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philadelphia chickens

Philadelphia Chickens by Sandra Boynton and Michael Ford


Sandra Boynton and Michael Ford's second album, Philadelphia Chickens, is the soundtrack to an "imaginary musical revue" that features the vocal talents of Meryl Streep, Laura Linney, Natasha Richardson, and Boynton's children, among others. Like Boynton and Ford's debut album, Rhinoceros Tap, Philadelphia Chickens' musical touchstone is the sound of classic show tunes, and the duo and its (mostly) all-star cast make the most of it, beginning with the A Chorus Line-like intro, "Cows," sung by the Seldom Herd. Streep's witty "Nobody Understands Me" emphasizes that this album is more grown-up-sounding than Rhinoceros Tap, even though it's still well within the realm of children's music. Songs like Keith Boynton's "Be Like a Duck," Patti LuPone's "I Like to Fuss," Michael Ford's "Those Dinosaur Blues," and Eric Stoltz's appropriately cuddly "Snuggle Puppy" -- which Boynton later turned into a children's book -- keep the album young at heart. Scott Bakula's "Pig Island," Kevin Kline's "Busy Busy Busy," and Adam Bryant's "Pajama Time" are other standout tracks from this Grammy-nominated album, which truly has appeal for all ages.

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key to extraordinary

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd


Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians--every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream. For Emma, her own dream can't come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn't want to let her mother down. But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task--finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town's cemetery. If Emma fails, she'll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that's been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?

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