Get your kids off their electronic devices and TVs with some invigorating, inspiring and relaxing music that’s meant just for them but has wide appeal. These new children’s CDs are high-quality entertainment for all ages. If not mentioned, prices vary.

Mundo Verde/Green World

By Mister G., Coil Records; $14.99 CD, $9.99 digital download

Latin Grammy Award-winner Mister G. is a bilingual rocker with captivating tunes and lyrics. In Mundo Verde/Green World, his latest and eighth CD, his aim is environmental responsibility and uniting people of all ages and ethnicities to support global conservation.

The pathway to this most important message is fun, upbeat and joyful, but points out the sense of urgency to fight for our beautiful world.

The zesty collection of bilingual songs features Mister G.’s collaborations with major Latin stars, including merengue idols 440, Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco (who has played with David Byrne and the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and other jazz legends and Grammy Award winners.

The eclectic tunes range in style, from bomba and samba, to reggae and bossa nova, with bilingual song titles such as “​Cuantos Peces/How Many Fish,” “Las Abejas/The Bees” and “Pachamana/Mother Earth.”

Mister G. even performed at the national climate rally in Washington, D.C., and he often does national tours. He truly aims to empower families to “protect the one planet we share.”

Click here for more information about Mister G.

Songs of PEACE & LOVE for Kids & Parents Around the World!

Ladysmith Black Mambazo; 716824 Records DK

For nearly 60 years, South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has been singing its message of peace to all, winning four Grammy Awards and nominated for 17.

Nelson Mandela even designated the group “South Africa’s cultural ambassadors.” Though Mandela died four years ago, the group continues to sing his message of peace at every concert.

Songs on the group’s newest album, Songs of PEACE & LOVE for Kids & Parents Around the World!, include “All Women Are Beautiful,” “Go Well and Peace Be With You,” “Love Your Neighbor” and the fun “Everything’s So Stupid!” Its message of unity will be promoted on tour from January to April.

Click here for ordering information from Ladysmith Black Mambazo.


By Jess Penner; Position Music/Recurrent Records

Bubbly Jess Penner won a BMI Foundation songwriting contest with her indie-electro-pop sound that’s been called raw, intimate and cool. Her aim as an artist is to encourage kids to dream, savor life and know they have the power to do anything they put their minds to.

Penner’s songs have made it into ads, movie trailers and TV shows, and her love of singing for children shines through splendidly.

Songs on her album, Imagination, include “I’ve Got No Strings,” “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon” and the original “Forever in My Heart.”

Fresh, clear and lovely, Penner’s songs are as lilting and fun as can be.

Just Dance

By Twinkle; Twinkle Time Records; $10 CD & download

Called the kids version of Lady Gaga, effervescent Peruvian-American artist Twinkle recently released her energetic pop and glam hip-hop dance CD, Just Dance, which should move kids off the couch to shimmy and shake.

With an EDM slant and a positive, life-affirming theme, Just Dance makes sure the Bruno Mars- or Lady Gaga-esque music is age-appropriate and unique, like “a whirling, swirling ... confetti explosion!”

It’s wild and fun, perfect for dance parties and exercise time.

Lead Belly, Baby!

From Dan Zanes and Friends; Smithsonian Folkways

Iconic children’s performer Dan Zanes says Lead Belly was the reason he became a singer. Belly was “The King of the 12-String Guitar,” who loved performing for children.

On Lead Belly, Baby!, his folk standards are performed in a variety of styles by Zanes and friends, with smart wordplay and uber-cool presentation.

Like Belly, Zanes’ dozen albums draw innumerable family fans.

From MCs who trade lines on “Skip to My Lou” to a psychedelic folk interpretation of “Rock Island Line” and a bilingual version of “Cotton Fields,” the album offers up 15 groovy tunes, a 40-page booklet with lyrics and liner notes, and top-notch presentation from Smithsonian Folkways.

— Lee Littlewood writes the Kids’ Home Library column for Creators. The San Diego wife and mom’s pure love of children’s literature helps her stay interested in words and pictures meant for tots to teens. Click here to contact her, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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