Film Festivals | Movie Reviews | Submit a Title | Jurors | About Us | Contact Us | Home

The Newsstand - KIDS FIRST!® News 2006


Go to the KIDS FIRST!® Home Page

The Newsstand

Christine Pollock, Newsletter Editor
To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward. - Margaret Fairless Barber

Subscribe to our monthly E-Zine to stay up to date on KIDS FIRST!® initiatives. - FREE -

Your e-mail address:


Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
August 15, 2006 Issue #8b
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. Evergreen Film by Christine L. Pollock
11. Crafts and Activities: Preparing to go Back to School from Dr. Toy and Make a Puzzle Activity
12. Festival City Schedule and Events
13. Special Offers
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is granted with complete attribution.

Why the Famous Do Children's Films - Interviews with Daniel Roebuck and Jim Hanks

Music in Your Movies

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 / July 18 / Aug 1

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,

Congratulations to Kathleen Krajewski from Kensington, CT, our newest KIDS FIRST! juror. Krajewski is a former accountant who now has, according to her, "the best job in the world." She is the mother of a four-year-old son, Matthew, and 3 great stepchildren. She finds plenty of opportunity to interact with children through her church, where she involved with a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) program, and at The Worthington School for Young Children, a private preschool her son attends.

If you are interested in becoming a juror, go to our juror page for more information. I have been a juror for six years and my children still get excited every time a new package from KIDS FIRST! comes to the door. They are especially thrilled to hear that our next package will include a game to evaluate for Game Boy Advance.

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,

As you might imagine, there is an endless flow of films coming through the KIDS FIRST! office on any week. Now, with more than 100 different venue partners and screenings year-round, we will have more than 10,000 screenings of KIDS FIRST! Film Festival titles this year alone. That's a lot of film screenings and a lot of films, more than 300 of them, that we will have shown in the last 12 months. Every August, our staff begins to pull together the audience evaluations of all the films that have screened in the last twelve month in order to compile a list of nominees for our annual KIDS FIRST! Best Awards, including more than 20 category awards and 5 Best of Fest Awards. By the end of this month, we will post the list, and you will be invited to vote for the Audience Favorite award. Our Awards Event this year will be in Los Angeles, time and place soon to be announced. Until then, please remember that our next deadline for submissions for our First Quarter 2007 Festivals and our KIDS FIRST! Endorsement is Sept. 15. October 30 is our late deadline.

As you may be aware, we are a membership-driven organization. We have recently changed our Independent Producer Membership policies in order to provide our members more benefits.They include: membership renewals at half the membership fee, if done without a lapse ($100), reduced application fees on subsequent title submitted from a member ($75) within their membership year, and (you'll love this one) - one application fee waived if the member becomes a KIDS FIRST! juror. This still requires that the member take our online Juror training which costs $40 and is completely refundable once you jury 6 titles. For details, please visit

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.


Road Trip DVDs for PK. Includes: Baby Songs: ABC, 123 - Colors & Shapes (see details). Baby Songs: Baby's Busy Day (see details). Finger Plays with "Miss Lori" (see details). Nursery Tap, Hip to Toe (see details). DVD. 176 min. ; $33.59; Age: 2-5.



More Road Trip DVDs. Wheels On the Bus: Mango Helps the Moon Mouse (see details). Wheels On the Bus: Mango and Papaya's Animal Adventure (see details). DVD. 71 min. ; $28.70; Age: 2-5. Armstrong Moving Pictures.


The Capt'n Gravity Ranger Program. Movement is the language of the brain. The Capt'N Gravity Ranger Program improves your child's learning skills through exercise. Improved coordination promotes improved learning. Movement knowledge is brain science. Step into your learning curve. DVD. 30 min. ; Ages: 8-12. Dr. Gerald Brickley, LLC.



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 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. DVD. 35 min. ; $12.76; Age: 2-5. Soaring Star Productions, LLC.


The Wheels on the Bus Video: Mango Helps the Moon Mouse. Through the use of live action, animation, puppetry and animatronics, characters undertake a musical adventure to a reptile show, a bird show, a grocery store and even the moon. DVD. 38 min. ; $10.39; Age: 2-5. Armstrong Moving Pictures.



