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Whaddaya Think of That?

The Laurie Berkner Band

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Album Review

When Laurie Berkner released a handful of cassettes of Whaddaya Think of That? in 1997, she had no idea that the album would launch her almost immediately into the upper echelon of American children's music performers. These songs were developed in day care classes and summer camp workshops with pre-school children, and it's clear that Berkner's interaction with her young students helped to shape the recordings. Movement and imagination play such a large role in Berkner's music that it's hard to imagine a roomful of children being able to sit still through them. "We Are the Dinosaurs" sets them to stomping and flattening buildings in the chorus and grazing peacefully in the verses. "I Know a Chicken" is an infectious call-and-response blues romp about the joys of rattling percussive shakers. "Bring Your Clothes" may be the most inspiring cleanup song since "A Spoonful of Sugar." Berkner's target audience is children below seven years of age, so she doesn't spend much time trying to be clever or educating overtly. The environmentally conscious ballad "Can You Imagine" is the only didactic tune in the lot, gently imploring listeners to "think about tomorrow please!" The others tend rely on charmingly silly nonsense humor and irresistibly catchy acoustic guitar and piano tunes. Berkner may not be teaching here, but her teaching experience clearly gives her an unfailing instinct for entertaining young children.

Whaddaya Think of That?, The Laurie Berkner Band
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