We first fell in love with Lori Henriques when we heard Outside My Door, one of our favorite kids' albums of 2011. Her new album, The World is a Curious Place to Live, is a jazzy exploration of science, math, and language. You read that right. In a vibrant kids' music scene, Lori stands out with an exceptional voice, style, and approach.

The album opens with "Curiosity," a celebration of the awesome characteristic and impulse. She name checks many of her favorite thinkers and innovators, scatting and playing piano all along. "Dinosaur" is a love song to the extinct giants.

The next trio of songs explore mealtime with "Crunchy Privilege," "Everlovin' Water," and "Chew, Chew, Chew." "When I Look into the Night Sky" explores space to the tune of the American folk classic "Saint James Infirmary." Next comes a lively series of songs about counting, "Let's Count by Twos," "To Count by Threes," "Leaping Fours," "Ode to Fives," and "Counting by Six is Sublime."

Lori takes listeners on a world tour with songs about learning French and visiting Norway, and finally riffs on "Parts of Speech" and "Vocabulary" before concluding with the title track, "The World is a Curious Place to Live." Indeed. Lori engages thoughtful listeners of all ages with a beautiful voice, lyrics that are as fun as they are brainy, and a musical style and literacy that develops kids' sense of sonic adventure with heavy musical quotations from classical, folk, and jazz.

Lori's brother, Joel of Made by Joel, provided the cover art for The World is a Curious Place to Live and made this beautiful video for "When I Look into the Night Sky." See how he did it and find a coloring sheet template here, and get The World is a Curious Place to Live at Lori's site.