Signing Time! Volume 6: My Favorite Things. Join Alex, Leah, their frog Hopkins, and Signing Time's Rachel Coleman for more signing fun! Teaches ASL signs for fruits, vegetables, colors of the rainbow, and activities. Divided into segments for colors; and fruits and veggies, and activities, Includes ASL tips. DVD. 30 min. ; $17.59; Age: 2-5. Two Little Hands Productions, LLC.


Colors and Shapes: Jack the Cuddly Dog. Soothing new education video for babies. Jack is a puppy who lives in Central Park, New York City. He explores colors, shapes, animals, flowers, mountains, trees and more. Classical music pieces are performed by award-winning concert pianist, Cheryl Tschanz Newkirk. KIDS FIRST!®Adult DVD. 28 min. ; $12.79; Age: 1-5. Hello Baby Productions. DVD. 28 min. ; $12.79; Age: 1-5. Hello Baby 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 2-5
** Clifford: Growing up With Clifford. 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. " Adult Juror Comments: Kid Juror Comments: DVD. 90 min. ; $13.49; Age: 2-5. Lionsgate Family Entertainment.


Video/DVD-Ages 5-8
*** Veggie Tales: Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler. Together, Sheerluck Holmes and Dr. Watson can solve any crime. But when the valuable golden ruler goes missing, will Sheerluck remember the all-important golden rule in time to rescue the ruler and save his friendship? English and Spanish audio tracks. Adult Juror Comments: It's hard not to love a Veggie Tales movie. The characters are familiar and the story lines are always fresh, fun, timely and exciting. Great for transcending race issues since they're all "veggies. " Exhibits great examples of how to treat others. Bible verses are mentioned in a very subtle way. This title addresses the Golden Rule, tolerance, kindness and empathy. Kid Juror Comments: Loved it. "We love the Veggie Tales! Bob and Larry rock! ~. They always sing the theme song and we dance along. " By the time the kids filled out their evaluation form, they had already watched it a second time. "Even my parents love the Veggies. " "All our favorites are here - especially Bob and Larry. We like the others too. " Both boys and girls enjoy them equally. "There are always lessons to be learned. In this one Larry was being selfish and he hurt Bob's feelings. He learned that he needed to share the credit with his friend and be a team player. " DVD. 52 min. ; $14.99; Age: 5-12. Big Idea Productions, Inc.

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

Dragon Tales: Experience New Things L. 67 min. Teaches children how to adapt to change, and to view it as a positive experience. Whether moving into a new home, having friends move away or learning from a substitute teacher at school, change is positive and allows for children to grow as individuals. These lighthearted, engaging and playful episodes allow children to embrace change, and feel good.


ToddWorld: Water U Thinking L. 11 min. When Sophie's pet fish Banana and his friend Finnegan become ill, Todd and Sophie trace the trouble to Finnegan's pond and discover it's polluted. Todd and Sophie must teach their friends not to litter and to respect where other people live. Includes a special song "Take a look inside" performed by Al Jarreau.




Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Fairy Tales L. 45 min. Strawberry Shortcake and her friends offer berry special lessons in friendship when adventuresome fairies bring a hint of magical mischief to Strawberryland. When Strawberry Shortcake happens upon an injured Margalo B. BerryGlow, she sweetly offers to take her in and nurse her back to health. Strawberry embarks on a second fairy adventure when the slightly clumsy Sherry Bobbleberry gets blown into her open window while on a special mission for the Fairy Queen. English and Spanish.


Arthur's Missing Pal L. 66 min. When Arthur's dog Pal disappears, Arthur must enlist the help of his friends to track him down. While Pal discovers his newfound freedom, Arthur discovers how much he misses his dog. Good thing Arthur has the gang to turn to--especially his best friend, Buster Baxter, who dusts off his old detective gear to get on the case. This canine quest leads Arthur and Buster across Elwood city, deep into the bowels of an ice cream factory, past a giant cow on ice skates, and right up to the point where all hope seems lost. Could the solution to this caper, though, be right in front of Arthur's eyes? And why has D.W. been acting so funny lately? One thing's for certain, Arthur is determined to get to the bottom of this case. Follow Arthur, Buster and all their friends through the streets of Elwood City as they sniff out clues and chase after leads. . .and learn a valuable lesson about friendship, teamwork and responsibility. Directed by Yvette Kaplan; Produced by Rick Rich. English, Spanish.



