Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., April 9, 2004
Sara HickmanBig Kid (Sleeveless) Taking a giant step from Newborn and Toddler, Austin's Sara Hickman offers Big Kid to an older audience, those aged 3 to 7. With her series of kids discs, Hickman gets the message, but she also gets the medium: Children's music need not be puerile or meaningless. In the span of 24 tracks and trackettes, Hickman's delightful repertoire combines her own compositions with a variety of others. The subjects are, naturally, the stuff kids' dreams are made of, but Hickman's tireless work on behalf of literacy, breast cancer research, homelessness, abused children, and other social issues can be read between the lines. Hickman goes for a little of everything as she raps ("Middle of a Little Country Road"), dabbles in bluegrass ("Little Yella Dog"), steps up to gospel ("Pink on the Inside"), and indulges in Western swing ("Red Wagon"). Yes, there's rhyme-scheme fun with "Iolana" and the bouncy "Cantaloupe," but daughter Lily is the star of the lovely "Look at Me," and the strength in her voice suggests that a second generation of Hickman performers is already in the works. Big Kid varies sing-alongs with storytelling ("Nanatime!" and "Rainstick" with Ray Benson), but what kids really like is imitating their parents and their parents' music (at least until they're old enough to reject it), and they'll love the metal-esque "Eat My Breakfast." Growing up with Sara Hickman is a hoot, but it makes us hope for an album for us really big kids.