Rabbit Days and Dumplings - Elena Moon Park and Friends
Thanks to an Austrian grandmother and a healthy selection of Putumayo Kids music, my kids have been exposed to a fairly diverse tapestry of children’s music…although I will admit that our knowledge of any music from East Asia is almost nonexistent. But now that versatile musician Elena Moon Park from Dan Zanes and Friends has released a collection of songs from her homeland, that’s all about to change.

{Keep reading for a chance to win a copy of this CD!}

Rabbit Days and Dumplings is especially exciting if you’re like me and have a preconceived notion in your head of what an entire CD of East Asian children’s music would sound like. (That’s my way of saying, wow, was I ever in for a great surprise.) Far from being a single “type” of music, Elena Moon Park has put together a joyful and eclectic collection of traditional folk and children’s songs, reinterpreted and reinvented  in a way that preserves their beauty, but also makes them incredibly appealing to a wide family audience.

The Korean holiday song, Sol Nal, kicks off the CD with an upbeat, celebratory song. I love how the traditional Korean piri wood instruments sound when juxtaposed to Dan Zanes on a banjo. Diu Diu Deng is one of several songs that mixes traditional lyrics with English translations–in this case, your favorite little conductor will love the lyrics about a train chugging along a track. The instrumentation on this entire CD is notable, but in Diu Diu Deng, Wu Man’s plucked notes on the Chinese pipa is stop-you-in-your-tracks (see what I did there?) fabulous. 

More exotic sounds are balanced by songs that sound as if they were home-grown, as in Diu Shou Juan and Summer is Here, two bilingual, horn-filled, happy tunes that sound more American than Asian. Children’s voices are adorable on the playful Tibetan Sisi Sima–you can almost see the kids leaping in this jumping-rope song.

One really great reason to grab a hard copy of this CD is the beautiful liner notes with cover design by Kristiana Parn and wonderful background info about each song. I enjoyed reading the story about each song to the kids, which really helped bridge any translation issues and made the songs so much more relatable.

And as someone without a drop of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese or Tibetan blood in my family tree, I can say that this CD proves that great music touches us all, no matter what our background or mother tongue. Christina

You can purchase a hard copy or MP3 download of Rabbit Days and Dumplings from our affiliate Amazon

Congratulations to Catherine !  She won a Rabbit Days and Dumplings CD.

EXTRA COOL: WIN IT! We have a copy of Elena Moon Park’s Rabbit Days and Dumplings to give to one reader who sends an email to contests@coolmompicks.com by midnight PT with RABBIT DAYS in the subject line. Please include the name of one special guest, other than Dan Zanes or Wu Man, who appears on the CD. U.S. readers only, please.

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