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

Archive for June, 2012


Monday, June 25th, 2012

San Diego is celebrating “Spider-Man Week” with five days of fun filled events and activities starting with a Spider-Man sand sculpture in Pacific Beach on Monday, June 25th and ending with a chalk art mural at the Wavehouse in Mission Beach on June 29th. Guests will have various opportunities throughout the week to win THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN™ screening passes and promotional items as well as participate in fun Spider-Man themed events including a chance to take home a souvenir photo with the hero.

WHAT: Come watch the Award-winning master sand sculptors, the Sand Guys, create a THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN™ masterpiece completely out of sand! The first 50 spectators will also have the chance to win movie promotional items and screening passes.

Full Calendar of “Spider-Man week” below:

Monday, June 25, 2012

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN™ sand sculpture

Pacific Beach Boardwalk – Main Lifeguard Station on Grand Avenue

6:00AM – 12:00PM

Come watch the Sand Guys as they create an amazing sculpture of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN™ completely out of sand! The first 50 spectators will also have the chance to win movie promotional items and screening passes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


San Diego Fair – Del Mar Fairgrounds


Get Spidey eyes or have THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN™ painted on your face! Look for us at the John Robert Powers booth located near the pedestrian bridge in the kid’s zone.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Costume contest at Comicaze



Come down to Comicaze dressed as Spider-Man or bring your Spider-man comic for your chance to win special advance screening passes and promotional items! First come first served, limited to the first 30 people.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Take your Picture with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN™

Moondoggies – Pacific beach


Come take your picture with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN™! We will print it on site send you home with your very own Spider-man souvenir. Limited to the first 100 people.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Wavehouse Mission Beach (South West Parking lot)


Come see a giant 14’X15’ chalk mural of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN™ on behalf of the release! Three artists will be working on the mural all day, so you can see the masterpiece created from scratch to completion right before your eyes! The first 50 spectators will also have the chance to win movie promotional items and screening passes.

One of the world’s most popular characters is back on the big screen as a new chapter in the Spider-Man legacy is revealed in The Amazing Spider-Man™. Focusing on an untold story that tells a different side of the Peter Parker story, the new film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, with Martin Sheen and Sally Field. The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay written by James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves from a story by James Vanderbilt, based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach are producing the film in association with Marvel Entertainment for Columbia Pictures, which will open in theaters everywhere in 3D on July 3, 2012. The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to OsCorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

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Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Product Winners Posted

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The report of winning toys for Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Products for 2012 is now available to parents, teachers and others interested in play and toys on Dr. Toy’s Guide at www.drtoy.com. The information is designed to assist children to play and learn at home, traveling, and while on vacation.

Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Products Awards were developed by noted child development authority, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Toy), as a valued service to consumers who desire to purchase safe, affordable, educationally-oriented, stimulating toys and play products for children for vacation time for use at home or on the road.

“As a childhood specialist for more than 40 years,” says Dr. Toy, “I have seen the continuous, essential need for more year-round resources for consumers to identify, and choose the most appropriate and timely products for all children.”

Dr. Toy reports that in the years the innovative on-line magazine, Dr. Toy’s Guide, has been available, “Many thousands of visitors daily from around the world have accessed information.” This was the first web site to evaluate toys and children’s products, and now the site is newly updated. The report is being released, according to Dr. Toy, to “encourage parents and teachers to focus on the value of play during the summer (and year round) as essential to balance and the overall on-going learning process.”

She adds, “The Best Vacation Products 2012 are an excellent selection from large, small, new and established, companies across the U.S.A., Canada, and around the world and will provide children with exciting new learning tools that will help them not only do better in school, but also will provide more constructive activities while at home, traveling or at vacation destinations.”

The award winning products include innovative toys, books, CDs, crafts, DVDs, games, puzzles, and many other play products for children of all ages and interests.

Dr. Toy believes “parents need more help to get a head start locating new, quality, diversified products that children will enjoy as they increase learning skills and expand creativity.” The products range from low to high tech for “hours of constructive, educational, and stimulating fun.”

“Children learn best through play,” says Dr. Auerbach, “and these Best Vacation Products encourage children to maximize their potential and make the most of Smart Play. By making a renewed focus on Summertime as a special time for choosing new products for children, parents help to improve their children’s development. This is a perfect time for parents to ‘take stock, ’ do an inventory of what their children are playing with, what is not being used, and what they need next in their development.”

Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Products are very carefully chosen, using extensive criteria she has developed over many years, from among hundreds she has reviewed at toy fairs, in catalogs, and through many other sources. The criteria she uses includes: safety, age-appropriateness, design, durability, lasting play value, cultural and ethnic diversity, good transition from home to school, educational value, learning skills, creativity, improvement in the understanding of the community and the world, good value for price, and, naturally, fun.

These are products suitable for babies to older children, include products from hand-crafted to hi-tech, and range in price on the average from $10 to $50. The winning vacation products are affordable, well designed, and reflect the wide range of children’s interests. Complete information about these and other products are included in the full report.

Dr. Toy’s report includes company customer service numbers, web site addresses, age range, price, and a full description of each product. The award-winning, on-line magazine, Dr. Toy’s Guide, features full color photos of each product, links to companies to learn more, interviews with and articles by Dr. Toy, plus hundreds of other Best Products for all reasons and seasons. At this time over 5000 products are included in the Dr. Toy’s Guide with direct links to companies and toy stores on line, plus toy history, parent resources, and much more. See also the new i phone App- “Dr Toy’s Best Gift Guide” for handy guidance as a practical take- along shopping tool.

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PBS KIDS is kicking off the summer with fun, literacy-themed programming.

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

On Friday, June 15, PBS KIDS premieres the SUPER WHY! Around the World Adventure, an on-air event featuring two new episodes of SUPER WHY!.  This new special is the cornerstone of PBS KIDS’ summer learning initiative, an effort to help kids continue building key literacy skills throughout summer vacation. Research shows that students experience significant learning loss when they do not participate in educational activities during the summer months. To help bridge this summer learning gap, PBS KIDS is providing families with the SUPER WHY! Around the World Adventure, along with a host of other fun and educational content and activities across platforms.

“When children go back to school in the fall, teachers typically spend between four and six weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer,” said Lesli Rotenberg, senior vice president, Children’s Media, PBS. “We want to equip families with tools to prevent this ‘summer slide,’ and to make summer a time for learning and exploring. At PBS KIDS, we know that kids learn the most from content that is both educational and engaging, which is why we’re offering a range of activities across platforms to help kids and parents build key skills while having fun this summer.” This new special is the cornerstone of PBS KIDS’ summer learning initiative, an effort to help kids continue building key literacy skills throughout summer vacation.

SUPER WHY! Around the World Adventure – June 15
Two new episodes of the award-winning series created and produced by Out of the Blue Enterprises – “Super Why and the Around the World Adventure” and “Super Why and Naila and the Magic Map” – take the Super Readers around the world in back-to-back adventures in the SUPER WHY! Around the World Adventure. Both episodes will also be available online at PBSKIDS.org/video and on the free PBS KIDS Video App for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

“Super Why and the Around the World Adventure” – With the help of their teacher, Wyatt and his friends have contacted a girl from another school over the computer and are wondering where she lives. The Super Readers take a trip around the world with a wacky explorer named Wobblebottom, who is on the hunt for his friend Sophie. Will they be able to help Wobblebottom find his friend?

“Super Why and Naila and the Magic Map” – Pig and his friends are playing when they find what looks like an Egyptian treasure map, but they can’t make out the symbols! To search for some answers, the Super Readers soar into the book “Naila and the Magic Map” and explore the world of ancient Egypt. Will they be able to help Naila unravel the mysterious code that will unlock where the treasure lies?

PBS KIDS’ summer learning initiative will also include themed programming on-air, online and on mobile, as well as partnership activities to support literacy.

