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The Newsstand - KIDS FIRST!® News 2006


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The Newsstand

Christine Pollock, Newsletter Editor
If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that
my child may have peace.

- Thomas Paine

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Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
June 23, 2006 Issue #6b
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher

1. Letters from the Editor, President, and Readers
2. Web Store Features
4. New Endorsements
5. Festival Titles
6. New Members/Renewing Members
7. Member News
8. Media News
9. Family and Parenting News
10. The Significance of Sound by Christine L. Pollock
11. Crafts and Activities: Patriotic Passions from Dr. Toy and Patriotic Strawberries
12. Festival City Schedule and Events
13. Special Offers
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is granted with complete attribution.

Beau Bridges, Actor and Father

Jim Jinkins and Fantastic Film Festival Events

Classic Film - Interviews with Ross Bagdasarian (The Chipmunks) and Hedda Sharapan (Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood)

New: KIDS FIRST!® logo store
Your purchase of hats, T-shirts, baby jumpers, bibs,
and totes benefit KIDS FIRST!®

Become an Affiliate of the
KIDS FIRST!® Web Store

The Coalition for Quality Children's Media is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Because we believe that media profoundly affect children, our mission is to 1) teach children critical viewing skills and 2) to increase the visibility and availability of quality children's programs.

CQCM Newsletter Archive
2006 Jan 3 / Jan 18 / Feb 7 / Feb 21 / Mar 14/ Mar 28 / Apr 4 / Apr 25 / May 2/ May 16/ June 6
Links to newsletters from 2005 or earlier
may be found at the bottom of this page

Welcome to KIDS FIRST!® NEWS. All articles are by Coalition for Quality Children's Media unless otherwise noted.

Dear Friends,

My kids are almost out of school and we are getting ready for summer. Before we know it, it's going to be the fourth of July, one of my favorite holidays. This year on the fourth, an old college friend and his band, Ookla the Mok, will be having a children's concert in a local town park. These composers and performers of the Fillmore theme song from ABC-TV are very creative, and the concert should be very interesting. As we head into summer, we begin one of my favorite annual jobs, reviewing titles for the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA). If you have a title to submit, please check out the submission information below. You need to hurry as the deadline is June 30, 2006.

As always, I welcome your input. If you have comments on titles we have endorsed; notices of media awards, publications, and products; or suggestions for articles. . . Please drop me a line.

Christine Pollock,

Contact Me

Dear All,

Happy summer everyone! Isn't it grand. My garden is overflowing with flowers, and we've just added another small water feature to the front garden which is a blessing in the desert. Just hearing water makes it seem less parched.

I have to tell you what a wonderful time we had this month at the Moondance International Film Festival, which moved to LA this year from its home base in Boulder, CO. Our industry panel on Successful Children's Filmmaking: Know Your Market, was a huge success. In fact, people were leaving other workshops to come join ours. And of course, our panelists were stellar - David Bixler, Martin Blythe, Doug Zwick, Larry Balaban, and Jere Rae Mansfield. Another wonderful event was Jim Jinkins' appearance at the Children's Museum of Manhattan where he introduced kids to his new TV show, Pinky Dinky Doo, based on a book he created for his young children.

As our readers know, we have events going on continually and I can't mention all of them. I do encourage you to visit our online tracking system at where you can easily find out what's going on at a venue near you.

As we finalize all of our programming for the next quarter, which will begin playing July 15, the deadline for producers to submit their films to us for our fourth quarter festivals is also July 15. You can easily use our online form to submit your titles or submit through As always, if you have any questions about how to submit your title, please contact our office.

Much love,

Ranny Levy
Founder and President, KIDS FIRST!®


Concerned about what kids watch? Want to do something about it? Become a KIDS FIRST!® juror. It's easy. Take our online training. It will take you about four hours to complete and we will provide you with your own personal trainer. The $40 fee is 100% reimbursable once you evaluate six titles for KIDS FIRST!® . You may keep any movie you approve. What a wonderful way for teachers, librarians, parents, and daycare providers to build their own quality media library while helping evaluate movies for others. To register or get more information, please visit our KIDS FIRST!® juror's page.



Pocket Snails Letter Adventure. Join Jake and the Pocket Snails on a magical adventure learning the letters of the alphabet. DVD includes interactive activities, music player, Meet the Snails, company bio and TV commercial.




Summer Fun: Adventures With Connor and Jaden. Sends positive messages to youngsters on issues like sharing, safety and respect for others. DVD. 35 min.; $12.79; Age: infant - 2. Boogiebubble Productions, Inc.


