Using a remarkable talent that is normally marketed to older listeners, Texas State Musician Sara Hickman has produced a video album for children that will strike a range of chords in everyone listening to her resonant voice. The songs are about love, family and bonding, which she sings from the heart. Each is brought to life visually with delightful graphics unique to each track; the colorful images are set into gentle motion to capture and develop young attention spans. From a cappella renditions to acoustic and string accompaniment, everything in this set is pitch-perfect. The tender lyrics – both uncomplicated and easy to sing-along with – hint at the challenges ahead for budding personalities who will continue to turn to these songs as they grow. It is hard to say who will enjoy this more: parents, grandparents or kids. In a separate track, Sara gives unusual parenting tips in a chatty, nature-mom, artist-next-door style that are helpful and not at all academic. Important note: this album was recorded at a higher-than-usual volume so turn down the volume dial before playing.
Big Bird, Little Bird, Sleeveless, 2010; 35 min.; $14.99; www.sarahickman.com; ages 0 to 5.
National Parenting Publications Awards