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by Tanya Kovarsky mother of baby Max, a magazine editor, and 8-time Comrades Marathon runner. Aside from her family and friends, she considers chai tea, her Blackberry, running shoes, baby jogger, Grey’s Anatomy, Glee and Twitter among the great loves of her life. Follow Tanya on Twitter @TanyaKovarsky

PUTUMAYO KIDS: AFRICAN DREAMLAND

I’ve long been a fan of the Putumayo World Music (particularly Africa and Reggae), and I wasn’t disappointed by African Dreamland, a collection of gentle and calming songs from ex Africa. The album kicks off with our very own Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Nomathemba,and is followed by equally rhythmic and enchanting sounds from Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Guinea, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, Mali and Cape Verde. The songs are beautiful and relaxing, and we found them a good part of our bedtime routine. I think the album’s appeal extends beyond children, and I found it as enjoyable with my little one, as I did relaxing after a dinner party with friends.  Visit Putumayo Kids to find out more.

Good to know: A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this CD will be donated to NextAid (a non-profit organisation that helps African children).

BABIES LOVE COLLECTION

It’s widely known that classical tunes have a huge impact on the cognitive development of fetuses and babies, so when it comes in the form of Michael Jackson, Abba, U2, Madonna and The Rolling Stones, then that’s music to my ears! (and my baby’s). The Babies Love Collection features the “best of” certain artists in classical form, and it’s brilliant for adults and babies. As if to test the soothing nature of the albums, my baby had a few midnight wake-ups, and this music definitely calmed him – and me – and seemed to lull him back to sleep a lot easier than usual. If you’re wondering how amazing I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, or Don’t Stand So Close To Me sound in classical form, then you must give Babies Love a listen. Beautiful stuff. Click here to find out more about Babies Love

BEAUTIFUL LULLABIES: BY ED JORDAN AND ALAN GLASS

Just as I was wondering how Beautiful Creatures could possibly add another album to their collection, along comes Beautiful Lullabies, which is a collection of their top lullabies from all their albums, and so worth having. Lovely lyrics (words included in the CD insert) and beautiful tunes make for a great album, and they’re catchy – I found myself singing some of the choruses days after! As with the other CDs, I loved the “localness” of this CD, and the fact that it’s “parent friendly” – no cheesy tunes or lyrics here. I look forward to singing along and winding down to this CD through the toddler years and beyond. Click here to find out more about Beautiful Creatures

Note: If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the uniquely detailed free weekly newsletter for parents in Gauteng – Jozikids – or KwaZulu-Natal – Kznkids

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