Four Star Rating - 2001

Can Cockatoos Count By Twos?
Songs for Learning Through Music and Movement
Hap Palmer, Hap-Pal Music HP109E
Ages 2-5

The Bottom Line
Music that teaches early learning concepts, inspires movement, invites participation, and still manages to soothe at the same time - that's what Hap Palmer's recordings are all about. This latest of his offerings (an expanded version of an already excellent children's album) once again gets the formula right.

Product Overview
Anyone familiar with BabySongs videos, and those who have not had the pleasure, will enjoy this expanded CD, first released in 1996. Can A Cockatoo Count By Twos? is jam-packed with 18 fun and wholesome teaching tunes.

Hap Palmer has a talent for marrying calming vocals with songs that invite movement! If this doesn't make much sense, pick up a Baby Songs video or one of his recordings, and it will. His vocals wrap kids up like a blanket, make them feel cozy and secure, yet still encourage them to move and sing right along. The end result is active - and actively learning - children without the atmosphere ever bordering on frenetic.

The chubby CD insert is filled with suggestions, lyrics, and follow-up activity ideas. Truth is, this CD works just as well in a preschool setting as it does at home. Teachers will love the sensible, well put-together extension activities, and parents will appreciate suggestions for movement and the read-along, sing-along lyrics.

Some early learning concepts that are incorporated into the songs include counting by twos, of course, as well as colors (including color mixing), months of the year, rhyming, and spatial relations, to name a few. Besides these, creative expression and imagination are givens.

Always balanced, warm, and sensible, Hap Palmer's songs are the stuff wonderful childhood memories are made of. With titles like Jumping To Add And Subtract and Months On The Move, you know your kids will be learning a few things along the way. Still, Palmer manages to weave just the right amount of imaginative imagery into his work to capture young children's spirits.

It's no surprise that the recording ends with It's Time to Go, a song that helps children make an important transition, whether it's simply the end of music time at home, or it's signaling the end of preschool.

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