Liner Note Author: Jacob Edgar.
Illustrator: Nicola Heindl.
One of the nice things about Putumayo World Music's children-oriented compilations is the fact that they don't talk down to kids. Like other compilations that Putumayo has assembled for that series, PUTUMAYO KIDS PRESENTS: EUROPEAN PLAYGROUND has a brain and is fun without being mindless. The focus of this 34-minute, 15-song CD is world music from different parts of Europe (both west and east), and diversity prevails on a disc that offers everything from Celtic music (Ian F. Benzie's "I'se the B'y" from Scotland, Sharon Shannon's "Sandy River Belle" from Ireland) to gypsy swing (Alain Le Lait's "En Voici, En Voilà" from France) to French-language pop-rap (Les Déménageurs' "Bonjour Tout Va Bien" from Belgium). EUROPEAN PLAYGROUND is not only potentially beneficial for kids in that it exposes them to a variety of musical styles, but also, because it exposes them to a variety of languages (only a few of the tracks are in English). The fact that EUROPEAN PLAYGROUND was designed with children in mind doesn't mean that adults can't enjoy it as well and this likable compilation is recommended to world music enthusiasts of all ages.