"Sundays in Kyoto" is one of those musical CD's that comes with a nice hardback book. If you are not familiar with the format-type, let me describe it briefly. The pages are slick and slightly thicker than you might find in other books. There's a pocket at the back of the volume for the CD, and the book itself contains the lyrics.
As with other Book/CD combinations from Secret Mountain, the first story is fully illustrated. The other pages have the lyrics to the songs and some small drawings to keep the pages lively.
That said, it's a little more difficult to describe the music. Not for any fault of the musicians, but because I'm principally not a reviewer of music any more sophisticated than Barney or the Wiggles. So bear with me, I'll try my best.
First let me say that my children, currently 7 and 9, boy and girl, really like this CD. I know that because they ask for it in the car, and I've found them singing the songs and looking through the book to get the lyrics right. It wasn't music though that we attached to right from the beginning. For us this was a CD that we had to listen to a couple of times before we really got hooked.
The tunes themselves have a hypnotic quality. The recording quality is excellent, and so are the singers; they have amazing voices.
The songs on this CD aren't the sort of simple songs you frequently get with music for children. There is more depth to them, as well as richer imagery and lyrics. There's an international feel for example and the songs include words from French and Japanese. All positives to my mind.
My general sense is that this would be a CD for 7 year olds up thru the tween years. I say this because frequently the music has complicated riffs that my kids, when they were really young, wouldn't have appreciated.
As far as lyrics they have a magical feel which leaves plenty of room for children to use their imaginations to figure out what is going on. There are fun, goofy songs, as well as a lullaby or two.
I should warn adults that in one or two places there are words you won't run across on a Barney tape. There is pee and fart for example. But such simple words shouldn't be a problem for older kids.
You can hear and see a sample of the title song if you search the net.
1. Sunday In Kyoto
2. Joe's Mother
3. If You Bump Your Knee
4. Morning Breaks On Skates
5. One, Two, Three, ABCD
6. Sleep Tight My Love
7. Little Miss Adèle
8. When the Dance Began
9. Do You Have Some Coins?
10. Four Eggs
11. Great Big Kite, The
12. Yoshi and His Boat
13. Settler's Lullaby
14. Poem of a Child
mom and reviewer for BooksForKids-reviews