2. My Green Kite
3. Another Bite Of Hay
4. Maybe Is A Bad Word
5. My Father's An Accountant
6. A Dozen Roses
7. Have You Ever Really Looked At An Egg?
8. I Made It For You
9. Baseball Tips With Professor Buckley
10. Red Rubber Boots
11. Nothin' To Say
12. Watercolor Set
"The eclectic pop tunes will have playtime rocking in a snap."
"A disarming family music album that delights in the simple joys of childhood and teaches good life lessons, from a guy who's clearly been there and done that."
"When folk rocker/pop-cult heavyweight Peter Himmelman applies his brainy quirkiness to kids' music, the result is an off-the-wall treat for ears and minds clever lyrics and themes combined with catchy, upbeat music."
Scholastic Parent & Child
"Amusing and hilarious lyrics accompany these catchy tunes."
"A genre-spanning hoot, full of tunes that luxuriate in everyday details."
Los Angeles Jewish Journal
"In this kids' collection, he combines his rocker cool voice with a great sense of humor and sings about all the little details that kids like to think about -- like red rubber boots in the rain, the properties of an egg and mom's awesome dinner-making skills… everyone was snapping and singing along."
Chicago Parent and BestChildrensmusic.com
Peter Himmelman raises the bar for all children's music artists with My Green Kite - this is children's music at its best and represents the level of children's music that our kids should be hearing.
Zooglobble, the blog for hip kids' music
This is a fantastic album, chock-full of great tunes and production, with lyrics that sometimes speak directly to kids' daily lives and other times fire their imaginations. It'll make you smile and make you think. ... on my short list of favorite albums for 2007. Highly recommended.
ParentMap magazine Seattle
"The hip factor is high on this cool disk…sounds like laid-back cross between They Might Be Giants and Randy Newman, but this songwriting is refreshingly original."
"Quirky, pop-influenced tunes geared for kids ages 3 and up."
Chicago Free Press
"Himmelman earns his place among his contemporaries in the field."
"This is a singer-songwriter's singer-songwriter with his eye clearly fixed on what kids are all about ... an excellent aural companion to the everyday activities of simply enjoying your kids."
Treasure Valley Family magazine, Boise, ID
"This childlike celebration of innocence and wonder appeals to a range of ages, sparked with a wit that will make this a fun CD for the entire family."
"The tracks feel almost like performance art…. Himmelman's sense of fun is contagious, and parents may find themselves enjoying My Green Kite as much as their youngsters. It's almost like being a kid again."
"Himmelman's new album really rocks with his theatrical flair for making the stuff kids care about -- and adults take for granted -- groovy and cool."
"I enjoyed the material so much that I forgot it was intended for children. Everything about it works just wonderfully. This should garner a Grammy for "Best Children's Recording." Very highly recommended."
Toronto Families Magazine
"One listen to the title track of this (too short) 39-minute disc and you know there's something special going on. Himmelman is no slouch when it comes to crafting powerful pop tunes, having forged a good living from straddling both adult and family listening bands. Some 15 releases ago (this is his third bona fide kids' release), Himmelman embarked on a critically-acclaimed solo career, earning him comparisons to Dylan, Elvis Costello and John Hiatt, yet he has clearly carved out his own niche – one that merges energy with creativity, blending nonsensical fun with heart-warming emotion.
My Green Kite kicks off with a somewhat silly ode to one's feet, fully orchestrated and developed, transforming it into a mini-opus, complete with back-up vocals and rich arrangement. Then there's the pure pop of the title track – classic Himmelman: hummable, addictive, purely positive. Or the story of Morris the Mule ("Another Bite of Hay") – a reflection on the meaning of life. The evils of vague parental responses to kids' questions is epitomized in the soulful "Maybe is a Bad Word", piano-driven in typical Himmelflourish, those back-up singers adding substantially to the overall import of his message.
Consider the lovely sentiment of "My Father's An Accountant" – a son's hero worship for the 'common Dad' – a legitimate tear-jerker, if there ever was one (Himmelman's "Father's Day" – his first solo recording, was an emotionally-charged tribute to his Dad, who died of lymphoma). This provides a glimpse into Himmelman's very personal and poetic world – his approach to kids' music is no less so than his approach at the adult level. At the same time, he knows to keep things upbeat and lively for the short set. His "A Dozen Roses" is a hilarious, how-to on the joys of young love while "Have You Ever Really Looked At An Egg?" zeroes in on another aspect of a kid's world – the discovery of everyday things, set to a seriously rocking beat (he knows that kids appreciate real music to pap).
