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The Newsstand - KIDS FIRST!® News 2006


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The Newsstand

Christine Pollock, Newsletter Editor
Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.
- Plato

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Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
July 18, 2006 Issue #7b
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher

1. Letters from the Editor and President
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. Music in Your Movies by Christine L. Pollock
11. Crafts and Activities: Music Therapy from Dr. Toy and Kazoo Craft
12. Festival City Schedule and Events
13. Special Offers
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is granted with complete attribution.

The Significance of Sound - Interview with Jeff Kinder, audio director at Magick Lantern Digital Studio

Beau Bridges, Actor and Father

Purgatory House- an interview with actress/producer Cindy Baer


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 /June 27
July 4
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,

A few years ago, when I was a Head Start home daycare provider, I went to a training on music and movement. The things I learned about the psychology behind the music chosen in children's programming amazed me. I learned that when performers are on stage, choreography encourages children to use both sides of their brain. My article below highlights some other points that make music in children's programming successful.

This summer seems to be busier than ever with the amount of titles we are getting to review for the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) and our regular film festival submissions. It is also good to see an increase in people signing on to become KIDS FIRST!® jurors. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please go to the juror page on our website. As busy as the workday is, these long hours of daylight yield lots of fun time. Summer is always a time to celebrate life, nature and family. I hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am loving mine.

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, Editor

Dear Readers,

This week has been a veritable whirlwind of activity as Ann and I attended the 25th VSDA Home Entertainment conference. Held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, it is the premier venue for home video retailers, distributors, studios, and independent producers to meet, do business, network, and socialize. And we did all of those things, to the tune of about 15 meetings a day. Nearly 200 companies were represented at this year's event. Comic-Actor-Director-Writer Bob Saget hosted their Annual Awards night on Tuesday, July 11, in the Venetian Ballroom. For a list of winners, please go to Our congratulations to Peter Falk who received the Legend Award, to Edward Burns - recipient of the Independent Career Achievement Award, Roger Corman - recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Lucy Liu for the Humanitarian of the Year Award, and to Mehead Brooks and Carmen Electra - recipients of the Rising Male and Rising Female Star of the Year Awards.

Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing some of the new DVDs that we learned about at VSDA, which will be part of our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival in the months ahead. We've got an exciting lineup we're anxious to share with you.

Until then, enjoy your summer.

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.



Stories for Boys. Join the wild and funny adventures of Raven, the most powerful, and one might add, trickiest troublemaker of First Nations Folklore. You can also join Michael Michael Motorcycle and his young friends, Billy & Johnny, as he transforms their family garage into a dirtbike supershop' and takes them on the ride of their dreams. Raven Tales Productions and Monterey Media. DVD. 54 min.; $22.04; Age: 5-12.




Get Fit! Elementary Kids! Introduces the whole family to yoga. Kids stretch and strengthen their growing bodies, sharpen their minds and improve their balance and coordination. These are healthy habits with life long benefits. Master Eastwest, a playful martial artist, teaches kids the ethics of how to use karate and when not to use it. DVD. 90 min.; $28.70; Age: 3-8. Wai Lana Productions and Magic of Martial Arts Productions.




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.




The Big Aquarium. Visit the largest freshwater aquarium in the world in Chattanooga, TN. Shows hundreds of fish and animals from various habitats, divers feeding fish and looks behind-the-scenes at the control center, the veterinarian and the research lab. DVD. 48 min.; $14.95; Age: 5-8. Little Mammoth Media.





Baby Babble DVD. Exposes children to early developing sounds and words, as well as introducing them to simple sign language. DVD. 45 min.; $15.99; Age: Adult. Talking Child LLC.




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.




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 2-5

** Up in the Attic: The Search for Snow. Abandoned in the attic of an old family home, two puppets are brought to life by a stroke of lightening. Lacking the company of children and confined to the attic, the puppets use an old computer to access kids on the Internet to create stories. Adult Juror Comments: Good entertainment. Pleasant sound and visuals. Very creative with cute storyline, appealing characters. The main character has a lovely and clean singing voice. Good entertainment with respectful characters, no big lessons here. Lovely new Christmas story. Kid Juror Comments: Fun. Some kids were glued to it. "I liked the puppets." The characters were the kids' favorite. "They were very kind to each other and took care of one another." " We liked the song. It played a lot so we got to learn the words." "It was so good. Really, really really good." DVD. 26 min.; Ages: 3-8. DAVID ZAREMBA.

Video/DVD-Ages 5-8

* The Tippy Story. A two-month-old Maltese pup sits quietly in a Boca Raton Pet Store having no knowledge of what life could be like beyond the walls of her little cage. A stranger walks in and they capture each other's hearts. Their life together is seen through 'Tippy,' the Maltese pup. Adult Juror Comments: Fun for dog lovers but at almost two hours, long. It is set up in chapters though so you can easily go to specific segments. A very touching story by a very loving dog owner. Tippy's perspective on things such as thinking her owner might be pregnant when it is really Tippy, are cute. It points out the realities of life and death as well as friendship. And, deals with dogs mating and getting pregnant in a very sensitive way. Kid Juror Comments: Good but long. Didn't quite hold everyone's interest except the most die-hard dog lovers. Younger ones liked learning how to train a dog and were sad when the older dog died. "It was fun to see the puppy playing with the kid relatives." DVD. 75 min.; Ages: 5-8. TIPPY, LLC.



