A Note to Parents: What a wonderful lot of things there are on this record! Your child will love the counting-rhymes, the singing games, the dances and tales presented here by Jean Cook. Very young folks (and for that matter, boys, girls and grownups of all ages) will spend delighted hours following Jean's lead in "working" and "playing" to Uncle Alex Campbell's magnificent folk singing. Some of these play songs are great classics that have amused and instructed youngsters for many generations. Others are less well known but equally entertaining — in some cases they have been especially written for this recording by Mary Tobias. All of them have been especially chosen because they are also valuable teaching aids for use at home and in the early grades at school.
Many of these songs call for your youngster's active participation along with the singers and musicians who appear on the record. We wash our face (and don't forget a strong wipe behind the ears!), brush our teeth and clean our shoes to the familiar tune of "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush." We learn how to "jump down and turn around to pick a bale of cotton." We practice counting from one to ten with the tuneful help of "This Old Man," and later on we learn simple subtraction by means of another catchy children's song called "Ten Green Bottles." There's a musical spelling lesson, too: Jean and Alex teach us, in a time-honored way, how to spell "S-m-i-l-e" and "L-a-u-g-h," two very happy words indeed.
Some of the games demand skill, concentration and practice. "One Little Thumb," for example, calls for coordinated movements of both thumbs, one arm, one leg, one nod of the head, and some more besides. Even a trained acrobat won't find that one too easy the first time around!
Jean also introduces some of the most beloved children's characters — Jack Sprat, the Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens, Old Hiram's Goat, the Two Birds Who Sat on a Stone and the Old Woman Who Lived under a Hill. By "working" and "playing" along with Jean and Alex, by learning old rhymes and marching around the table to the frisky rhythms of an up-to-date version of the "Turkish March," your child will have, a thoroughly good time — and a thoroughly educational one as well.
This recording was created especially for the talents of Jean Cook and Alex Campbell by Mary Tobias and Irving Miller, a writing-and-music team that has produced several outstanding works for young people. Mr. Campbell, who comes from Scotland, is a well-known folk singer on both sides of the Atlantic, and Miss Cook, a Californian, has distinguished herself on the stage and in television.