Parent's Choice Award Children's Media & Toy Reviews

Need an instant pick-me-up? Try Grenadilla's dancing rhythms, gorgeous vocal blends and sunny lyrics spiced with kwela, an irresistibly effervescent style of music indigenous to South Africa. Named for the South African word for passion fruit and founded by Cape Town-born Debbie Lan, Grenadilla is a six-member, all-female group of singers whose voices weave Lan's original songs together in velvety melodic layers.

A sampling: The title track embraces each day as a glad opportunity for learning and growing. "C'mon C'mon," an invitation for together time, is tenderly wrapped in African-flavored harmonies. "Doodle Doodle Doodle Doodle Do" is simply a playful delight. Lan crafts her happy songs with the expressive chops of a cool pop pro, providing stand-out lead vocals, as well as piano and piping pennywhistle. Guest musicians round out the CD with polished flair.

A long-time Parents' Choice music critic, Lynne was a staff writer for 25 years at the Los Angeles Times where she established and maintained the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat and was a general arts reporter. Now a freelance writer, Lynne works in the areas of non-profit communications, the arts and family entertainment (specializing in children's theater, music, audio books and book illustration). In her spare time, when she's not reading, Lynne is likely to be found strumming American Songbook standards and Tin Pan Alley novelty songs on one of her seven ukuleles.

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