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The Newsstand - What's Hot!


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The Newsstand - What's Hot

Christine Pollock, Newsletter Editor
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people." - Eleanor Roosevelt


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Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
November 1, 2005 Issue #11
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher
[email protected]

1. Letters from the Editor and President
2. Web Store Features
3. New Endorsements
4. Festival Titles
Member News
6. New Members/Renewing Members
7. Media News
8. Family and Parenting News
9. Holiday Video Therapy by Christine L. Pollock
10. Crafts and Activities - Travel Tips from Dr. Toy and Car Trip Chain
11. Festival City Schedule and Events

* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is granted with complete attribtution.

The KIDS FIRST! Web Store

Contributing to Communities with the KIDS FIRST!® Film Festival

Media as an Educational Resource

National Media Education Conference

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

Enter the KIDS FIRST! My Best Artist Coloring Contest and Win over $100 in DVDs!

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
2005 Jan / Feb / Mar / April / May / June / July / August / September / October/ Mid October
2004 / 2003 / 2002
2001 / 2000 / 1999 / 1998
1997a 1997 b

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

Dear Friends,

Friday afternoon sixteen children pranced around our yard playing with a parachute, jumping on the trampoline, and dancing to the music our twelve-year-old blasted from the back porch. They shed coats and socks around the yard as they celebrated my son's sixth birthday. Monday we had a weather warning that we could get up to ten inches of snow. On Halloween, we trick-or-treated in 50-degree weather (see our Halloween family picture below). Yup, it's that time of year where life is filled with change.

This month marks a radical change in our media literacy program. We realize that many of our readers are concerned parents who would love to take our media literacy training but don't necessarily want to become a juror. The idea of organizing groups of children to evaluate programming can be daunting. Because we believe that media literacy is so vital, we are opening our training program for individual use. Graduates of the program always have the option to join the KIDS FIRST! ® Jury should they later decide to volunteer. So, if you're one of those who have postponed enrolling in our media literacy training program, please take this opportunity to sign up for the course for your own use. The fee also has been reduced to only $25. For more information and to register, go to

Another change is a new addition to this news magazine. Stevanne Auerbach, PhD./ Dr. Toy, lends her expertise and shares some advice for parents getting ready to travel with children. Check it out in our Crafts and Activities section.

You also might want to check out an article I wrote for Mothering Magazine entitled, "Mood From Food?" The article address how medical conditions from autism to asthma, might have a link to our diet.

As always, I welcome your input. If you have comments on titles we have endorsed; notices of awards, publications, and products; or suggestions for articles...drop me at line at [email protected].

Christine Pollock, Editor
[email protected]

Dear Readers,

Here's a gentle reminder about our KIDS FIRST!® Best Awards Event November 19 and 20 in Denver. The Coalition has partnered with the Starz Denver International Film Festival to present the KIDS FIRST!® Film and Video Festival. Our first live awards event is in collaboration with their 28th annual festival at the Starz Film Center, the King Center and the Ellie Caulkin Opera House. We will announce the winners of our KIDS FIRST!® Best Awards, screen the award winners along with some new titles, and offer a host of activities throughout the weekend. A highlight of the festival is a special preview screening of "The Blue Butterfly" a film by Léa Pool and starring Academy Award® winner William Hurt, at 2 p.m., Saturday, November 19th.

We also have 50 Annika Barbie dolls to give away to the first attendees Saturday morning, costumed character appearance by Diego, Chuckie, Patrick, and goodie bags for attendees at our Red Carpet event. For a complete list of activities, films that will be screened, and more, visit

Ann and I will be attending and hope to meet many of our KIDS FIRST!® readers in Denver.

In honor of Veterans Day, I've included two titles below that I think you will all enjoy. The Wheel of Peace is a new addition to our web store that has played at our KIDS FIRST!® Film and Video Festivals during the past year to very receptive audiences. You can now purchase it from
The second title is a new one playing in our festivals this quarter: Citizen Tanouye, a documentary about World War II hero and Medal of Honor recipient Technical Sgt. Ted Tanouye.

May the spirit of gratitude be with you throughout this month. We thank you for your support.

Much love,

Ranny Levy
Founder and President, KIDS FIRST!



To keep up with the fast-paced growth at KIDS FIRST!®, we offer juror training online. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a KIDS FIRST!® juror, now's a great time to get started. There is a minimal $40 fee for the training, which is fully refunded after you have been active as a juror for six months. Jurors keep the titles they review and approve. What a wonderful way for teachers, librarians, parents, daycare providers and others involved with children to help KIDS FIRST!® while building their own quality media library. To register or get more information, please click here.