Entertainment is his game, his message always imbedded in an appetizing way. Whether praising his Mom and her cooking, passing along inventive baseball tips, or professing the pride of owning red rubber boots, this is a singer-songwriter's singer-songwriter with his eye clearly fixed on what kids are all about. The added bonus is his exceptional vocals and piano-based compositions, which make for an excellent aural companion to the everyday activities of simply enjoying your kids. You can't ask for more than that from anybody."
– Eric Thom
"Peter Himmelman raises the bar for all children's music artists with My Green Kite – this is children's music at its best and represents the level of children's music that our kids should be hearing. Listen carefully and you will hear true musical artistry! In a overly saturated and increasingly promoted market full of kindie rock artists, Peter Himmelman has soared above the crowd with an extraordinary recording that is worthy of everyone's attention. Kids will squeal with delight and parents will wonder why there is not more great music out there like My Green Kite."
- Fred Koch
Peter Himmelman has a rubbery voice, a vivid imagination, an ear for quirky pop songs that sounds ripe for the picking by some brilliant kids' comedy troupe, and a complete lack of self-consciousness--a combination you don't often find in kids' performers, even the most successful ones. My Green Kite follows the just-for-the-fun-of-it formula of previous discs like My Fabulous Plum and My Best Friend is a Salamander--here's Himmelman contemplating how confounding a word "maybe" can be ("Maybe Is a Bad Word"), examining the under-appreciated qualities of an egg ("Have You Ever Really Looked at an Egg") and, in a half-poignant, half-hilarious number, deeply regretting his embarrassment over his dad's painfully boring occupation ("My Father's an Accountant"). The word for these songs is screwball--there's a certain loose genius lurking below the surface. As the soundtrack to a Sunday-afternoon Lego marathon, they're pretty near perfect.
1. My Fabulous Plum
2. A World Where You Only Eat Candy
3. Sherm the Worm
4. Ain't Nothing to It
5. Herman the Big Oily Moose
7. Karena Chasing Butterflies
8. I Don't Like to Share
9. A Short Discussion With My Attourney
10. Cindy and the Octopus
11. Love Feels the Same Way Everywhere
12. Back Home on the Plum
My Best Friend is a Salamander
1. You'll Always Be You to Me
2. My Best Friend Is a Salamander
3. Picnic at the Zoo
4. Melvin McBrickle
5. Little Space Guys
6. Larry's a Sunflower Now
7. Language Lesson With Mr. Schnibelstein
9. Bucky the Talking Miniature Horse
10. Little Bitty Baby
11. An Ant Named Jane
12. Magic When You Come My Way
Peter Himmelman (Baby Music Boom, $11 cassette, $16 CD; 888-470-1667) A zany sensibility slithers through the first children's recording by singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman. Though he is at his best with clever concoctions like "Melvin McBrickle," a seventies-style Superfly takeoff about a secondgrade dude who stares down electrical storms, Himmelman's album is a felicitous stew of rock and roll, jazz, gentle melodies, and even straight-ahead odes to parental love. A
Jul 28, 1997
Peter Himmelman, Baby Music Boom (888470-1667), cassette $10.98, CD $15.98 Fun-loving big kid Peter Himmelman, long known for his sensitive songwriting and offbeat performance style, has a real blast on his first album for children. Clever lyrics, occasionally interspersed with wacky dialogue and accents, are the centerpiece of this rock-and-roll good time, but fine backing vocals and top-notch musicianship round out the package. "You'll Always Be You to Me" weaves tender sentiments among kidlike observations: "A rock is a mountain to a bee, a puddle is an ocean to a baby inch worm but you'll always be you to me." In the title cut, a family of salamanders moves into the neighborhood and quickly shows a boy how the other half lives. An unlikely hero shines in the R&B flavored "Melvin McBrickle": "If you're in a pickle call Melvin McBrickle... if you need some help just give a little yelp." And in one of the most inventive tunes, "Larry's a Sunflower Now," a boy plants himself in the ground and blossoms into a sunflower. Himmelman's versatile, enthusiastic voice gives each song a welcome freshness (save for the Randy Newmanesque "Magic When You Come My Way.") Solid accompaniment from honky-tonk piano, electric guitar, harmonica and high-spirited hand-clapping boosts the listening pleasure for adults, too. All ages. (July)
Quirky and creative, songwriter Himmelman has his finger on the musical pulse of children. Your kids will love it when he sings about a salamander family moving in next door or eating snacks like cotton candy and popcorn on a picnic at the zoo. Ages 3 to 9. Baby Music Boom; $11 cassette, $16 CD, 1-888-470-1667.