Wildfiles.TV: 4 Episodes. Includes: Episode 4 - Arachnophobia on the Loose - Alicia is faced with a creepy crawly mystery. Episode 7 - Owl for One, One for Owl - Webster searches for the real magic of owls. Episode 10 - Big Ol' Moose - Who wants to be called Moose? Not Jeff. Episode 12 - Lone Wolf - Sara finds the life of a lone wolf is not easy. DVD. 92 min.; $15.96; Age: 7 - 12. Reel Girls Media.





Pocket Snails: Aquaphonic Adventure. Join the Pocket Snails on their new and exciting adventure, where they'll make some new underwater friends, ride in a submarine and scuba dive their way to learning the sounds of the letters. Helps teach letter sounds, vowels and letter recognition. DVD. 25 min.; $15.95; Age: 3-6. Soaring Star Productions, LLC.



More New Endorsements can be found at

*** = Titles receiving the highest scores are given a three-star rating.
** = Titles that meet or exceed the criteria receive a two-star rating.
* = Titles that meet the baseline criteria but require some extra consideration on the part of the viewer receive a one-star rating.

Video/DVD-Ages 3-8

** The Organwise Guys: Extreme Couch Potato. Hardy Heart learns a lesson about turning off the TV, choosing healthy snacks and being active. This video (one of 8 episodes) is part of the Delta HOPE TriState Initiative, winner of the Cooper Institute's GOLD award for childhood obesity programs. Adult Juror Comments: Pleasantly delivers good information about healthy living. Songs are fun and catchy,
information is solid. But, it is a bit ironic to use a video to teach kids to turn off the TV and exercise. Nothing too deep here. Cute puppets convey basic information about keeping healthy. Witty though some jokes are clearly targeted at an older audience. Kid Juror Comments: Cute, good length. Kids enjoyed it and understood the point - get up and exercise. They liked the organ puppets. "They remind me of my own heart, bones, muscles and every part of my body." Great for health week. "We saw lazy people and healthy people." Good songs, good puppets, good behavior! "I liked the cartoons." DVD. 15 min.; $13.95; Age: 3-8. THE ORGANWISE GUYS.


Video/DVD-Ages 8-12

** Travel With Kids: Caribbean - Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Follows the Roberts family as they journey through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, discovering history and culture, exploring nature and attempting new and exciting activities. Adult Juror Comments: Good historical overview of the islands. Offers practical hints for traveling with young children showing fun activities suitable for them. Presentation is more appropriate for parents than children. The narrative is too fast for most kids to catch and some information, such as packing, shopping, and cooking will not appeal to kids. Parts, such as the information about Blackbeard and the water animals will hold kids' attention. Kid Juror Comments: Mixed reviews. "I like the pirate sword and the pictures." "It's kind of boring." "I like seeing new places." Most said they wouldn't watch again. They did enjoy seeing famous landmarks, dolphins, and pirates. They enjoyed learning about the natives who live there. And, they commented that the words went by too fast and they couldn't read them. DVD. 63 min.; $14.95; Age: 8-12. EQUATOR CREATIVE MEDIA LLC.

For a complete list of all Festival titles currently being shown, visit our website.

Jakers! Piggley Gets Into Trouble A. 92 min.
Jakers! is a celebration of the joys good friendship can bring while the excitement of adventure and imagination inspires kids to learn from their own experiences. Through Jakers! children learn about life lessons and each episode conveys a moral that kids learn through daily experiences. Each episode of Jakers! is set in two distinct places and times: 1950's Ireland and the present day. Ages: 5-12. Paramount Home Entertainment.



Dora the Explorer: Animal Adventures. A. 99 min.
Save Diego is the latest Dora the Explorer home video title that introduces Diego, Dora's cousin, who is an animal rescuer. The main episode takes place in Diego's rainforest as Dora and her friends come to his rescue. Includes two main episodes, one of which is a never-before-seen and two bonus episodes. Ages 2-5. Paramount Home Entertainment.




The Wiggles: Splish, Splash Big Red Boat A. 60 min.
Nifty ocean adventure featuring 19 Wiggly Giggly songs like Big Red Boat, Captain Feathersword Fell Asleep On His Pirate Ship, Ponies and Wiggly Party. Age: 2-5. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.