** The Danger Rangers: The Great Race. Children all over the city are enjoying the week-long "Big Monster TruckRally." But, Worley the Weasel and his badger friends want to hold their own secret race. Will Worley remain fair and honest to win the race, or are his henchmen up to no good? Find out who wins this great race and how the Danger Rangers leap into action just in time and show the children some pedestrian "street-smarts." Adult Juror Comments: Excellent for home or preschool road safety awareness. Bright colors and cute characters are very appealing. Contains lots of poignant safety facts including details such as why trucks can't slow down as fast as cars can. Nifty songs with catching, important messages such as, "He didn't use the crosswalk and the chicken almost died." Kids will enjoy the high adventure sport while parents will appreciate the safety messages. Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed it. "I saw lots of cool trucks." The kids talked afterwards about what they saw and sang along with the songs. The message comes across clearly. "You have to be careful around cars." DVD. 24 min.; Ages: 5-8. EDUCATIONAL ADVENTURES.

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

ToddWorld: Talk with Your Hands L. 11 min.
On a scavenger hunt, Todd and Pickle meet Will, a deaf boy, and his hearing dog, Archer. They all team up and Todd and Pickle discover that sign language is "handy" to know. Age: 2-5. Discovery Kids.


Shirley Temple: Captain January L. 78 min.
An irrepressible orphan, Star (Shirley Temple), loves her somewhat unusual life in the loving care of the wonderful old keeper of a lighthouse (Guy Kibbee), until a mean truant officer (Sara Haden) begins a relentless campaign to have Star sent to a boarding school far away. Age: 5-10. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.



Clifford: Growing Up with Clifford. L. 90 min.
In these eight big episodes, Clifford the Big Red Dog learns what getting bigger is all about. Life lessons are more fun when you learn them with Clifford. Join these great-for-the-whole-family adventures, as Clifford and his friends get bigger and braver, learn about new grown-up responsibilities, and fantasize about being big red fire dogs. You'll learn that growing up with friends around definitely makes getting bigger better. Episodes Include: "Blanket Blues," "Dog for a Day," "Food for Thought," "Nothing to Fur but Fur Itself," "When I Grow Up," "Another Fine Mess," "Fishing Lessons," "Vaz Goes Down the Tubes." Age: 2-5. Lionsgate Family Entertainment.

Doodlebops: Rock & Bop L. 86 min.
This musical series for children stars Deedee, Rooney and Moe Doodle - three multitalented musicians in a band who are always singing, dancing and learning from each other. Join The Doodlebops as they hang out and practice their song and dance routines in the coolest rehearsal space imaginable, and travel from show to show in their super fun tour bus! The Doodlebops will get kids twisting, turning, bopping and learning with their upbeat energetic music and funny stories. Includes 4 episodes along with music videos, and the highly rated TV show airs daily on Playhouse Disney. Cast: Lisa Lennox, Chad McNamara, Jonathan Wexler. English, Spanish dubbed. Age: 5-10. Lionsgate Family Entertainment.

Miss Spider Special: The Prince, The Princess & The Bee. L. 48 min.
When Shimmer discovers that she might be a beetle princess, she joins Miss Spider on a high-flying adventure to find out what it means to be a royal bug. To help uncover the magical truth, your favorite bugs from Sunny Patch join the journey to learn how important it is to be your bug-self. In a hot-air balloon, they travel to Mushroom Glen, home of the Royal Jewel Beetles. But before they arrive, the bugs will experience exciting heights and meet new friends. Come along with Miss Spider on a magical journey that will make you royally happy regardless of whether or not you wear a crown. Cast: Kristin Davis as the voice of Miss Spider and Julie Lemieux as the voice of Bounce. English and Spanish dubbed. Age: 5-8. Lionsgate Family Entertainment.



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

Bumblz Media are producers of high quality, family-friendly, nonviolent children's entertainment products designed for both children and parents to enjoy together.

Humongous Inc. Founded in 1992, Humongous (formerly Humongous Entertainment) is owned by France-based Infogames Entertainment SA, the largest video games publisher in Europe, and parent company to Atari. Along with Backyard Sports, Humongous is recognized for high-quality, animated CD-ROM's starring original characters.