My Best Friend Is a Salamander
Like many adult performers before him, Peter Himmelman has now tried his hand at recording a kids' album. Unlike most of his predecessors, though, Himmelman opted not for the easy-out lullaby route, but for a record that keeps kids awake and entertained. My Best Friend Is a Salamander is strikingly original from a lyrical point of view, which shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with Himmelman's pop-rock grown-up work from the eighties - the emphatically unconventional singer-songwriter (and father of four) is a prodigious and creative wordsmith. The song titles give some idea of Himmelman's fertile imagination: "Larry's A Sunflower Now," "Little Space Guy," and of course the title cut. Salamander's sophisticated, eclectic pop songs achieve that elusive goal of captivating parents as much as kids.
LOS ANGELES TIMES
by Lynne Heffley
Baby Music Boom; $11 cassette, $16 CD, 1-888-470-1667
Singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman's rib-tickling, at times soulful, flights of fancy are a treat in this well-produced new release. In the wonderfully strange title song, a kid visits his salamander friend next door and learns you shouldn't judge a pal by how he looks (kinda slimy) and what he eats ( grasshopper feet and roasted flies). Equallly strange and delightful is "Larry's a Sunflower Now," about a kid who indeed necomes just that.. "Larry's getting' lots of fresh air, the sun is on his face and the birds are in his hair..."
Himmelman, an expressive singer who sounds as if he's having a blast, also gives an offbeat twist to songs about little spacemen, a talking horse and tantrums, and then wraps things up on a soft poetic note with "Magic When You Come My Way": "You are the sugar in my cup o' tea, you are the buzzin' of the honey bee..."
Singing for kids for the first time, Himmelman is funny, engaging, and energetic (this is no lullaby album). Songs such as "Picnic at the Zoo", "Larry's a Sunflower Now," and the title track, which subtly explains that cultural differences are OK, are meant for youngsters, but parents will like them, too.
SESAME STREET MAGAZINE
December 1997/January 1998
Peter Himmelman lets his imagination run amok and creates wacky songs that kids and grown-ups will want to hear again and again. The titles, such as "My Best Friend is a Salamander," "Larry is a Sunflower Now," "Tantrum," and "An Ant Named Jane," only hint at the daffiness of these rich story-songs. Kids and adults will love this recording's vivid imagery, catch melodies, and jazzy accompaniments. (Ages 4-7)
MY BEST FRIEND IS A SALAMANDER
Baby Music Boom Ages 3 to 10 Suggested retail price cassette $10.98, $CD $15.98
Peter Himmelman is one of rock's most wildly imaginative performers. So it's no surprise that his first children's album is an exuberant flight of fancy. Himmelman blends pop, folk and jazz to create a most engaging sound. Listen for such humorous, on-of-a-kind songs as the unforgettable "Larry is a Sunflower Now," about a child's enthusiastic metamorphosis into a plant.
December 1997/January 1998
Peter Himmelman composes quirky songs about little space guys and kids who turn into flowers. Clearly a man in touch with his inner child, he seems to know just what school-age kids find compelling, even sidesplitting. (Baby Boom Music, 1-888-470-1667, $11 tape; $16 CD; 4 years and up.)
U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT
Aug 4, 1997
My Best Friend Is a Salamander by Peter Himmelman (Baby Music Boom, $16).
The musician brings his funny, folksy style to his first children's album. Clever lyrics in songs like "Larry's a Sunflower Now" and "Melvin McBrickle" recall the best of children's author Shel Silverstein.
Ages 5 up. Peter Himmelman delivers an outstanding performance with his first children's recording. He writes about fun topics not found on other recordings: the catchy title song is about a salamander family that moves in next door. We also meet a boy who turns into a sunflower, a miniature talking horse, a jet-setting ant, and a truck-driving baby. The backing musicians are fantastic. The production quality is superior to most children's recordings. Himmelman's versatile voice sounds like Randy Newman one moment, then moves on to Tom Waits, Greg Brown, and even Prince. Himmelman is no mere imitator, though. His is a unique new voice in the children's music field.