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Little Ditties for Itty Bitties Review by Whitney DunaheeMichele Valeri
Little Ditties for Itty Bitties is an audio CD featuring original songs by Grammy-nominated artist, Michele Valeri. The music is targeted to infants and toddlers. The tunes are simple and catchy with a steady beat. Fun instruments such as ukuleles, congas, and mandolins support the vocals of Ms. Valeri. Fifteen songs are included, with a total running time of 41:05 minutes. Many of the songs encourage interaction from the children by encouraging them to make animal noises, point to body parts, or do specific movements. Two songs, "Walking/Caminando" and "Knock, Knock, Knock/Toc, Toc, Toc," include Spanish and English translations.
The CD can be placed into a computer to access a bonus thirty-one-page PDF. This file contains full lyrics to each song, as well as activities, hand motions, and prop ideas to go with each one.
For infants, the CD offers songs with a steady, comforting beat. Older toddlers will learn developmentally appropriate skills such as directions (up, down, left, right) and increased vocabulary. The CD can be used as pure entertainment or as an opportunity to interact with the child in an educational way. It is appropriate for home use or use in a classroom or daycare setting.
I first put the CD on for my 14-month-old daughter, hoping it would keep her occupied for a few moments while I did some schooling with my older children. As soon as the music began, she started to sway back and forth and nod her head along with the music. She loved it! The music held her interest through several songs. When I joined her and began modeling hand motions to go along with the music, she was thrilled. She enjoyed the attention and quickly learned how to interact with the music.
The music is original and fresh. It is a nice alternative to the tired songs for this age group that we have all sung too many times.