Up to date information about children’s entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Four great DVDS to celebrate Easter, Passover and Spring

This is a wonderful collection from Weston Woods that includes three shorts in this compilation called: Spring Science. The shorts include: “In the Small, Small Pond” which introduces spring and all its wonders. Frogs leap, tadpoles wriggle, geese waddle and minnows scatter. Young kids will see familiar things and learn about stuff they probably didn’t know about as well.  Narrated by Laura Dern, with music by Jerry Dale McFadden (6 min.).  “Waiting for Wings” shows us butterflies who bloom as delicately as flowers in this visually magnificent story of beginnings, middles and ends. We see the butterflies develop from eggs to  caterpillars and finally to a butterfly. Vocals and music by Crystal Taliefero and animation by Cha-Pow! (6 min.). “Goose” tells about a baby goose, adopted at birth by a family of woodchucks who feels like an outcast in everything she does until she discovers – all by herself – that she can fly. Narrated by Laura Dern, with music by John Jennings (7 min.); Ages: 3-8;  19 minutesWESTON WOODS STUDIOS/SCHOLASTIC
STORIES ABOUT THE EARTH

This lovely collection includes 2 shorts. “Johnny Appleseed” – John Chapman’s (aka Johnny Appleseed) legacy of botanical achievements and the stories he shared with children are presented here at their very best in verse and art. Narrated by Mary McDonnell, with music by Randy Scruggs (11min.). “Miss Rumphius” – Inspired by a true-life story, Miss Rumphius shows us how we can all make the word a more beautiful place with a simple handful of seeds. Narrated by Clair Danes, with music by John Jennings (17 min.); Length: 28 minutes; Ages 3-8; WESTON WOODS STUDIOS/SCHOLASTIC

 

Barney: Egg-Cellent Adventures. The children in this video take turns using their imaginations in fun and creative ways as they explore different environments, follow clues to identify animals and sing a bunch of songs while doing so. We even find out what happens when some eggs Riff is watching hatch. We see family members of all ages singing along to classics songs as well as new ones. Animated segments add fun interludes to the lessons about animals and the environment. Our kid jurors really enjoyed the songs and learned about developing friendships. They loved seeing the real kids on screen who they could relate to. One child mentioned how he wished that he could be on the show with Barney who still finds a special way into young people’s hearts. Most important, this show gets kids up and moving. It is very interactive and encourages kids to participate. DVD. 42 min.; $14.98; Ages 2-5. Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. 

 

Chanuka & Passover at Bubbe’s – Kids of all ages will find pure enjoyment celebrating Chanuka & Passover at Bubbe’s (beloved grandmother) with a host of colorful, muppet-like characters. There is Anton the bully, who insists on having things his way, Rhino, who “horns” in before he understands the situation, Chester, who tries too hard, practical Zachary and adorable Muffin.
While this delightful group prepares for the holiday feast, we witness the past as Bubbe relates the story of Chanuka – the fight between the Greeks and the Maccabees – the miracle of the burning oil – the importance of religious freedom for all people.  And while Bubbe prepares for her annual Passover Seder, they are surprised by a talking Haggadah and are magically whisked back to Egypt during the time of the Pharaohs. There, they experience the trials of captivity and ultimately, a triumphant escape to freedom. This is a wonderful compilation to share with your children or grandchildren. It teaches the history of these two Jewish holidays in a fun and enjoyable way. Provides an excellent introduction to the stories of Chanuka and Passover. Promotes cultural awareness for non-Jewish and Jewish children alike. Well written and well produced. When played for our kid jurors, both Jewish and non-Jewish children enjoyed the puppets and learning about Chanuka. The kids were easily able to follow the story line and asked lots of questions afterwards. Running Time: 75 minutes; Recommended Age: 3-11; MONTEREY MEDIA
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