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10 Great Kids CDs

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Kid's music doesn't have to give you a headache! If your child is too old for nursery rhymes but too young for Hannah Montana, here are our picks for the 10 albums that will make road trips with your children a pleasant experience for everyone.

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1. No!

"They Might Be Giants" have been turning out quirky pop songs for adults for more than 20 years. This collection, the first of two for kids, is a great staple for your child's music library.

2. House Party

Zanes, the godfather to the modern kids and family music movement, is the real thing. And this fabulous collection of "all-ages" songs in all styles will get kids young and old off the couch and dancing.

3. Meltdown!

We always liked the folk/pop/rock from the Chicago-based Roberts, but this is by far his best; a kids alterna-pop masterpiece with hum-able tunes and very recognizable characters and situations.

4. You Are My Little Bird

Mitchell's songs range from lo-fi interpretations of classics, to traditional ditties, to those from the Velvet Underground. Mitchell's third and latest album is an instant classic that engages audiences immediately, but reveals even more upon further listens (can you hear the birds?).

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5. The Singable Songs Collection

This three-CD set includes the Canadian troubadour's first three albums, which are kids music essentials. Parents who only know Raffi by reputation are missing his sometimes frisky renditions of kids classics and, especially, his voice, which might just be the best in kids music.

6. Ralph's World

This is one of Ralph Covert's best albums, with considerable emotional range to go along with the catchy melodies, and even a bit of kids punk thrown in for good measure.

7. Songs for Wiggleworms

Even if you don't live in Chicago, you can get a taste of The Chicago Institution's "Wiggleworms" classes, much loved for introducing toddlers and their families to the joy of singing and making music together.

8. Whaddaya Think of That?

Berkner is now a certifiable kids music superstar. This album leads off with the modern gem, "We Are the Dinosaurs," and continues on through both silly originals and snappy renditions of classics.

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9. Hey You Kids!

Guitarist Doug Snyder wrote or co-wrote many of these songs with one reason in mind - to help him teach guitar to youth. But the result is a power-pop classic that celebrates imagination with songs such as "Bicycle" or "Captain Sleep."

10. Every Day is a Birthday

Brady Rymer and his band make a joyful and soulful brand of roots-rock that speak as much to parents as to kids. And the karaoke-style backing tracks at the end of the album are a great way to pass the time.

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