Aquamarine A. 103 min.
It's the end of summer and Claire (Roberts) and Hailey (JoJo) have a major problem. In just five days, Hailey's family is moving halfway around the world! These girls need a major miracle, and they get one in the form of Aquamarine, a beautiful mermaid who washes ashore in a late summer storm. Sweet but clueless to the ways of romance, she offers to grant the girls one wish if they help her find the boy of her dreams. But when they attempt to reel in the cute local lifeguard, the result is something none of them expect and they discover that sometimes what you wish for isn't what you really want after all!. English & Spanish. Trailer at: Ages 10-13. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

This is America, Charlie Brown
. A. 194 min.
A special two disc set containing all eight episodes of everyone's favorite Peanuts Pals traveling through time to visit important places and events in American History. This release is both entertaining and educational. Ages 5-8. Paramount Home Entertainment.



DVD Sneak Peek
Open Wide: Tooth School Inside
. A. 18 min.
There's a lot to learn for the thirty-two new students – 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars and 12 molars – at Dr. Flossman's Tooth School. He has his hands full showing each student how to floss, care for the gums, and avoid the ultimate tragedy…tooth decay! Presenting fascinating facts and tasty tidbits about teeth and dental hygiene, this lively cast of characters will have viewers happily reaching for their toothbrushes. Narrated by Michael McKean, with at least 32 others. Music by Scotty Huff and Robert Reynolds. Co-produced by animator Daniel Ivanick and Weston Woods. Book by Laurie Keller Illustrator: Laurie Keller. Nick Jr. Best Book of the Year. Age: 5-10. Weston Woods/Scholastic Entertainment.

Please welcome these new or renewing members and visit their web sites.

Entertainment Technology Center. The Entertainment Technology Center is a
graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University

Ringmaster Entertainment LLC. Ringmaster Entertainment LLC is a movie production company operating out of Dallas, Texas. Its purpose is to produce Weird Little Boys and Ghastly Little Girls, a series of direct-to-home-video movies for the family market.

VeggieTales Goes to Big Screen
Hoist the mainstay! Trim the sails! Paint the poop deck!?! - it’s BIG time for Bob and Larry! Universal Pictures brings everyone’s favorite talking vegetables back to the big screen worldwide in early 2008 with the release of The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything–A VeggieTales Movie.

Congratulations to Yvette Edery
This director, ArtistrYE Productions who does puppetry for film, television, & theater has won the UNIMA USA scholarship to study puppetry abroad. It is a national grant and there is only one award given per year. Check out Edery's work at

Lionsgate Signs Keke Palmer
The twelve-year-old actress/singer and star of Lionsgate movie Akeelah And The Bee, signs a TV deal. The studio is developing TV projects for Palmer and may also cast her in ongoing Lionsgate series and long-form productions. Next the young actress will star in Jump (working title), a Disney Channel original movie. Palmer, who made her movie debut at 9 in Barbershop 2: Back in Business, was a featured player in Lionsgate's movie Madea's Family Reunion and has appeared in a number of TV series and TV movies. On the music side of her career, Palmer also co-wrote the song All My Girlz, which is a track on the Akeelah soundtrack. She recently inked a long-term recording deal with Atlantic Records.


Let 4 Million Parents Learn About Your DVD/Video for Children!
The 2006 NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) Children's Products competition is now accepting entries. NAPPA Gold award winners are featured in the holiday issues of more than 30 regional parenting publications in the top markets nationwide. Gold and Honor winners reach half a million parents each month on, one of the most frequented and respected parenting websites. Entries are judged for content, production quality, and social value. You could be a winner! Deadline is June 30, 2006. To enter, call NAPPA at 617-522-1515 or download an entry form today at the NAPPA website at

Sesame Workshop Plans to Establish Non-governmental Organization
Based in New Delhi, the NGO will support Galli Galli Sim Sim's outreach programs, which are targeted specifically to underprivileged kids and their parents, and to manage exiting and new partnerships including those with funding partners, consumers, government agencies, broadcasters, educational institutions and the series production team.

Current TV: Call for Submissions
In partnership with the Third Millennium Foundation, Current TV launches Seeds of Tolerance initiative encouraging viewers to submit short videos that tell a story of tolerance. The grand prize is $100,000. Guest judges for the summer-long contest are Paul Haggis, Edward Norton, Melissa Etheridge and Margaret Cho, plus others. Submissions can be accepted at Current's web site at, until August 15, 2006.


AstraZeneca’s program partners with Sesame Workshop to Teach About Asthma is a free program that provides families living with asthma the support and facts they need in a fun and innovative way. Created with children 1 to 8 years old in mind, the web site informs parents and kids about asthma in an interactive, entertaining way, through videos, crafts, games, stories and activities specifically designed to help asthma treatment become a more comfortable part of a child’s daily routine.