Summer Learning Theme Weeks – Starting June 4

This summer, PBS KIDS will focus on literacy with 10 weeks of themed programming (check local listings). Each week will feature reading-related episodes from a different PBS KIDS series. Select episodes and clips will also be featured on PBSKIDS.org/video and on the free PBS KIDS Video App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and games and activities will be available for kids at PBSKIDS.org/read and for parents at PBSPARENTS.org/read. Starting June 4, free episode downloads, video playlists and other downloadable content will also be available on iTunes. Episodic images and episode descriptions are available on PBS PressRoom. The line-up includes:

WILD KRATTS, “Zach Attack Week” – Starting June 4
WORDGIRL, “Tobey’s Robot Summer” – Starting June 11
ARTHUR, “Baby Kate Adventure Week” – Starting June 18
CURIOUS GEORGE, “Monkey Business Week” – Starting June 25
SUPER WHY!, “Royal Reading Week” – Starting July 2
THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, “Prankster Planet” – Starting July 9
DINOSAUR TRAIN, “Gone Fishing Week” – Starting July 16
MARTHA SPEAKS, “Dog Daze Week” – Starting July 23
CAT IN THE HAT, “Creepy Crawley Week” – Starting July 30
SID THE SCIENCE KID, “Get up and Move Week” – Starting August 6

Other Stuff

For the third consecutive year, PBS KIDS is partnering with iVillage to offer the millions of women in its online community the iVillage PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge at ivillage.com/pbs. The challenge runs from June 18 to July 27 and features free literacy-building resources, for parents and children, designed by the experts at PBS Parents and PBS KIDS. Daily activity assignments, delivered by email, will be provided by Challenge Coaches Angela Santomero, creator, executive producer and head writer of SUPER WHY!, and Jessica Wollman, vice president, Editorial Products & Digital Programming at Scholastic. The coaches will also answer parent questions and offer advice throughout the online event. iVillage and PBS KIDS will also team up with Scholastic to host reading parties with parent bloggers and within the iVillage community, reaching more than 1,500 kids across the country.

Soar with Reading, a joint project of PBS KIDS and JetBlue Airways, will once again kick off in late June and will encourage kids’ imaginations to take flight through reading. The program features online resources for parents and kids, literacy-based activity booklets and more, all available at www.soarwithreading.com. Additionally, Soar with Reading will be hosting free public events at local libraries in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and San Juan, Puerto Rico throughout the summer; please check the website in June for more information on these events.

Soar with Reading aims to make age-appropriate books accessible to all children. Thus, JetBlue, with help from Barefoot Books, has committed to donating books to children in need. Be sure to visit www.soarwithreading.com to learn how you can get involved in helping another child Soar with Reading.

In addition, the SUPER WHY! Reading Camps, in conjunction with 24 PBS stations from coast-to-coast, will help thousands of young kids discover the power of reading this summer through a proven research-based curriculum based on the series’ groundbreaking interactive learning adventures. National partners for the program include Boys and Girls Clubs of America, YWCA, National Education Association, National Summer Learning Association, Head Start Collaboration and Purpose Built Communities.

Through a variety of summer learning initiatives, PBS KIDS continues to offer educational and engaging content across platforms to more and more families.

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Friday, June 1st, 2012

Marvel Studios announced today that they arranged with NASA to transfer their record-breaking blockbuster film “Marvel’s The Avengers” to NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, which will uplink the film to the International Space Station (ISS), currently orbiting 220 miles above Earth. The film will then be screened for the space station crew’s exclusive enjoyment.

This screening continues Marvel’s collaboration with NASA, which began during principal photography of “Marvel’s The Avengers” when the film shot at the Space Power Facility at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

Louis D’Esposito, Marvel Studios’ Co-President and Executive Producer of  “Marvel’s The Avengers,” says, “The studio is privileged to share ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ with those up in space exploring the universe.  A special thanks goes to NASA for utilizing their incredible technology to make this special screening miles above us in space happen.  It is a screening that would make Tony Stark envious.”

Films, books, and music offer important aspects of psychological support for astronauts on long-duration missions, such as those on the International Space Station (ISS). “These are the types of things that help to keep the crew connected to home, which is a huge morale boost while being away for long periods of time,“ said Dan Cook, Psychological Support Coordinator with Wyle, a contractor at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Aside from watching movies and television shows, ISS crewmembers have a number of options for their leisure and personal time, such as reading books or magazines, listening to music, and playing musical instruments.

The current space station mission is Expedition 31 and has a six-member crew consisting of 2 NASA Astronauts, 1 European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut, and 3 Russian (RU) Cosmonauts as follows: Don Pettit (NASA), Joe Acaba (NASA), Andre Kuipers (ESA), Oleg Kononenko (RU), Gennady Padalka (RU), Sergei Revin (RU)

For more details about Expedition 31, check out the main NASA page:

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