By Scott Iwasaki
Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010 3:00 p.m. MDT
There are times when a parent will write a few songs for a child and the songs turn out cheesy, forced or just plain patronizing.
However, there are times when the songs work.
Singer/songwriter Sara Hickman, who just happens to be the official state musician of Texas, has created a DVD called “Big Bird, Little Bird” (Sleeveless, $20), featuring videos and songs especially geared to newborns and toddlers.
The DVD is mostly comprised of animated videos of songs from her award-winning 1999 CD titled “Newborn.”
The 11 songs and videos include classic family staples such as “You Are My Sunshine” and Cecil Frances Alexander’s “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” the latter done in soothing spoken word.
The videos accompanying the songs range from computer drawings to multimedia animation. Bright colors and simple lines and pictures are easy on the eyes and are highlighted with Hickman’s comforting melodies.
Two versions of Hickman’s “It’s Alright” (one a cappella and one with strings) bookend the music videos and in a subtle way show youngsters how music can also comfort a grown up.
The songs “A Slice of Heaven” and the DVD title track are equally empowering for any child.
In addition to the songs, there are 15 other video segments in which Hickman addresses new mothers and fathers on parenting tips. The topics include infant muscle development, pacifiers, methods of dealing with parental frustration and other tips on how to strengthen the bond between a parent and child through various forms of communication.
When I was raising newborns more than a decade ago, Hickman’s “Newborn” CD was always in the CD player. I wish this DVD had been available at that time.
Anyway, the “Big Bird, Little Bird” DVD is a delightful respite from the overmarketed trademark children’s music fare that is found in departments stores all over the country.
Hickman, a parent herself, has released family-friendly music throughout her career. And this DVD continues her ongoing journey to help children and parents find peace in a world of disorder.
Reprinted from Deseret News