Monday, April 9, 2007

Last Vestiges of Toddlerhood....or The Backyardigans


These are the Backyardigans.
They are daytime tv viewing for little kids.
They are colourful, musical and adventurous.
And my kids like to watch them.
Ok, I like the Backyardigans. And so does Brian!

If I could figure out how to post a music player on this silly blog, I'd give you a sampling of the music. But today, that seems a little technically impossible. So you'll just have to take my word for it.

The whole idea, is that the little cartoon-y creatures have great imaginations. They play together in their backyard and have amazing adventures. Pablo - the little blue penguinish guy - is a little anxious and has regular panic attacks. The purple kangaroo guy - Austin - doesn't say much unless it's very important. He may, for example, point out a hazard along the path with a well timed, "Quicksand, bad!" I find Uniqua, the pink...um, character?...a little bossy.

The greatest thing ever is the music in this program. There is every genre you can think of: jazz, blues, swing, classical, rock, country, dance, disco, hip-hop. Sometimes they take popular tunes and put words to them. Sometimes it's an original creation. Whatever the form, the lyrics tend to be fabulously put together. They're funny, unexpected and not always in the childish form you might expect from a preschooler show aimed at an audience 2 - 6 years old.

So, in my quest for Backyardigan multi-media resources, I found a site at Treehouse that gives you a lyric sheet to print. I love, love, love that the genre is printed with the relevant details of the song (composer, lyrics written by, etc.). Now the kids have to believe me when I tell them that the song, "Into The Thick Of It" is actually in the style of a Gilbert & Sullivan production. They've told me that they 'hate' opera...but now I have introduced some niggling doubt into their minds. Look at me go.

Otherwise, I just love that the kids are still finding little bits of pure enjoyment in totally kid-like fashion. There is so much that they are convinced that they have outgrown or are too old for. They are noticing more grown-up things and striving to understand more mature humour. It's great, really, I'm enjoying that they are more independent. You know, they can cart their clothes to the laundry and they can feed themselves if they're hungry. But it's also great to be reminded that they're just kids...and that they can unabashedly march around the house pretending to be a blue penguin and his pink friend-of-unknown-origin, belting out pseudo-show tunes without a second thought. That's why I like the Backyardigans.

1 comment:

Cristina said...

Thanks for reviewing this. I've heard some good things about it, but I've never seen it.
My kids like opera. They're weird. In their defense, they have friends who actually work in productions of the New York Opera, so they hear it a lot from kids their age.
Another great resource is Beethoven's Wig. These CD's set lyrics to classical pieces. The lyrics give some information about the composer or the piece. Look for it in children's music.
Take care Bonni, leave a comment when you can. Maybe you can e-mail me and tell me how hard it is to switch my entries over to a new blog. I'm getting tired of crossing my fingers every time I write a comment and it takes forever to load.
Peace and Laughter,
Cristina