Frances England Mind of my ownI was fretting to my sister that I didn’t know what to get her kids, my sweet little niece and nephew, who seemingly have everything. Her response: Don’t you review kids’ music for Cool Mom Picks? Just get them some cool new tunes!

Funny how the most obvious choice can be right under your nose.
So for all of those who are wondering what the heck to get those kids who have almost everything–or you’re just looking for some cool stocking stuffers that don’t end up in a landfill by Christmas 2011–here is a handful of really fabulous newish kids’ CD’s for almost every musical taste. 
Yes, there is still time to get them under the tree, but hurry! –Christina


{Don’t miss an awesome 6-CD giveaway after the jump!}


For the precocious, fun-loving preschooler:

Kicking off with the title song, I instantly fell in love with Frances England’s Mind of My Own (pictured at top) which is full of respect for those little people in our lives. Her songs have choruses that will stick in your head, like Jacques Cousteau which makes for a catchy little rhyme wrapped around smart lyrics—my heart swells with pride when my kids start singing Jacques Cousteau, what do you know? in the supermarket.

This is one of my favorite CD’s to play in the minivan when we all could use a pick-me-up and feel like doing a little singing along with Frances’ pretty voice. Got a child who was extra-good this year? This is the CD for them.
For the kid who is knows his Brobee from his Foofa:

Yo Gabba Gabba music album
Yo Gabba Gabba! Music is Awesome! Volume 2 is all kinds of awesome for kids but makes sure we adults are taken care of too. I mean, you don’t see the purple dinosaur getting Weezer, Hot Hot Heat and Jimmy Eat World to contribute to his latest CD, do you? 
There are also plenty of Yo Gabba Gabba-character tunes which really get the kids involved in their unique way: In other words, expect lots of breathless giggling. And confession: though our Editor Liz is a huge fan, I have never caught a single Yo Gabba Gabba show and I still love this CD, so don’t shy away from it if you are still wondering what in the world a Foofa is.

For the kid who’s got the beat:

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo Underground Playground

Hip-hop’s cool beat is always a sure-fired way to get my kids bouncing in their seat, but the subject matter is usually way too grown-up for their ears unless Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has the mic. In his follow-up to my much-adored Easy, this new release Underground Playground is so cool, we’re pretty sure it’ll take grownups a minute before they realize he’s rapping for the playground set. Nobody works a positive message into a song without sounding preachy like 23 Skidoo . 
I love the guest voices and horns that lend some rich soul to songs like Secret Handshake and funk to Sticks and Stones. And kids, you know that scratching sound? It’s an album. Let me tell you about that. . .

For the curious kid with the giant imagination:

The Baby Grands II kids' music album

This follow up to the Atlanta & Jacksonville duo’s much-loved self-titled CDThe Baby Grands II covers everything from dinosaurs, robots and palindromes with kid-friendly lyrics and a sound that is reminiscent of The Barenaked Ladies. 
Perfect when you want something uptempo and fun but nothing too crazy. Like every day at 5:05
For the kid who is in rock, rock, rock, rock, rock-n-roll preschool:

Boogers' Let's Go!

Got yourself a little Joey, Johnny or Dee Dee who still pounds on the top of every pot with a wooden spoon? You have to get your hands on the Boogers’ rocking follow-up to Road to Rock, the 25- minute whirl of guitar and drums, Let’s Go! 
This is a whole lot of Ramones-like sound with kid-friendly lyrics, like changing the Ramones’ awesome-but-maybe-not-quite-right-for-kids’ Beat on the Brat lyrics to the less-ominous My Baseball Bat. And maybe their Eat Your Vegetables is not exactly a punk-rock message, but it’s a great anthem for us parents at dinnertime. 
For the little one who can’t find their “off” button:
Blue Sky Lullaby kids' music CD
A lovely collection of lullaby ballads, The Hammond Sisters’ Blue Sky Lullaby does even more than just quiet down your 24/7 babe: All of the proceeds from its sales go to Mapendo International to help refugees in Africa. How cool to know that the gift I give will help people so far away too.
Turning to the sounds of early American ballads and folk songs for inspiration, close friends The Hammond Sisters’ Blue Sky Lullaby has a lush, calming sound that you may even play when you just need a moment of quiet reflection after the wrapping paper is torn off of everything. 
Don’t forget to check out our archives for other kids’ releases and give the gift of great family music this holiday.
Congratulations to our very lucky winner, Kelly C for winning six amazing kids CDs! Enjoy!