Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

In My Hometown

In My Hometown

1998 Music
Ages: 5 - 10 yrs.
Performed By: Tom Chapin
Producer: Sony Wonder
CD Price: $13.98
Tape Price: $9.98
Here's a town worth a long visit. All sunshine and effervescent life, these new songs, presented in a variety of upbeat rhythms, take listeners on a bubbly, clever tour of the people, places and daily happenings in an offbeat, fictional town, where the comical "Dog Rules" features a doo-wop canine chorus and "Gerti's Birdseed Diner" caters to a varied, feathered clientele. In "A Mozart Duet" the composer pops up to give a frustrated young piano player some advice. "Goosetown Halloween" is a giggle, with cartoony-spooky rhythms and lyrics that tell a tall tale about what happens at the fire department's annual trick-or-treat party. "Boogie Woogie Chase" is an energetic "follow the leader" song. You'll find an unusually active "Homemade Lemonade" stand and "Da Baby Sitter" is very unusual indeed: Harry the Hat, who makes kids an offer they can't refuse--and wouldn't if they could.

Chapin gets serious, too, and the results are equally involving. “Muhheakunnuk,” is a moving tribute to a river “that flows both ways,” and to its lessons of its troubled past that resonate in the present. “Our Next-Door Neighbor, The Moon” and “It Feels Like Home” are the album’s soulful, horizon-expanding wrap-ups.

Lynne Heffley   ©1998 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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