23rd February 2001 at 00:00
BENEATH YOUR FEET. By Jane Bayley. pound;18.99 incl. CD + pound;3 pamp;p. Questions Publishing. Tel: 0121 212 0919

Four songs by the Australian musician Fay White add an extra dimension to this well-conceived collection of cross-curricular ideas for children at key stages 1 and 2. Beneath Your Feet deals with the ground on which we walk, the soil from which life derives, and the rocks that lie below. It has many thought-provoking suggestions for science, language and maths.

"Soil ain't Dirt" is a raunchy number which manages to combine geological information with a good bluesy tune. "Earthwrm" is a jaunty piece of comedy, in which the natural facts of digestion are shown to be essential to our survival.

"The Compost Makers' Work Song" is a spirited scurrilous march, deploying an assemblage of apple cores, dead cats, cow dung and tea clippings in a set of practical instructions spread over several verses.

"Landlinks" is another jazz-derived piece, set as a series of questions and answers, all of which lead back from food, clothing and domestic materials to the land. The songs are neither too hard to remember nor too serious to be enjoyable.

Tom Deveson

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