Alvin and the Chipmunks: Trick or Treason 66 min. Join Alvin and his brothers Simon and Theodore for this hilarious Halloween adventure. Alvin wants to be accepted into the Monster Club, but the Monster members seem to think its cool to be cruel. It takes Theodore's friendship to Michael, a misunderstood outcast the other kids call Pumpkinhead, to show Alvin that being a true friend is really a lot more cool than trying to be a popular Monster! There are plenty of laughs and surprises and music, including the Chipmunk's rendition of the hit song "Monster Mash" to make this a monstrously fun video any time of the year!




Reading to Your Bunny L. 9 min. Young Freddy Bunny is having trouble learning in school, but he'd rather play video games and watch TV anyway. With encouragement and support from his teacher and the Book Fairy, his parents start reading to him twenty minutes a day, and in no time he becomes a happy book-loving super student. From an original script by Rosemary Wells inspired by her book, Read to Your Bunny. Voices by Diana Canova, David de Vries, Rosemary Wells and others. Music by John Jennings, with an original song performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Directed by Michael Sporn. Book by Rosemary Wells Illustrator: Rosemary Wells


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

CleverShow Corporation produces entertaining educational music based CDs and DVDs that promote English Language Learning for children primarily from 3 to 8 but also applicable to older ages - including young adults. Our products are branded under the Jazzles, JazzleVision and JazzleOke brands and sell domestically and internationally. Our latest product, Jazzles Clever Cartoons, is to be aired nationally across China to develop children's English Language skills.

Meet the Orchestra First Instruments is a new children's educational series. Each episode of Tot-a-Doodle-Do! focuses on a theme and contains six elements not currently found in one 30-minute children's program. Follow-along with us as we entertain and guide your child to use the skills they need in their everyday life such as proper manners, how to prepare nutritious snacks, use their imagination and get their daily exercise through singing and dancing. Geared to children age 3-7.

Melee Entertainment. MELEE's Home Entertainment mission is to be the market leader in non-theatrical programming. They focus on each release well beyond street date, with new creative, cutting edge promotional and marketing campaigns.

The OrganWise Guys, Inc.

TOON Studios. The animators and artists of our company have graciously donated their time to produce a series of hand drawn animated cartoons to keep children safe. This series deals with subjects such as fire safety, internet safety, abduction, obesity, childhood allergies and much more. The cast of animated characters are adorable. All films are designed for Preschool through grade 5.

Jumpstart's Read for the Record Event on August 24
Make a difference in a young child's life -- set them on a path for success during school . . . and life. Visit for more information. As part of their contributions, the official Campaign edition of "The
Little Engine That Could" was custom published (to include reading tips from Jumpstart) by Penguin Young Readers, a division of Pearson (Pearson also underwrote all publishing costs). Starbucks will exclusively retail the book in more than 5,000 Starbucks stores August 1 - 28 (while supplies last), with 100% of the $9.95 purchase price going directly to support Jumpstart's work with at-risk children. American Eagle Outfitters will also be organizing readings and has produced the official Campaign t-shirt.

Choose Your Own Adventure Promotes Healthy Eating Habits
Life cereal debuts it's cover with this film festival favorite character on its cover. Congratulations to all at Choose Your Own Adventure!




PBS Offers Download-to-Own Deal
Content available for download will include episodes of Arthur, Cyberchase and Fetch! Each episode is $1.99 for unlimited playbacks. The downloaded content will include a spot encouraging viewers to become members of their local PBS station. On Google, the PBS content will be available at Viewers can also purchase episodes via the Open Media Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the best of public broadcasting and educational programming to the Internet on

Curious George TV Series Debuts Monday, September 4 on PBS Kids
Based on Curious George book series by H.A. Rey, the new daily series is narrated by actor William H. Macy. Each episode includes two animated stories that are followed by a short live-action segment that shows real kids in activities that underline the theme of that episode. The series is designed to spark the interest and curiosity of preschoolers, while providing parents/caregivers with ways to support kid's hands on science and math related activities.

