pick up on some of the frequently used words and phrases. The gentle and skilled presenter serves as a bridge between the abstract and real life examples. The printed translation guide is an added bonus.

Cat with No Name Cat with No Name
Ages: 2 - 6 yrs.
Author: Nina Khashchina   Illustrator: Nina Khashchina  
Leaf Moon Arts / Storycard Theater, $19.95 (Hard Cover)   

Based on traditional Japanese picture-card dramas called kamishibai (paper theater), the Storycard Theater format allows you to read to a group of children while showing them the pictures. Storycard Theater dramas are printed on 12 sturdy, 13" x 9-5/8" cards. They're small enough to hold comfortably, yet large enough to showcase the colorful artwork. The back of each card features clear, kid-tested text and a smaller version of the image the audience is seeing.

Also look for: Moon Princess

Beth Manners' Playtime Spanish for Kids Beth Manners' Playtime Spanish for Kids
Ages: 2 - 7 yrs.
Future Boomers Corp., $12.98 (CD)   

Fun and fresh, this is a charming introduction to basic Spanish vocabulary. With ample opportunity to repeatedly hear the Spanish words as well as the English counterparts, the pace of the lessons is well suited for young ears. The lessons are cleverly punctuated with music and sound effects to help children of all ages retain the information presented.

Professor Toto Educational Multi-Media Kit - French Professor Toto Educational Multi-Media Kit - French
Ages: 2 - 12 yrs.
The Language Workshop for Children, $199.99 (CD)   

Professor Toto offers both an English and a French, Spanish, Italian or German version so children watch and listen in their native language first, then the target language. As they play Professor Toto's videos and CDs over and over, youngsters naturally transition to a second language -- while meeting new friends and having hours of fun!

The Professor Toto® Multi-Media Language Education Kit is a series of DVDs, CDs, and books that teach 2 to 12-year-olds a new language with The Language Workshop for Children's classroom-tested Thibaut Technique structured play method. Professor Toto keeps children actively engaged through colorful animation, lively characters and imaginative songs. Product Description

Look for these Professor Toto products:

Audio CDs
Professor Toto Educational Multi-Media Kit - French
Professor Toto Educational Multi-Media Kit - Spanish
Sing & Learn French with Professor Toto Starter Kit
Sing & Learn German with Professor Toto Starter Kit
Sing & Learn Italian with Professor Toto Starter Kit
Sing & Learn Spanish with Professor Toto Starter Kit

Watch & Learn French with Professor Toto Starter kit
Watch & Learn German with Professor Toto Starter Kit
Watch & Learn Italian with Professor Toto Starter kit
Watch & Learn Spanish with Professor Toto Starter kit

Porompompom Porompompom
Ages: 2 - 15 yrs.
Toucan Records, $14.00 (CD)   

Porompompom, a multi-cultural album containing folk music and children's music in six languages: Spanish, English, German, Quechua, Portuguese, and French Creole, is produced and performed by La Negra Karin and Family a group comprised of Panamanian born musician Edgar East and his partner Columbian born musician Karin Stein, their three daughters Maya, Marta, and Emma and a host of friends and family members. By connecting to the album's web link you can access printable lyrics, translations and pronunciations, as well as (for a separate fee) a Latin America Music And Culture Kit. This CD is an excellent resource for families and educators wishing to teach children about multiculturalism, in a lively, joyful and natural style and manner.

¡Al  Agua Pato! ¡Al Agua Pato!
Ages: 3 - 10 yrs.
Cantaré Music, $15.00 (CD)   

This authentic and delightful sampling of Spanish folk songs for children includes male, female and, children's voices of impressive quality and models of singing. The songs are sing-able and well produced. The variety, pacing and tempo of each selection combined with the fine performances make for an enjoyable listening experience.

Hawaiian Kiddie Luau
Ages: 3 & Up
Kuleana Productions LLC, $16.99 (CD)   

Hula is a dance form accompanied by chant or song, developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians settlers. The chant or song is called a mele; the hula dramatizes or comments on the mele. Hawaiian Kiddie Luau features twelve tracks, ten different songs; two repeated with different singers and instrumentation for "sing-a-long" purposes. Produced in Hawaii by the Kuleana label, this is an appropriate and respectful introduction to Hawaiian music and dance for children (in spite of it's cover illustration).

Disney/Pixar's Dora the Explorer Camping Adventure: Explore Spanish Words! Disney/Pixar's Dora the Explorer Camping Adventure: Explore Spanish Words!
Ages: 4 - 7 yrs.
LeapFrog Enterprises, $19.99

Young players can choose from one of three games around the virtual campsite: a canoe game, an animal hunt and a sing-along, with additional levels and choices within each of the main games. The "canoe" and "animal hunt" sub games ask the player to find or identify objects using English and then Spanish word prompts. Once the user has identified three objects in a given category (for instance, cat=gatto), he or she receives a page in a camping journal. Players can then view the journal, which shows each collected item on its own page complete with a Spanish label and audio identification.

My America
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Jan S. Gilchrist   Illustrator: Ashley Bryan  
HarperCollins Childrens Books, $16.99 (Hard Cover)   

In this stunning tribute to our country, Coretta Scott King Award winners Ashley Bryan and Jan Spivey Gilchrist remind us that America's strength and beauty come from the diversity of its people, wildlife, and landscape.

