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What to know: Simple, straightforward language program for pre-schoolers.
Recommended age 2-6
95 minutes
Video and DVD
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Twiki and Twini are kiwi birds. The show was about the two kiwi birds going places. One of our favorite parts was when the red guy liked the princess, and he tried to save the princess and there was a dragon! We also liked when they went to the beach. It showed us how to spell words. We liked it because it was funny. We liked that the birds did funny things. There wasn't anything we didn't like about it. We loved all the parts. But it was long.

"It's funny. I liked the Kiwis. I liked both of them. I liked them because they are so fun and so funny. I want to watch it again." 6 year old. "They are mad and tease each other. I like it. It is funny. I like when they are driving a car and they are making a train. I would watch it again." 3 year old.

The kids noted that sometimes they are mean to each other but then they say, "sorry". The children talked about how the two kiwi birds had to apologize for teasing the giant. They also were interested to learn what "not get cross" meant.

"There is a giant. They spell words. They are mean to each other but then they said sorry. It was so fun, fun, fun, fun!"

This program has multiple mini-programs and not one main storyline. All mini-programs started out introducing the characters in a situation where they would then learn how to spell new words. After the situation is resolved, they review the words to end. The show is simple and easy to follow for younger viewers. It shows two cute claymation kiwi birds that get into little situations where the opportunity arises to learn how to spell new words and also learn manners. My six and three year olds liked the program but it is too slow to watch with anyone older than six. Overall it has high quality content and is perfect for very young viewers. It is very good in helping teach kids to spell simple words, teaching manners and teaching how to control your emotions. I can see my children trying to spell simple words if they watched this often enough.

The cover is clean and colorful. The stop motion claymation is interesting and appealing. The vocabulary is appropriate for a young group. However, you should be aware that it was made in New Zealand and there are Kiwi words and phrases that U.S. kids don't relate to such as: "Going on holiday" and "Don't be cross." My children didn't know what those phrases and keywords meant so I had to explain them in "American terms".

Another thing I thought was a bit confusing was how it seemed like it was geared towards a very young viewer but they were teaching them how to spell a word. I think that the age they are hoping to capture with this program is too young to remember or understand that part. But, it flows well and is very logical. Both my three year old and six year old enjoyed it. The only unappealing thing to me is that, because it is so simple, it is difficult to watch as an adult. Also, the characters talk in grunts with an adult and child narrating. I would prefer the characters spoke themselves instead of grunting.

Reviewed by Jan B., KIDS FIRST! juror.

This DVD contains 18 short episodes of Twiki and Twini, 2 entertaining, kiwi-looking birds. Each episode uses claymation (stop-motion clay animation) to teach words through Twiki and Twini's adventures. The episodes are funny and educational and my kids enjoyed watching them. The way that the birds interact with the voice-over narrators is unique and the additional characters in each episode are likable and colorful. My only negative critique of the show is that the words are loosely based on the theme of the episode, but they are pretty random, following no particular phonetical pattern. I don't think kids would really learn much about phonics or reading from watching this, aside from basic vocabulary words or the overall general correlation of words to a group of letters. However, my children were captivated by the episodes and I feel they would enjoy watching them for sheer entertainment, with some minimal educational aspect. This DVD is very cute and entertaining, and I would recommend it for ages 2 to 7. By Karyn A., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

Let's learn English with Twiki and Twini! In this DVD, Twiki and Twini will help teach your little one phonic skills! In each episode, Twiki and Twini takes us on an adventure to discover new words and new sounds. Get ready to enter into an unexpected universe comprised of sounds, words, and images. Enjoy eighteen phonic based episodes with Twiki and Twini!
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