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New York Times/KIDS FIRST! Guide to the Best Children's
A unique collaboration
between the top two experts in the field, the New York Times and The
Coalition for Quality Children's (CQCM) KIDS FIRST!® initiative,
this authoritative, definitive guide includes more than one thousand
entries of kid-tested, adult-approved KIDS FIRST! - endorsed videos,
and more than 100 CD-ROMs. Writers for the Times contributed original
reports on the personalities, issues, and trends in children's
entertainment as well as a list of five hundred feature films that
the entire family can enjoy, selected by New York Times "Home Video"
columnist Peter M. Nichols.
The GUIDE TO THE BEST
CHILDREN'S VIDEOS, which will be updated annually, and only lists
recommended videos, provides both a quantitative and qualitative
score that presents parents with extensive, informative guidelines,
enabling them to make informed program choices. Bearing in mind that
not all children's programs are appropriate for all children, THE
GUIDE TO THE BEST CHILDREN¹S VIDEOS is broken down into chapters
devoted to specific age groups: Infant/Toddler, Preschool,
Elementary, Middle School, and Junior and Senior High Schools.
THE NEW YORK TIMES/KIDS
FIRST! GUIDE TO THE BEST CHILDREN'S VIDEOS
Foreword by LeVar Burton;
Preface by Linda Ellerbee
A Pocket Books Trade
Price: $16.00; ISBN:
FIRST!® AT 1500 HOLLYWOOD VIDEO STORES
forged an alliance with the Coalition for Quality Children's Media to
help kids and families select videos that have a positive impact on
their entertainment experience. Videos endorsed by CQCM's KIDS FIRST!
initiative are featured at all of Hollywood Video's over 1,400 stores
nationwide, supported by in-store signage and other materials, as
well as at Hollywood Entertainment's on-line division,
"Hollywood Video has
always been committed to parents and kids, and with KIDS FIRST! we
are taking our involvement to the next level," said Jeff Yapp,
President, Hollywood Video. "There really is an interest from our
customers on the need for entertainment that positively affects kids
and families, and we believe the KIDS FIRST! program will call
attention to hundreds of deserving titles."
Hollywood Video is
one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world, opening an average
one new store every day, with a weekly average of seven million
customers in its over 1,400 locations. Hollywood Video's World Wide
Web site is located at http://www.hollywoodvideo.com. Reel.com's
website is at http://www.reel.com.
GIFTS DONATES 28,000 VIDEOTAPES AND CD-ROMS TO 254 CHILDREN'S
For hospitalized children,
traditional television programming has little to offer. Often, these
children rely on television as a form of entertainment. "Children in
our care have times that they are here without a family member or
they feel too poorly to engage in other activities," says Cindy
Williams, Director, Clinical Operations, Riley Children's Cancer
Center. On December 11, volunteers from Fort Wayne, Indiana sorted,
packed and shipped videotapes and CD-ROMs to 254 children's hospitals
nationwide. This year for the first time, the hospitals that are
members of the Children's Miracle Network have been included, thanks
to the support of CQCM Board member John Herklotz and to Mardi
Clemens, the Guardian Angel of Meg's Gifts.
Kudos to our Fort Wayne
Volunteers who worked so hard under the guidance of Mardi and Dan
Clemens to make this all possible: Rhonda Berghoff, Brendan and
Sheryl Clemens, Kathryn Clemens, Paul Clemens, Phil Clemens, Grace
and Brian Conway, William Cameron, John Cutter, Sandy Durly, Linda
and Clyde Ford, Marcia and Jim Goheen, Amy Griffin, Carol and Jim
Morton, Dan and Steven Motherwell, Barbara Ulmer, Sandy and Tod
Wolfrum, and Michelle Young.
our family and many others like us everywhere, we thank you
for joining a project that celebrates life, love, courage,
compassion and healing. You have become part of an
incredible cast of heroes - unsung & invisible in most
incidences, valiant in all. We are grateful to you and we
commend your awareness of the intrinsic value of
contributing your resources to our youngsters who need
contact with the outside' world. You have entered
their dark world, filled with danger, fear and suffering
bringing them messages of truth and beauty and light. For
that you are good.
