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25 Years of Audio
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25 Years of Audio
By Lynne Dalton Heffley

The Little Prince (Classic, 1993): Originally released in 1974, this remarkable recording of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s fable about an innocent, unearthly child who teaches a downed pilot that the important things “can only be seen with the heart,” features captivating performances by Richard Burton and then-8-year-old Billy Simpson. It was magical then and it’s magical now, an ageless treasure.


What has changed since Parents’ Choice began rating quality children’s albums in 1978? Audiocassettes eclipsed vinyl; then came CDs and new internet technologies. Raffi became the first superstar of children’s music, encouraging many other artists to enter the field. Major record labels, recognizing a growing industry, jumped into the children’s music business in the early 1990s, and just as quickly stepped out, unable to meet the marketing challenges.

What has remained the same? The best children’s audio, no matter how varied in style, combines creative and artistic excellence with content that respects a child’s intelligence, emotional growth and humanity.

Throughout its history, the Parents’ Choice Foundation has singled out hundreds of recordings for top honors—recordings that represent only a fraction of those submitted for consideration.

The past 25 years of critical scrutiny have proven one indisputable fact: top quality children’s audio can’t be defined or dismissed as childish. It is far too substantive and rich.

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