February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast | SLJ Music Review

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redstarEar Snacks: Songs from the Podcast. Performed by Andrew Barkan & Polly Hall. 38 min. Palindrome Records. 2016. $12.

PreS-Gr 5 –Like nothing you may have ever heard before, this collection of 16 original songs pulled from Los Angeles–based Andrew & Polly’s podcast for preschoolers is a great mashup of musical styles: a fresh find, filled with fantasy and fun—sophisticated yet relevant. Barkan and Hall’s fourth album injects humor and passion into each song, making it just right and “real” for youngsters and family alike. Opening with the upbeat “Dancing Pants” (a song about moving and grooving to music—just try to sit still!), “How Can You Tell If It’s Going To Rain?” (a soft, whispery ballad that will make listeners sway with the beat), and “Everybody Hat Hat” (an upbeat number celebrating hats). Topics of other songs include balls, grapes, dinosaurs, the mail, and fruit. The album closes with a secret track: “Kevin & Louise’s Keys.” Polly Hall sings with zest while Andrew harmonizes and plays vocally with her every inch of the way. Their accompanying band ties everything together. VERDICT The simple tunes, tight harmonies, and fun treatment of subjects relevant to tiny tykes make this album a must-have.–Stephanie Bange, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2017 issue.

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