We thank you,
Thanks to those who
donated products: Ablesoft, American Film Institution, B & D,
Baby Einstein, The Baby School Co., Big Idea Productions, Children's
Television Workshop, Digital Frog International, Fox Interactive,
Garden House, Genius Products, Gizmo Gypsies, Golden Hour
Productions, The itsy bitsy Entertainment Co., Kid Rhino, Kid Vidz,
Linda Warwick Presents, Lyrick Studios, Minnesota Visual
Entertainment Co., Paper Bag Players, Patch Products, Small Fry
Entertainment, Stargate Pictures, Warner Brothers Publications and
Last, a very special thank
you goes out to our friends and colleagues at Fox Interactive. Fox
donated more than 23,000 CD-ROMs to Meg's Gifts! Thanks to Eva
Forberger and Evelyn Gray for their support.
5 VIDEOS FOR 1999
According to our KIDS
FIRST! evaluators, we are proud to announce the five top-rated titles
*** BEAR IN THE
BIG BLUE HOUSE VOL. 4, I NEED A LITTLE HELP TODAY - Bear has
a case of the sniffles, and he's taking some quiet time.
Everyone is helping to make him feel better, and with all
the help Bear will be back on his feet in no time. Adult
Juror Comments: Characters are friendly and sincere. Plots
are simple and well paced. Shows self-respect and
compassion. Colorful production without being garish.
Careful listening is required to develop language and
problem-solving skills. Kid Juror Comments: Appealing. Humor
perfectly suited to children's sensibilities. Variety of
characters and expressive features make them attractive but
not cutesy. "I could watch this every day." Video. 50 min.;
$9.95; Age: 2-5. JIM HENSON COMPANY.
*** MAMA DO YOU
LOVE ME? (DOORS OF WONDER).In a distant northern land, a
little Inuit girl asks, "Mama, do you love me?" The answer
makes for a charming tale about affection, adventure and
wonder in this original and imaginative animated adaptation
of the award-winning children's book. Adult Juror Comments:
A lovely story about relationships that easily leads to
discussions about Alaska, the Inuit people and family. Video
expands on the theme of the book making it even more
enjoyable. Excellent portrayal of Eskimos and their respect
for animals. Kid Juror Comments: "It was great." "I want to
know more about Alaska and sled dogs." "I thought about love
and how I treat people." "Mother showed she really loved her
daughter even when she was mad." Video. 30 min.; $12.98;
Age: 3-8. SONY WONDER.
*** DEGAS AND
THE DANCER (ARTISTS' SPECIAL SERIES).The 19th-Century
French painter, Edgar Degas, paints to survive. Initially,
he scorns painting dancers but gets caught up in a
ballerina's life and becomes interested in a ballerina named
Marie. They reveal their hopes and fears to one another.
Adult Juror Comments: Worthwhile story, beautifully
produced. Degas is shown as a self-centered old man whose
art is more important than people. Marie's influence
improves his behavior. Begs the question, "Does being a
genius give you license to treat others badly?" Kid Juror
Comments: "I learned about what it takes to be an artist."
"I liked the way they all taught each other something. The
painter taught her that if you don't make a mistake you'll
never learn. She taught him not to be so grouchy and have
respect for others." Video. 55 min.; $19.95; Age: 8-12.
DEVINE ENTERTAINMENT CORP.
*** IRON GIANT,
THE -Features an all-star cast, including Jennifer Aniston
and Cloris Leachman. Tells the story of a young boy and a
fifty-foot robot who discover the power of friendship and
learn rewarding lessons. Adult Juror Comments:
Heart-warming, feel-good, child-centered parable which
delivers a message about anti-violence and hope. Military
stereo-typing generated discussion. Excellent animation.
Contains violence which is relevant to telling the story.
Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed the rural Maine setting; felt
sorry for the Iron Giant. Some were glued to the screen.
"Hogarth was afraid of the Iron Giant, but he saved him
anyway." "It showed how to be friendly to someone who is
different from you." Video. 86 min.; $22.95; Age: 8-12.
WARNER HOME VIDEO.
*** OUR FRIEND
MARTIN The remarkable life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
using modern animated characters who travel back in time and
meet Dr. King at various points in his career. Approved by
the King family. Adult Juror Comments: Excellent use of
live-action historical footage mixed with animation. Traces
his influence on American history. Graphic images depicting
racist behavior is best viewed with adults. Stellar cast,
voices of Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta and others. Kid Juror
Comments: Impressive. Many were not aware of the content.
"This video taught us to respect other people, not hate each
other because of color." "It taught me a lot of history, and
it was sad." "I liked when they time-traveled." Video. 60
min.; $9.98; Age: 8-18. TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME
These titles can be
purchased online at Reel.com and are available for rent at your local
video store. We encourage you ro check out the KIDS FIRST! section at
Some changes that CQCM has
made to its membership services in 1999 include the launch of our
online e-zine. The e-zine began in October and is sent out to all of
our online members every two weeks. If you have not been receiving
it, please subscribe below. Your subscription will begin with the
next issue of the e-zine.
Our independent producer
members can establish a link to their web site to sell any title that
is not available from a major distributor for as little as a
$200/year membership. For details, please email Lorilei at
Through January 31, 2000
you may still take advantage of our Free book offer with your new or
renewed family or individual membership. Please click
purchase the book. You may now charge your membership on your VISA or
Karen Kurz-Riemer, author
of the introduction to our parenting section of The
New York Times/KIDS FIRST! Guide to the Best Children's
recently finished a book. We recommend you check out "Infants,
Toddlers, and Families: A Framework for Support and Intervention" by
Martha Farrell Erickson and Karen Kurz-Riemer, New York: Guilford
Press, 1999. It's written for practitioners in education, health, and
social service areas who are working with or want to work with
families of infants and toddlers. Kyle Pruett of Yale Child Study
Center says: "The authors' warm, erudite voice is as robust and vital
as their subject, exquisitely balancing our attentions between child
and parent, context and relationship....The field is in desperate
need of the passion and wisdom contained in this
We have made a number of
changes and improvements in our web site this year. By the end of
this year, images will be shown for 100% of the titles on our website
that we have art for. We encourage producers and suppliers to check
their titles on the site. If you do not see art for your title, it
means that we are missing that and invite you to send either an
electronic file or hard copy of your art as soon as possible.
Our web visitors now
amount to approximately 300,000 hits/month. We are seeking sponsors
for the web site. If your company is interested in sponsoring the
site, please contact Ranny at [email protected]
for stats and rates.
Are you concerned about
children? Are you troubled by the violence, and stereotypes
associated with the media? Would you be interested in a program that
involves children in the process of change? Consider becoming
a juror for
KIDS FIRST!'s nationally acclaimed community-based media evaluation
Here is how it
KIDS FIRST! uses
professionally designed criteria, evaluation tools, and volunteer
adults and children as jurors. An adult juror holds a degree in
education, child development, library science, media or a related
field. These jurors work together with a children's jury to complete
a screening and evaluation of current videos, CD-ROMs and, starting
this year - web sites.
The evaluation process
itself produces an excellent opportunity for students of all ages to
enhance their critical thinking skills, make a contribution and
engage in creative expression. A child or young adult who is media
literate can evaluate programming and content objectively, while
encouraging them to explore the connections in his or her own
Currently we have a
particularly strong need for adults who work with teens (ages 12-18)
and for teen jurors. We have an ongoing need for jurors who can
evaluate titles for children of all ages.
For more information,
contact the Coalition for Quality Children's Media at (505) 989-8076
or email Suzanne at [email protected].
KIDS FIRST! will begin evaluating web
sites next year. If you are interested in participating in our beta test program,
please contact Mona at [email protected].