Case Number 08831: Small Claims Court


Scholastic Video // 2005 // 45 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 16th, 2006

The Charge

Burl Ives is here to rock your world.

The Case

Got kids who like to sing or pretend they like to sing? This round of Scholastic read-alongs feature four musical little tales, primed to be belted out by even the most tone-deaf four-year-old.

* "The Wheels on the Bus"
By Paul O. Zelinsky
"The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round!" (Wash, rinse, repeat) Follow the mind-blowing adventures of a city bus as it tools around, picking up people, dropping people off, and, er, picking up some more people. The lively artwork is the highlight of this straightforward tune toon. That and a score by the Bacon Brothers. Bam! Another "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" trivia item for you!

* "Dem Bones"
By Bob Barner
No, this isn't the much-awaited Vince Foster animated musical, but a version of the African American spiritual. You know, the one about the neck bone being connected to the shoulder bone and so on and so forth. This particular incarnation is delivered by a bunch of dancing skeletons.

* "Over in the Meadow"
By John Langstaff
This ditty combines the attractive illustrations of woodland animals and their habitats, with the practical lessons of learning to count. Marvel as your toddler starts quantifying beavers, bees, foxes, and squirrels.

* "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly"
By Rose Bonne and Alan Mills
The classic tale of a woman with an incredible colon and her struggle with the temptation of using Syrup of Ipecac. The old lady downs animal after animal, and refuses the beckoning hand of death -- all the drama captured by the unmistakable croon of Burl Ives.

Two bonus stories can be found in the extras bin: "I Want a Dog" by Dayal Kaur Khalsa chronicling the wanton desire of a child for a dog, who ends up inventing an awesome new fad: walking a roller skate and pretending it's a pet; and "The Chinese Violin," by Madeleine Thien, a trippy tale about a single dad and his kid and their struggles with poverty and how violin music is inspiring and freeing.

The disc is boilerplate Scholastic, but the singing stuff could appeal the rugrats with more musical bones in their body. For you, the parent, no guarantees on the fortitude of your sanity after 134,567th recitation of "The Wheels on the Bus."

Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 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)

* English

Running Time: 45 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* "I Want a Dog"
* "The Chinese Violin"
* Read Along
* Auto Play

* Scholastic