Running Time:17 minutes KIDS FIRST!™ Juror Recommended Age:Ages 8 - 12
Category: Fairy Tales, Literature & Myth PEACE ON EARTH series
Media: DVD Distributor: GOLDEN FILMS

Teaches kids now to resolve conflict in their own lives. It also discusses war, and the kids' desires and prayers for Peace. A roadmap to Peace for future generations of peace-makers, from the mouths of kids and teens who sometimes see things with a clarity that world leaders can not. The kids in the film are from sharply different backgrounds: Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu. Gives children world perspective, personal appreciation for their own lives and practical guidance on how to resolve conflict.
KIDS FIRST!™ Adult Juror Comments: recommended

NEW ENDORSEMENTS ********************************

More New Endorsements can be found at

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

DVD and Video, Ages 2-5

Toddlers dressed as forest fairies discover a world of toddlers dressed in costumes mimicking live animals e. Accompanied by classical music, Irish jigs and sing-along-songs. Adult Juror Comments: Cute and fun. Music varies from calm to more upbeat, uses many styles and instruments, including classical and Irish folk music. Footage shows a wide variety of animals, from lynx to big horn sheep and real children dressed up as animals. Very cute and a bit contrived. Crisp and clear visual images. Could interest children in learning more about animals. Kid Juror Comments: Mixed responses from kits. Some asked to watch it again as they laughed and danced. DVD. 35 min.; $16.99; Age: 1-5. J.A.M. PRODUCTIONS INC.


Our complete list of titles is available by clicking here.

Citizen Tanouye. L. 58 min.
A kinetic "shoot-from-the-hip" style documentary that follows the three-day journey of eight ethnically diverse students as they search for the clues to uncover the lost story of local World War II hero and Medal of Honor recipient Technical Sgt. Ted Tanouye of the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In an effort to understand the man that once walked the halls of their Torrance, California high school over sixty years before, these students piece together Ted's story and that of his family incarcerated at Jerome, AR, from school yearbooks, newspaper articles, internet sites and insightful conversations with World War II veterans and in the process discover something new about themselves. Some profanity. Age: 12-18. Craig Yahata & Robert Horsting



The Blue Butterfly. L. 100 min.
"The Blue Butterfly," is a film by Léa Pool, starring Academy Award® Winner William Hurt, Genie Award Winner Pascale Bussières, and Marc Donato ("White Oleander", "Pay it Forward"). "The only way to catch a miracle is to believe in it." The Blue Butterfly is based on the true story of a terminally ill 10-year-old boy whose dream is to catch the most beautiful butterfly on Earth, the mythic and elusive Blue Morpho. His mother persuades a renowned entomologist (William Hurt) to take them on a trip to the jungle to search for the butterfly, leading to an adventure that will transform their lives. And so their journey begins. A magical film about a courageous young boy whose life is forever changed as, fourteen years later this "terminally ill" boy is now a young man. A compelling adventure about courage, redemption and love filmed in the rain forests of Costa Rica and in Montreal, "The Blue Butterfly" is an extraordinary journey. The feature film will be released in December 2005, DVD in spring 2006. Ages 5-18. Monterey Video.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest Special Edition. A. 76 min.
Come join a spectacular rainforest adventure - where the radar-impaired Batty and his magical friends Crysta, Pips and the Beetle Boys try to save their special world from mankind's carelessness and the evil Hexxus. Annie®-Award winner for Best Animated Feature (1992), the film won the Environmental Media Associate for Best Picture (1992) and is Kids First!® approved. Director Bill Kroyer; Screenwriter Jim Cox; and featuring the voices of Tim Curry, Samantha Mathis, Christian Slater, Jonathan Ward, Robin Williams, Geoffrey Blake, Robert Pastorelli, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Tone Loc and more. Ages 5-12. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC

Little Monster Davi. L. 8 ½ min.
A lonely monster comes to human world to make friends with humans. He asks Cat, Dog, and Bird how to make friends with humans, but humans scream and run away from the monster. In the end, he learns to embrace himself for trying his best. What child doesn't sometimes feel like a misfit? Very accurately captures what it's like to not fit in. Allows kids to feel sympathy for a marginal if imaginary group - monsters. The imagery is still, not animated, but the story is so charming that it makes up for it. Age: 2-5. Oh My Tada! Entertainment.

KIDS FIRST! congratulates Raven Tales for their success in eight international markets including Canada, UK and New Zealand in which they are now fully funded for a 26 episode run.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner…Time to feast your eyes on food, football, and your favorite feathery friends from WGBH's and Discovery Kids' animated preschool science series, Peep and the Big Wide World. Five new episodes debut Monday, Nov 14-Friday Nov 18.


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

Don Juan and Miguel, LLC

Hello Baby Productions

Sqedunk Children Productions

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine,LLC


Project Look Sharp at Ithaca College has just released the third in a series of nationally distributed curriculum kits: "Media Construction of the Middle East." Read More

The Video Software Dealers Association and Entertainment Software Assn. files suit against the state of California to get recently passed violent-videogame legislation declared unconstitutional. Read More


Special Offer 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. Please call today as gift inventory is limited to the first 5000 new subscribers.

Holiday Video Therapy by Christine L. Pollock

The geese are flying south, and the smell of wood smoke is in the air. Commercials remind us that the holidays are right around the corner. Ah, yes, that wonderful time of year where loved ones gather and people start singing. But I think we all have to admit, with all the joy comes a fair amount of stress. What do you say to a relative you haven't talked to in years? Or one who lives next door and you talk every day? What do you do when the little ones burn out? With some forethought, videos can provide the perfect solution to these dilemmas.