Gina D's Reading Across America Program
Gina D visits museums, libraries, and science centers to promote reading and education by encouraging parents/caregivers to read at least one book a week to their children.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to release Alice in Wonderland on DVD on August 1st
Lewis Carroll¹s delightful books have charmed generations of families and this wonderful, musical version of his stories includes the characters and adventures from BOTH Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and runs over three hours! Alice in Wonderland features a who¹s who of film and television including Pat Morita, Shelley Winters, Lloyd and Beau Bridges, John Stamos, Ringo Starr and many, many more.

Aussie iTV study Tells Preschool Programmers to Toss the Narrative
One surprising observation from the Children's iTV Project (funded by the Australia Research Council, the West Australian Department of Education, and networks such as Nickelodeon Australia, Nine Network and ABC Australia) indicates the best methods to reach preschoolers were often the least expensive to produce. Read More

Sesame Street Happenings
August is a big month for Sesame Street as they kick off their 37th season August 14. Also coming in August is the debut of two new DVDs, Elmo's World: Pets which hits shelves on August 1 and Elmo's Potty Time, which will be available starting August 22.

Music in Your Movies by Christine L. Pollock

Berthold Auerbach was right on the money with his comment, “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” In the films we review for KIDS FIRST!®, certain titles stand out because they have music that makes kids want to dance, and sing, and be happy. Troubles are forgotten and a brighter attitude is forged. The music makes an ordinary, everyday moment special. I turned to the producers of some of today’s most popular shows, Barney & Friends and Doodlebops, to find out how they achieve this interactive viewing. As a bonus, they also gave some inspirational music tips for independent producers and songwriters.

Karen Barnes, Vice President, Programming & Development, HIT Entertainment, and Executive Producer of Barney & Friends, says that music is a universal language. On Barney & Friends, they strive to incorporate interactivity in each episode, starting with the songwriting process all the way through the choreography. The lyrics of each song speak to things kids encounter every day. For example, when Barney sings a song about how "you can make music with anything," he suggests that everyday objects such as cans, wooden spoons or jars filled with rice can all be used to make music. These songs appeal to adults as well as children because they integrate catchy choruses and rhythmic beats that make viewers want to dance and join the fun.

This fall, Barney introduces a brand new dino friend, Riff, in the new season of Barney & Friends on PBS KIDS®. He will appear in the all-new direct-to-DVD release Barney: Let’s Make Music, and Barney LIVE! The Let’s Go Tour. Riff is all about music and through him the new Barney & Friends episodes will incorporate contemporary music inspired by a variety of influences including Latin, Classical and Jazz, reflective of a preschool music curriculum.

If you are looking for first-rate examples of R & B and soul for your children, check out The Doodlebops programming and concerts. Singer/songwriter Johnny Rutledge and Carl Lenox, CO-creator of The Doodlebops television show, brainstorm over the concept of each script to determine an overall mood for each episode. For example, if something is wrong in Doodleland, and one of The Doodlebops has a problem, they might start with a medium tempo groove, with a sincere, thoughtful melody. Their 60’s style music is choreographed to get "happy hands clappin', get your tippy toes tappin', and let your body swing and sway to the beat," according to Lenox. “The songs feel good, and make you want to have fun.”

Lenox encourages songwriters for children’s media to remember, “There is more than one way into a person's heart." Ookla the Mok, the creators of the theme song for ABC-TV Saturday morning cartoon Disney's Fillmore! found this to be true as the entered the children’s music world through a fan base they built around music poking fun at science fiction and comic book characters.

Both The Doodlebops and Barney & Friends titles can be found in the KIDS FIRST!® Film Festival, including Barney: Let’s Make Music. Whether you are singing along with Barney, grooving with The Doodlebops, or creating your own music for a show, Barnes encourages you to consider the age and developmental stages of the children for whom the music is being written.


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

Music Therapy - Listening to music helps children concentrate, relax, and open up their creative processes. When a child learns the words to a song and then sings with friends or alone, the child is gaining a skill with pleasure. Watching a favorite musical video and singing along is always fun. Selecting the right musical videos at the right age brings a lot of value to your child. Learning to play a musical instrument extends the valuable lessons that musical training provides. Every child benefits from learning music. Music enhances learning and memory and can be a powerful therapy for tension and other issues. Music therapy can be an important tool to help heal and support a child's inner healing. Music in its many forms can be enjoyed by the whole family at almost anytime. A terrific title for introducing music to your child is Let's Play Music.

Activity - Make Your Own Kazoo

Materials: Cardboard Paper Towel or Toilet Paper Roll , Wax Paper, Rubber Band, Pencil

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:

July 24-27, 2006. Albuquerque, NM. New Mexico Media Literacy Project. Summer 2006 Catalyst Institute, an intensive four-day training experience in media literacy concepts and skills. NMMLP staff and guest speakers lead participants in workshops, exercises, video screenings and discussions designed to deepen understanding of media issues and provide a solid foundation for media activism.

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 11 & 12, 2006. Orlando, FL. Gina D's Reading Across America Program. Four Special School Performances at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. Reserve Your Seats Now! $5 per child/person. Call Diana at 407-260-2773 for more information.

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 ******************
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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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