If you're looking for notable recordings to brighten a child's audio library, you can't go wrong with this bilingual treat and these two lovely lullaby collections:
Georgette Baker, an unpretentious performer with a specialty in early education, whose previous produced-on-a-shoestring bilingual recordings include "Cantemos Chiquitos" and "Cantemos Chiquitos #2," has come up with her most polished album to date.
On "Cuentos y Canciones" (Stories & Songs), Baker's clear soprano and the gentle instrumentation--non-frenetic percussion, piano and acoustic guitar--complement the sing-along simplicity of these tuneful arrangements. Among the several selections, performed in both Spanish and English, are the story of "The Little Red Hen" (La Gallinita Roja), spoken in rhythm; "The Parakeet" (Periquito), the tale of a fledgling looking for his "pop" in the jungle; "Elefante," a droll counting song about elephants balancing on a hospitable spider's web and "Mi Granja" (My Farm), filled with fun-to-imitate animal sounds.
* "Cuentos y Canciones," Cantemos, cassette, $12.95, (800) 393-1336.
Music to Dream By: Is anyone ever too old to be soothed by a sweet lullaby? "Speeney, Spawney, Go to the Moon, Hushabyes for Young & Old," a soulful, eclectic collection of songs, is an eloquent pleasure for all ages, thanks to soloist and pianist Candy Forest, cellist Emil Milland, singer Benjamin Mordush and the Singing Rainbow Youth Ensemble. Some of the exquisite offerings are "Come by the Hills" from Scotland, "A Winter's Song" about a "lullaby moon hanging thin/ come a winter night," and "Lie Down," with music by Forest and evocative lyrics by Nancy Schimmel: "Lie down in a boat that rests on the water/ The land holds the water in her warm brown hand. . . . " Music to dream by.
* "Speeney, Spawney, Go to the Moon," Sisters' Choice Recordings and Books, CD, $15; cassette, $11. (800) 221-8056.
Jewish Lullabies: The gentle beauty of "From Generation to Generation: A Legacy of Lullabies," Jewish lullabies gathered from Spain to Bosnia, Israel to Poland, could relax the most restless of nappers. Although sung in Yiddish, modern Hebrew and Ladino, this universal language of parental love, performed by Tanja Solnik in a soft, caressing soprano, crosses all cultural barriers.
A sampling: Two versions of the traditional "Durme Durme," one sung to a little girl, one to a boy; "Shlof Mine Kind" (Sleep my little son . . .) by Sholom Aleichem and David Kovanovski and "Zing Faygeleh Zing" (Sing little bird . . .). The expressiveness of the songs is matched by the simplicity of the guitar, piano and balalaika accompaniment.
* "From Generation to Generation: A Legacy of Lullabies," DreamSong Recordings, CD, $16; cassette, $10. (800) 984-5465, (310) 450-0144.