Divirtàmonos Aprendiendo Con Hap Palmer (Let's Have Fun Learning with Hap Palmer) Divirtàmonos Aprendiendo Con Hap Palmer (Let's Have Fun Learning with Hap Palmer)
Ages: 4 - 10 yrs.
Hap-Pal Music, $14.95 (CD)   

Hap Palmer, a pioneer in early childhood educational music, sings Spanish versions of 12 of his most popular songs using music, movement and fun to build vocabulary, to teach math and language and to develop movement skills.

The Legend of the Quetzal - Tales and Tunes of Latin America
Ages: 5 - 9 yrs.
Motherlotus Records, $14.99 (CD)   

When crises arise, talking and listening to each other can go a long way to help avoid fighting and to help solve practically any problem. This message is the underlying theme of the stories and songs on this CD, beginning with the title story (The Legend of the Quetzal) in which an insignificant creature saves the entire village through its bravery and willingness to give its life for others-even after bigger creatures have demonstrated their cowardice. The narrator's introductions and accompanying songs help young learners associate Spanish words with their English equiva-lents via repetitions in both Spanish and English.

Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection
Ages: 5 - 10 yrs.
Author: F. Isabel Campoy   Author: Alma Flor Ada   Illustrator: Felipe Davalos   Illustrator: Susan Guevara   Illustrator: Leyla Torres   Illustrator: Vivi Escriva  
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $19.95 (Hard Cover)   

Gathered from the various spots on the globe that comprise the Hispanic heritage—from the Basques northeast and Celtic northwest corners of Spain through the Arab influences of southern Spain to the Americas, these twelve stories have been polished by the retellings from one generation to another; from grandmothers to grandchildren.

Sky Sweeper
Ages: 5 & Up
Author: Phillis Gershator   Illustrator: Holly Meade  
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.00 (Hard Cover)   

Centuries ago, Japanese monks depended on "Flower Keepers" to maintain the quiet beauty of their temple gardens. This is the story of Takeboki, a lifelong Flower Keeper whose name comes from the Japanese word for bamboo broom. When others criticize him for not traveling the world or dressing in fine clothes, he simply responds, "I'm happy sweeping." In delicately poetic language, Gershator's story illustrates several Buddhist principles, including the idea that a single flower says more than words.

The Rough Guide to Latin Music for Children The Rough Guide to Latin Music for Children
Ages: 5 & Up
World Music Network, $14.98 (CD)   

With tracks chosen by children for children, this CD features a diverse offering of music from across the Spanish-speaking world. World Music Network, with the help of the charity Music for Change, spoke to more than a thousand children who selected their favorite Latin American songs. The resulting CD is packed with rhythms including salsa, tango, merengue and samba-reggae, presenting a snapshot of sounds from Latin America.

Kahani Kahani
Ages: 6 - 11 yrs.
Kahani Media,

Kahani is dedicated to introducing young readers to the children of South Asian descent living in North America. Although described as an alternative publication, this literary magazine reflects unique life experiences from which each of us can learn.

Karito Kids: LuLu doll & Karito Kids: LuLu doll & "Nairobi Nightmare" book
Ages: 6 & Up
KidsGive, $99.99

Like all the Karito Kids, Lulu is a 21-inch poseable play doll with a unique face sculpt that reflects the beauty of her ethnicity. Lulu comes with 1 outfit and a hard-bound fictional 143-page chapter book that includes a fun 8-page scrapbook done by Lulu about her country! Lulu is made of phthalate-free vinyl with a torso that is 1/3 vinyl and 2/3 soft 100% cotton filled with polyester fill. Product Description

Also look for: Karito Kids: Gia doll & "Florence Fiasco" Book, Karito Kids: Pita Doll & "Mexico Mystery" Book, Karito Kids: Wan Ling Doll & "Shanghai Secret" Book, Karito Kids: Zoe Doll & "The Manhattan Menace" Book

Speak In A Week Italian For You Speak In A Week Italian For You
Ages: 7 - 12 yrs.
Author: Penton Overseas Inc  
Penton Overseas Inc., $16.95 (Hard Cover)   

Thirty-one colorful, illustrated lessons, provide a comprehensive review of a new language, and detailed glossaries provide all the basic tools to learn another language. Each page features the target language on one side and English on the reverse, with an illustration providing the visual clues and memory hooks to increase speed of comprehension, plus extra grammar tips, helpful hints, and cultural insights to enrich your learning experience. Audio CD provides native pronunciation of all material presented plus Mastery Exercises for comprehensive review.

Also look for Speak In a Week: French, German, and Spanish.

Around the World Cookbook Around the World Cookbook
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Abigail J Dodge  
DK Publishing, $19.99 (Hard Cover)   

A showcase of more than 50 recipes from around the world, each recipe section highlights a different region and the countries within it, emphasizing the food as well as the history and culture. Especially helpful is section on basic cooking techniques the "Gather Your Gear" section, which explains the different tools needed for the recipes and how to use them safely (steps that might be dangerous are marked with a warning symbol so adults know to stand by and help with those).

Faces Faces
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
Carus Publishing Company,

Faces helps kids ages 9 and up (grades 4 and up) understand how people in other countries and cultures live. Each issue focuses on a different culture - from Jordan to the emerging Asian states - including stories about daily life, folk tales, and history and traditions of the people and places.

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