Indie rock and children’s entertainment have been crossing over in the most weird and wonderful ways in recent times. Whether that be numerous indie mainstays (The Shins, Flaming Lips, Wilco et al) appearing prominently on the Spongebob Squarepants Movie soundtrack or Yellow Bird’s lovingly put-together Indie Rock Colouring Book, pre-school tastemakers have never had it so good. Fitting in very comfortably within this climate of kindergarten indie is Laura Veirs’ latest effort Tumble Bee, a collection of trusty standards and refreshing originals aimed directly at discerning youngsters getting tired of the same old nursery rhymes.

There’s nothing tiring on offer here though (save for lullabies, but heck they’re designed to be). Veirs, along with notable guests including Jim James and Colin Meloy, has crafted a set of carefully composed and arranged folk songs almost as likely to appeal to parents as it is to kids. From Veirs’ gently strummed acoustic guitar to the charming use of glockenspiel and toy piano, Tumble Bee beguiles with its simplicity and lack of pretence.

It’s certainly a varied set of songs too. ‘Jack Can I Ride’ sounds as good as any toe-tapper from a western saloon bar; meanwhile the nonsensical ‘King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O’ evokes an even cutesier Kimya Dawson (if that’s possible). Folk standards appear throughout as well, a particularly upbeat version of Leadbelly’s ‘Jump Down Spin Around’ being an interesting, if not necessarily flattering, reproduction of the original.

The standout tracks on offer here however are the album’s slower, more lullaby-esque moments. The plucked mandolin and mournful viola of ‘All the Pretty Little Horses’ create a stunningly beautiful backdrop for Veirs’ cooed pleas for a baby to go to sleep. Softer, more solemn songs such as this, and the plod-along country of ‘Little Lap Dog Lullaby,’ undisputedly mark the album’s high points; they lack the repetitiveness that is an established feature of children’s songs.

While Tumble Bee certainly won’t appeal to all fans of Veirs’ previous output, it’s certainly a different kettle of fish to Carbon Glacier or Year of Meteors, there’s enough wholesome charm on offer here to entertain young and old alike. It’s testament to Veirs’ that she’s managed to imbue the mind-numbing format of children’s songs with a freshness and class that is often sorely lacking. They didn’t make them like this when I was growing up.