Reading Rainbow Debuts New line of DVDs
The titles, released by Educate Products, LLC, enter stores July 18, 2006. Each of the four DVDs in The Favorites Collection, organized thematically, features two 30 minute episodes of Reading Rainbow and an additional half hour of related material.

The Significance of Sound by Christine L. Pollock

At first it seemed like a perfect film to add to our film festival. The storyline engaged the audience and it had strong characterization. What it didn't have was good sound (and that had to go into my review). The dialogue was difficult to hear and the sound volume fluctuated so radically, I had to watch with a remote in hand. Music and sound in a film are often deciding factors in whether a title is acceptable for a film festival, general viewing, or if it will turn off a viewer.

"What happened to the sound?" producers might ask, scratching their heads in bewilderment. It sounded perfect on their machines. Jeff Kinder, audio director at Magick Lantern Digital Studio, states that this is a common problem. According to Kinder, producers don't realize that there are limitations to what TV can handle, and the key to getting professional copy is to take the completed film to a qualified studio for editing in an acoustically designed editing room with high definition professional tools. Specialists such as Kinder know the business. They know what specific mediums and programs can handle -- from Internet to Quick Time to DVD settings -- and they program for optimal audio resolution in these mediums.

Kinder was literally raised in a studio, working as an apprentice for his father, a composer. The family started the second advertising/film studio in Atlanta in 1968 and Kinder began his career transcribing scores. He received formal musical training at the University of Georgia and at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He has seen music evolve from bundles of handwritten sheets of music to computer-generated printouts of MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) files. As midi files became popular in the 1980s, Kinder saw the importance of keeping real emotion in music, and not losing feeling in computer generated sound. He keeps emotional connection of the viewer in mind in all his work: from advertising music and network promotions, to cartoon blocks for TNT, animated shorts for CDC in Atlanta, and the upcoming Little Mammoth Media Film, Big Aircraft Carriers.

Kinder's advice for producers of music for children's film is, "Don't underestimate the audience. Don't write down to them." Let the music create the sound environment; let the kids hear music as it is. Children are more connected to music than adults often realize. It is helpful if producers are award of how music affects children psychologically. Kinder recalls a recording he worked on with his father. For the recording, the Atlanta Symphony performed, and near the end of the recording, a bass played some low tones. A three-year-old in the audience started crying because he was scared of the low tones. This experience affected the way Kinder handled music for children's media in the future. He says, "I realize that children are an open conduit to the emotional impact of music, and I try not scare them anymore."

Getting a professional edit to a recording need not be a daunting task or one that will break the budget. According to Kinder, many independent producers work in Mac-based Final Cut Pro on their desktops. All these producers need to do is save their final work as an OMFI (Open Media File Interchange) in their general program. A professional could then take the file and work with it to suit whichever medium the client requires. If a project has been tweaked and adjusted by the client, it is possible to do all the editing in one eight-hour day for a thirty-minute film. A thirty-second clip, edited first by the client, can be done in one to two hours. In this case, the client should ask for a special rate.

For professional audio editors in the area, a producer can go online and check out sites such as As Kinder stresses, whoever you decide to use, professional sound editing will give your film a professional edge and make a better viewing experience for your young audience.


Dr. Toy's Tips on Use of Video by Stevanne Auerbach, PhD. /Dr.Toy Smart Play /Smart Toys (

Patriotic Passions - Children bond with family and friends. Learning to bond with their country takes more time and exposure and understanding. Learning the "Pledge of Allegiance" is important, but it alone may not have any meaning until the child understands that we are all part of a family, community, state and country. We hold a strong allegiance to each one in a different way. Appreciating patriotism takes time to experience and expands as we come to understand how special each aspect is. A terrific KIDS FIRST! title that celebrates patriotic music and teaches kids to be proud of the country they live in is Under the Stars and Stripes.

Craft - Patriotic Strawberries.

Materials: Strawberries, white chocolate or almond bark, blue sprinkles

For instructions, go to craft page.

KIDS FIRST!® Film and Video Festival Schedule
Join us as we travel around the country with film festivals. Find out when we will be in a town near you. For details read here.

Other Events:

June 23-25. Bowling Green, OH. 2006 Allied Media Conference. This symposium on media literacy includes presentations such as "Democracy Needs Active Media Education," "A Careful Eye, a Good Ear: The Smartest Media Consumer Is a Good Media Producer," "Marketing, Minors and the Military," and more.

June 26-30, 2006 John Ansen Ford Amphitheater (across from the Hollywood Bowl). The What IFFF? Kids Film Festival and Film Camp. International Family Film Festival promotes and encourages the creation and sharing of the family film screenplay through professional and children's hands-on workshops and seminars. Submission Deadline: June 1, 2006. Applications are on their web site.

