I recently reviewed a product for The Catholic Company. The children's CD, Paul in a Basket, is the story of St. Paul set to music in a sing-along style. With Wee-Sing getting quite old, and Wheels on the Bus becoming intolerable, I was excited to see what else was out there for children's music.
Both narrative and musical, Paul in a Basket tells in Biblical detail the events leading to St. Paul's conversion, his own persecution, imprisonment, martyrdom, and scriptural references to his most famous passages. The CD can be played the whole way though with songs and narratives, but also has the option for music-only tracks, which is nice for navigating specific songs while driving.
Each song is distinctive, varying in tempo and style, which at first is confusing and muddled to the listener, but the variety is appreciated later after daily requests to listen to "Paul in a Basket."
Many of the songs have small puns, such as when singing about "The fruits of the spirit," the lyrics engage the listener by singing, "These are the fruits of the spirit...orange you glad." And, while portions start to sound a little like School House Rock, cramming as many words into a quarter note that will fit, it is nonetheless an effective way to teach children (and listening parents!) significant scripture passages. What a treat to hear a two year old sing "If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, he's a new creation, he's a new creation. If any man be in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed before the new has come. Second Corinthians five seventeen." Like I said, it's a mouthful, but beats "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly."
Included in the Paul in a Basket CD are instructions to put on an actual Paul in a Basket production. Written in extreme detail, it was unpractical for children my ages. However, if I would go through the effort of putting on an entire musical, I would definitely want a book of piano accompaniment or voiceless tracks on a CD, which is currently not included in this product.
Overall, this is a great product and if there were another made I would highly consider purchasing it for the educational value alone(The story of St. Francis would be great for kids!). I learned quite a bit about St. Paul just by listening to these easy-to-listen songs and narratives.
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