Wow, did you all ever come through for me! So many suggestions - it has taken me awhile to check them all out. I do apologize for the silence regarding a winner of the contest.
If you'll remember, the criteria by which I am judging the suggestions is threefold: it has to be fun, it has to be good, and it has to be character building (specifically Christian). I have to admit that I was disappointed to find that most of the suggestions only hit two of the three. There was plenty of good folksy music, and plenty of specifically Christian music that wasn't (in my opinion) very good (remember, you're talking to a music major here, so I'm picky!) There was also some music that I've filed away for future reference as having potential - but not until my kids are a good five or eight years older than they are right now. :)
That said, I did find some that I liked very much. Here they are, in no particular order, for your browsing pleasure:
1) Elizabeth Mitchell - pleasant voice, folksy sound, a variety of old classics and new songs.
(recommended by: Andi, ErinKH, and Mich)
2) Sandra Boynton - absolutely hilarious lyrics, a wide variety of musical styles (which match the style of the lyrics!) and a variety of singers. The adults will love these, older kids will smile as they get the jokes, and younger children will probably enjoy without appreciating how funny and well done each song is.
(recommended by: Amy, Stacey, and Mich)
3) Laurie Berkner - young children will likely enjoy watching her music videos - she has a very child-friendly style and great facial expressions. Her music is upbeat and fun and her lyrics tend to be very simple and often funny.
(recommended by: Meg and Angie)
4) Joe McDermott - good lyrics that obviously have been written with a great amount of thought, folksy and child-friendly sound. Not Christian that I can tell, but some of the lyrics advocate good character qualities. Others are just fun.
(recommended by: Linds)
5) Veggie Tales - what can I say? Singing vegetables!
(recommended by: Angie and Dawn)
We had quite the time deciding on a winner between these five artists - each of them has songs that we will probably buy on itunes. Veggie Tales technically fits the criteria best, but we already knew about them. So the winner is Meg who left the first commend recommending Laurie Berkner. Thank you, Meg!!
And thank you to everyone who left suggestions - it has been a fun few days browsing through all of them!