June 29-July 2, 2006. University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Democracy and Independence: Sharing News in a Connected World. The conference is designed for citizens interested in learning about new innovations in web, print, film, and audio news creation and delivery. More Information.

June 30, 2006. Deadline for the 2006 NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) Children's Products competition. Gold and Honor winners reach half a million parents each month on, one of the most frequented and respected parenting websites. To enter, call NAPPA at 617-522-1515 or download an entry form at the NAPPA website at

July 16, 2006. Brooklyn Children's Museum. Pinky Dinky Doo East Coast Tour with Jim Jinkins.

July 16 - 21, 2006. Los Angeles, CA. American Indian Summer Institute. Presented by the FOX Entertainment Group Diversity Development Department in association with the Native Media and Technology Network for 18-25-year-old American Indian participants. The Institute covers 100% of the cost of the program and related expenses, including lodging and meals. Round-trip travel to Los Angeles is not included as part of these expenses. Native American participants can apply for up to $500 for airfare through NAPT's Producer Opportunity Fund. Information at

August 15, 2006. Deadline. Call for Submissions: Current TV, in partnership with the Third Millennium Foundation, launches Seeds of Tolerance initiative encouraging viewers to submit short videos that tell a story of tolerance. The grand prize is $100,000. Guest judges for the summer-long contest are Paul Haggis, Edward Norton, Melissa Etheridge and Margaret Cho, plus others. Submissions can be accepted at Current's web site at

September 27-October 1, 2006 The Phoenix East/Mesa Hilton, Tucson, AZ. The 28th National Media Market. The National Media Market presents an exceptional opportunity for media professionals who purchase for public libraries, universities, media/technology centers and educational broadcasting to screen the newest and best quality motion media from 55 prominent producers and distributors. Professional Development sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions further enhance the Market experience.

October 27-28 Boston, MA. 5th Annual Summit of the Coalition for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Consuming Kids: Marketing in Schools and Beyond. The summit will "bring together distinguished scholars, activists, parents, and educators to discuss how marketing undermines children’s health and well-being and what we can do about it. The 2006 summit features a special focus on marketing in schools."

November 19-24 Canada's National Media Education Week. The first of its kind in Canada, this week will highlight the importance of media literacy and Web literacy as key learning areas in the information age. Read More.


Through the combined efforts of Corporations for Character, KIDS FIRST!® , and your generous donation, we can fulfill our mission to provide positive, encouraging movies into each of more than one million children's hospital beds. This effort will provide entertainment for children while they are confined in a hospital. To support KIDS FIRST!® Cares, click here. All credit card transactions are secure.

For Homeschoolers
The Old Schoolhouse is the must have magazine for homeschoolers and right now they are offering a deal that is hard to pass up. With your 2- year subscription you will get approximately $300 in FREE homeschool materials - 19 complete gifts - and FREE shipping. Click here or call TOS at 1-888-718-HOME. The Old Schoolhouse is the magazine for homeschoolers. Please call today as gift inventory is limited to the first 5000 new subscribers.

Become a Coalition for Quality Children's Media Member

If you've found our e-zine and web site helpful, please consider becoming a member of KIDS FIRST!® Members help underwrite the various projects of this organization. The Coalition for Quality Children's Media relies on the generous support of its members and donors to support its programs. An individual/family membership is only $25/year. An organizational membership is $100/year. An independent producer membership is $200. To join, go to: or contact our office at 505.989.8076 or KIDS FIRST!.

VISIT OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************
Please visit our website for an up-to-date list of Coalition members by clicking here:


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This newsletter may be reprinted with permission.
Copyright 2002 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media,

KIDS FIRST!® is the not-for-profit Coalition for Quality Children's Media's initiative that evaluates and rates children's media - videotapes, CD-ROMs and television - using a highly acclaimed method that has been praised by parents and educators alike. It utilizes professionally designed criteria and evaluation tools and engages a volunteer jury comprising child development professionals, teachers and parents nationwide and children of diverse geographic, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. KIDS FIRST!® endorsed titles appeal to people around the world and include many programs on topics important to children's development. KIDS FIRST!® -endorsed titles are available on CQCM's award-winning Internet site, in the KIDS FIRST!® Film and Video Festival and in reviews we provide to more than 75 publications.

CQCM evaluates feature films, television programs, videos, CD-ROM, DVDs and audio recordings. For an application form and application deadlines, visit our website at, call our office (505.989.8076).
Coalition for Quality Children's Media, 112 W. San Francisco St. , Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501.

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