Ramadan ends on November 4th with the festival of Eid al-Fitr. This celebration marks their month-long fasting. Muslims dress in their finest clothes, decorate their homes with lights, give treats to children, and enjoy visits with friends and family.

Christmas, December 25th, is when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christians dress in their finest clothes, decorate their homes with lights, give treats to children, and enjoy visits with friends and family.

Sound familiar? That's right, there are many similarities between the Muslim and Christian celebrations, but many people don't even try to learn about the other religions. Peace Tree, a title in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, addresses this issue in a non-offensive manner. This is a fabulous title that tells the story of two little girls, one Muslim and one Christian, who dream of celebrating each others' holiday festivals, Christmas and Eid. Their parents are reluctant to allow this. Through their struggles and dreams, the children create the Peace Tree to celebrate diverse cultures and faiths.

Before watching the film, ask everyone what they know about different faiths and the celebrations of the different holidays. Write down your answers. After viewing the film, ask the question again and discuss where your answers were the same and where they were different. Discuss how this knowledge changes the way you view things.

Now what do you do if you are in the middle of a great discussion with the older children and your relatives, and your brother's four-year-old melts down from all the excitement? We know the answer. You can be the perfect host and pull out a calm CD such as Wai Lana's Little Yogis: Daydream CD. Wai Lana combines ancient yoga relaxation techniques and quiet music to bring a deep sense of calm and inner balance to children. Even if they are not ready to sleep, this CD can relax them until they are ready to return to the party. You might be tempted to grab a few minutes of peace with the child yourself once you start listening to this. As you listen together, talk with the child/children about their own dreams.

Okay, now rest time is over, what is something the entire party can enjoy? Try a title such as PEOPLE. This is one of Ranny's favorites of all time, and I can see why. Music by Al Jarreau, Chaka Kan, Grover Washington Jr, and Vanessa Williams captivates people of all ages. The sound is great and the lyrics are powerful. My sons and my husband were drawn to the room like magnets while I was previewing this title. We all sat through the entire thing, and it led to great discussion afterward. This is the story of a little girl whose parents are getting divorced, and she is sent off to visit her grandfather. She arrives with the idea that the reason people don't get along is that they're all different and that if they were all the same, things would be fine. Her grandfather, a gentle photojournalist who's traveled the world, exposes her to a variety of different cultures through their music and his wonderful imagination, which actually seems to take her there to visit. In the end, she celebrates the diversity of the world. This film was shown at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the U.N.

Even if your children have not experienced divorce, you can still use this film to discuss diversity. Wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same? You can use this topic as a springboard to discuss talents, looks, backgrounds. etc.

In our next news magazine, we will suggest more of our favorite, holiday-saving titles that will encourage family interaction and snuggle time. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have a favorite your would like to suggest.


By Stevanne Auerbach, PhD./Dr. Toy Smart Play /Smart Toys (

Parents need to plan and prepare ahead for their children's travel and leisure time. Selecting a video that pertains to a new location or destination of travel can enrich the child's orientation and the value of their experience. Watch the video together and talk about it. For example a video about life on a farm or a child in Mexico would be beneficial.

Car Trip Chain
based on Berenstain Bears Take a Car Trip
Materials: construction paper, tape, crayons or colored pencils, map. 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

Yuma, AZ

Los Angeles, CA

Newport Beach, CA
San Jose, CA

Denver CO

Fort Wayne, IN

Wichita, KA

Louisville, KY

New Orleans, LA

Brookline MA
Williamstown, MA

Alamogordo, NM
Albuquerque, NM

Santa Fe, NM

Brooklyn, NY

Garden City, NY

Queens, NY

Oklahoma City, OK

Nashville, TN

Austin, TX
Dallas, TX

Houston, TX

Spring, TX

Salt Lake City
, UT

La Crosse, WI
Milkaukee, WI

Washington, DC

Other Events:

November 4-6, 2005:
Reel Grrls is recruiting 50 girls, ages 14-18, who are interested in the arts, film making, and activism, to participate in "Girls in the Director's Chair." Scholarships are available. Read More.

November 10-20, 2005: Denver, CO
Starz Denver International Film Festival. KIDS FIRST!® awards show November 19 and 20. Official schedule online Oct. 24th Read More

Nov 29- Dec. 1, 2005: Nashua, New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Society for Technology in the Classroom is
holding a variety of workshops, conferences, and presentations that will look at using the Internet, digital media, video games, and more to supplement and stimulate classroom activity. Read More

Deadline: January 20, 2006: ITVS: International Programs for U.S. Audience
Independent Television Service (ITVS) invites international producers to create programs for television audiences in the United States that represent diverse global communities, advance underrepresented points of view, inspire public dialogue, tell powerful stories, and explore globally significant themes and issues. Visit for complete program guidelines and application procedures.

To add your event to this list, please send a notice to [email protected].

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's 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.

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


Contact [email protected] ************************

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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) or send an email to [email protected].

Coalition for Quality Children's Media, 112 W. San Francisco St., Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501.

CQCM Newsletter Archive
2004 / 2003 / 2002
2001 / 2000 / 1999 / 1998
1997a 1997 b
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