China Toy Fair


Lloyd Miller Releases First Solo Album, S.S. Brooklyn

jpegLloyd Miller, communal songster and leader of the indie band The Deedle Deedle Dees, believes that music is a great way to build a community—especially when everyone’s singing, tapping, and dancing together. Miler will release his first solo album release, S.S. Brooklyn, on September 24.

Miller holds singalongs in various spaces in Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Ditmas Park, and Williamsburg five or six nights a week. S.S. Brooklyn features original songs, as well as the most-requested songs. These events provide audiences an opportunity to support various causes, such as the Red Hook Initiative, Soleil Global, and Sing for Hope—all part of Miller’s ongoing “music outreach mission.” Audience members bring in donations to the shows and Miller delivers them to support children in Haiti or the victims of Superstorm Sandy.

In addition to regular sing-along events this fall, Miller will host concerts at the Brooklyn Historical Society on the first Saturday of every month beginning November 2. An S.S. Brooklyn release concert is planned for October 13 at Shapeshifter Lab, launching the Hip Tot Music Fest season. The album is produced by Dean Jones, and guest artists include Marianne Tasick, Abby Rock, and Debbie Lan.

Word-Playing Mr. Palindrome Releases First CD in U.S.

mrpalindromeMr. Palindrome, an Australia-based musician and dad, celebrates the U.S. retail release of his first CD, Smiley Face Sticker, in anticipation of a winter family concert in the U.S. this year. Mr. Palindrome (Natan Kuchar) loves to sing, especially silly songs with really big words as a tool to help children get comfortable with using them.

Mr. Palindrome introduces concepts like alliteration, anagrams, and onomatopoeia in the form of whimsical songs. Little listeners can sing along and learn the “Backwards Alphabet,” and a ton of tongue twisters.

Parents and teachers can even visit MrPalindrome.com for activity ideas to enhance learning or his YouTube vlog for craft demonstrations that promote simple and silly ways to have fun and learn new things.

Over the last couple of years, Mr. Palindrome has honed his craft before thousands of schoolchildren in his home country. He is currently booking concerts on the West Coast, including several San Francisco Bay Area performances, in December and January.

The Little Gym, Razor & Tie Introduce CD Collection of Children’s Tunes

FC_002_0.qxtThe Little Gym International, an enrichment and physical development center for kids, and Razor & Tie, the creators of Kidz Bop, have signed a multi-year licensing agreement that will bring the music of The Little Gym to major retailers throughout North America.

For more than 35 years, the original music produced by The Little Gym has been an integral part of its skill-building curriculum, from parent-child classes, gymnastics, and dance to karate and sports skills classes to high-energy camps and birthday parties. Music at The Little Gym helps children build skills through active songs that expand vocabulary, musical games that teach cooperation, and lyrics that provide directions and cues to help sharpen listening skills and increase attention span.

Selections from The Little Gym’s proprietary music collection will be featured in a new CD series being produced and distributed by Razor & Tie. The collection will include classic The Little Gym songs designed to get kids moving, learning, and having fun. The first two releases, 25 Move-Along Fun Songs and 25 Sing-Along Fun Songs, will go on sale August 6 at more than 500 Wal-Mart stores, and on iTunes and Amazon.com.

Each song in The Little Gym collection was composed and recorded by Robin Wes, who opened the first The Little Gym in Bellevue, Wash., in 1976, and Randy McCoy, The Little Gym’s Director of Curriculum. Together, Wes and McCoy bring more than 70 years of experience in childhood development and music education. The duo has built a library of more than 700 songs that support The Little Gym’s Three-Dimensional Learning philosophy of “Get Moving!,” “Brain Boost!,” and “Citizen Kid!”

The Little Gym International is also preparing to launch a line of children’s development and activity toys in the coming year, created in partnership with Aqua-Leisure Industries.