Case Number 09564: Small Claims Court

CHICKA CHICKA 1-2-3... AND MORE STORIES ABOUT COUNTING (SCHOLASTIC VIDEO COLLECTION)

Scholastic Video // 2006 // 42 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 27th, 2006

The Charge

Stories for kids about numbers.

The Case

Scholastic has another entry into its video collection for you lazy-ass parents. Four more translations of children's books brought to life with limited animation, narration, music, and more panning-over-stills than you can shake a stick at. The theme this go-round is "counting," and numbers are involved in every included story. Shall we leap right in?

* "Chicka Chicka 1-2-3"
By Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson
Illustrated by Lois Ehlert

The sequel to "Chicka Chicka Boom-Boom," a riveting tale about letters of the alphabet climbing a tree. This time, numbers 1 through 100 take a stab at climbing the tree, but must contend with malicious bumblebees and overcrowding. Lots of music and movement and the most animated of the four stories. Should be infectious enough to grab the kids and drive the parents loopy.

* "How Much is a Million?"
By David M. Schwartz
Illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician is here to help you grasp how much 1 million actually is. He does this by putting the huge concepts in frames of reference like what 1 million kids stacked up to the sky would look like and how long it would take for someone to sit and count to a million. That kind of stuff. Educational I guess, but Marvelosissimo is lame.

* "If You Made a Million"
By David M. Schwartz
Illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Marvelosissimo returns for a lesson in capitalistic chutzpah. Now that the little rugrats have the idea of 1 million down, it's time to put that knowledge to good use -- and start thinking about making some scratch! Our friendly neighborhood mathematical magician is back to teach the children about increments of money and saving and plotting a corporate hostile takeover. No, not that last part.

* "Millions of Cats" (Bonus Story)
By Wanda Gag
Instead of money, we've got a s***load of cats. Some poor couple wants to take a cat in, but the millions of cats bite and scratch each other for the privilege. After the chaos, there is just one cat left. It's skinny and ugly, but, hey, so are the poor folks. They adopt the cat and everyone lives happily ever after.

The titular story is the most contemporary and the only one fully animated. The two Schwartz installments are partially animated but full of color. "Millions of Cats": static, black and white and, frankly, weird. If you want to introduce your brood to preliminary concepts of counting and money, these 42 minutes of read-along action could be a good start.

Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile
Studio: Scholastic Video
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 42 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Bonus Story
* Read Along
* Auto Play

Accomplices
* Official Site
http://www.scholastic.com