Evergreen Film by Christine L. Pollock

If retro is all the rage in the fashion world, why not in media, also? I pondered as I heard my children defending one of their favorite shows (Andy Griffith) to a friend who is only interested current movies. There is a wealth of information to be garnered from media that has spanned generations. It is a priceless moment when a parent or grandparent snuggles with their child/grandchild and watches a classic film. While the child is learning about a bygone era, the older generation reminisces about the first time they saw the film. My daycare children are endlessly amused by the fact that my husband saw the first Land before Time film in the movie theater. Each time a new film comes out, the kids let us grownups know, and we all enjoy the new film together.

In this fast-paced world, it might be difficult to imagine that the child would want to sit down with one of the slower moving stories of the past. I challenge you to give it a try. At one point last year, as part of a homeschooling effort, I showed my three boys several versions of the film, Heidi, after we read the book. To my great surprise, their favorite version was the 1937 version starring Shirley Temple. The next time we went to the local library, they found another film starring Shirley Temple. They brought it home and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was to our great delight that we discovered a Shirley Temple film highlighted in the KIDS FIRST!® Film Festival. As we've reviewed the title, my boys were asking questions about the actress. They were surprised to find out that she was even older than I. We were able to talk about Temple's political career, which led to an interesting discussion on various child actors and what happened to them as they grew older, along with the phenomenon of typecasting and how actors fight that. Captain January is available to Film Festival providers this fall.

Another "remake" title, we have in our Film Festival is Alice in Wonderland. This story comes to life in a way it never has before with jolly, witty songs by Steve Allen and more than a dozen Hollywood stars. The cinematography is phenomenal. It is almost worth viewing the film just to see the artistry of the animated dragon. It was so realistic, my nine-year-old was asking if perhaps dragon's really do exist. I jokingly responded by asking the children if they had ever seen a story about it on Reading Rainbow, another classic title.

Although it is always fun and interesting to see the new technology and edgy stories emerge, sometimes it's nice to remember the mores of the past. Actor Daniel Roebuck put it rather well when he was talking about films he wanted his children to see. Roebuck is concerned about the message we are getting our children. Popular media such as a reality shows make it seem like the only way to survive is a dog eat dog world. After a long day on the set, Roebuck was exhausted, but took the time to go to a classic film festival. As he puts it, if people do not show support for the films with good morals, they might become obsolete. Where do you go to find a classic films so you can support them and their distributors? Even if you live in a rural area, it is still possible. Our family finds a lot of the classics in the local dollar stores. And, of course, you can go to the KIDS FIRST!® website and find out when our film Festival is in your area. This site will even tell you which titles are showing. Check it out at Perhaps resurrecting the magic of evergreen film will ignite a positive flame in the future of children's film. As writer Margaret Fairless Barber sums up, "To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward. "


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

Preparing to go Back to School- The transition time of summer to fall is a good time to prepare the mind for autumn. This is a good time for reading, puzzles, games, construction projects, and learning materials that reinforce skills that are needed to succeed in school. The choices are great and the time it takes is very worthwhile. A great KIDS FIRST!® title for little ones who are ready to embark on the public educational journey is Mister Rogers: Going to School.

Activity - Make a Puzzle

Materials: ruler, paper, pen, 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:

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

August 24, 2006. Jumpstart's Read for the Record Event on August 24. Visit for more information.

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 ******************
Please visit our website for an up-to-date list of Coalition members by clicking here:


To SUBSCRIBE to our free e-zine, KIDS FIRST!® NEWS: Send e-mail to join-[email protected] Or fill out the simple form at: To leave this list, send e-mail to [email protected] or use the link below:

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.

Subscribe to KIDS FIRST! free monthly e-zine for news and specials: