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Monkey Mind Pirates CD Review by Melissa Cummings

Z Puppets Rosenschnoz
3132 16 th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407

In our home, we love to have music of all sorts on hand for various activities, gatherings, work, and play--and the unique musical profile of Z Puppets Rosenschnoz is quite an addition to our collection! There really is nothing else quite like it, even in the wide realm of children's entertainment. It isn't a style of music that I am naturally drawn to, especially without the visual aid of watching the puppetry in action, but once we experimented with singing and dancing along--especially after doing a bit of research online to see who these puppets are--my preschooler found Monkey Mind Pirates rather entertaining. It was a little hard to catch on to the actual theme and ideas behind the music at first, but after browsing the website to view some of the videos, see the puppetry in action, and watch the musicians and singers perform, we started swinging and singing right along.

The CD includes eight fun tracks of wacky music--plus a bonus chime track--that will make adults' ears perk up and children dance along. The CD insert is really helpful in making the story come alive. From the beginning Theme to the closing Chime, the insert walks you through the storyline, highlighting the basis for each song and taking you along on Cap'n Fitz's journey--from setting sail on crazy seas to his goal of finding ultimate calm at the end. All of the song lyrics are included, which makes it much easier to sing along, and in the center of the insert there is a descriptive introduction to yoga-like breathing and concentration as well as a fun shadow puppet (monkey) craft for your child (or parent of a younger child) to do. One of my son's favorite features is the little collection of Monkey Mind Pirates trading cards that came with the CD. Each trading card depicts one of the puppets and describes its particular personality idiosyncrasies along with calming suggestions to counteract those traits.

Appropriate for any age, group size, and setting, Monkey Mind Pirates is available for the average price of $12. You'll find yourself, and possibly the children around you, getting these tunes stuck in your head because they are rather catchy ditties. Although we found it more fun and ridiculous than stress-relieving or calming, if you're looking for silly music to entertain children and bring some zaniness into your world, this is it!

Product review by Melissa Cummings, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2011