The Big Picture and Other Songs for Kids

The Chenille Sisters

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The Big Picture and Other Songs for Kids Review

by William Ruhlmann

The Chenille Sisters opened up a whole new area of their career when they released their first children's album, 1-2-3 for Kids, in 1990. On that album, the three singers wrote seven of the 13 songs. On their second children's album, The Big Picture and Other Songs for Kids, they have taken an even bigger hand in the songwriting, contributing 12 of 14 tunes, with only a cover of Shirley Ellis' 1960s hit "The Name Game" and the 1910s hit "The Aba Daba Honeymoon" interrupting the flow of originals. As was true of 1-2-3 for Kids, this album is aimed at the nursery school and kindergarten set, and the trio -- Cheryl Dawdy, Connie Huber, and Grace Morand -- have an excellent idea of what children that age are likely to find funny and entertaining, whether it's a song about drawing pictures that have some outlandish items in them (Huber and Morand's "The Big Picture") or a child's eye view of the workings of "The Washing Machine." All is not silly and delightful, however. Huber in particular has a slightly darker taste, and she contributes both "Max the Cat," a slightly scary story about getting lost, falling in a hole, and being saved by the family feline, and "In My Heart," an account of childish melancholy. Those songs lend the album a depth unusual in children's music, without getting too, well, icky.

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