Recommendations for the littlest entertainment fan: a disc of folk tunes and two new books

By Eileen Clarke
Updated May 25, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

A cute collection of folk songs, and more


Folk Playground
(Putumayo Kids)
If you’re looking for the perfect CD to take on a long car ride this summer, look no further. Putumayo Kids has put together a collection of songs that celebrate the folk tradition, with no two tracks alike. There’s Zoe Lewis’ yodeling ode to sheep (”White clouds with little black legs/ Standing ‘neath the sky of the bluest blue/ I wonder what are you thinking as your little pink lips go round and round and chew”), and Trout Fishing in America’s ode to ice cream (”One scoop, two scoop, three scoop, four/ If the cone was bigger, then I’d have more”).

From familiar favorites (Laurie Berkner with ”Froggie Went A-Courtin”’ and Dan Zanes with ”Hop Up Ladies”) to Brady Rymer’s Dylanesque ”It’s All How You Look at It,” there’s not a dud in the bunch. The capper is a wonderfully bluesy hymn, ”Just Look Up,” by Eric Bibb, who does his folksinger dad, Leon, proud. AEileen Clarke
Recommended ages: 2 and up


Henrietta: There’s No One Better
By Martine Murray
What a fresh, original chapter book for young readers! Henrietta P. Hoppenbeek is a spunky little kid who’s got ”hair like spaghetti, a diamond crown, a woolly mammoth, long green socks, a big bad habit of making things up,” a baby brother, Albert, ”who’s the size of a sock,” and an exceedingly naughty dog, Madge. Her adventures and misadventures are chronicled in wild, funny, occasionally lopsided text, and punctuated with giggle-inducing illustrations. The second-grader I gave this to lapped it up and then proceeded to read it a second time — and then, unbelievably, a third. ATina Jordan
Recommended ages: 7-10

Fat Camp
By Deborah Blumenthal
By her own definition, Cam Phillips is ”pudgy.” ”And don’t ask me what I weigh, I’m not telling,” she informs the reader testily. She becomes even testier when her image-conscious parents — thin, the pair of them — pack her off to a weight-loss camp. What happens that summer to Cam, and to the friends she makes at camp (and the friend she leaves back at home), might be the stuff of melodrama, but it’s the stuff teenagers will relate to, no matter what they weigh. B+TJ
Recommended ages: 13 and up