Judge Erich Asperschlager makes room for ducklings...in his stomach.
"Make way for ducklings!"
Parents want their children to read more books. Their children want to watch more TV. Scholastic provides the perfect compromise with its Storybook Treasures DVD series, re-imagining classic kids books for the small screen. Their new Caldecott Favorites collection features 20 classic kids' stories, across three themed discs:
Disc One: The Ezra Jack Keats Collection
• Whistle for Willie
• Peter's Chair
• Pet Show!
• The Trip
• Apt. 3
Disc Two: Antarctic Antics
• In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
• Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
• Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
• Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
• The Hat by Tomi Ungerer
• The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge by
Hildegard H. Swift
Disc Three: Make Way For Ducklings
• The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
• The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson, adapted by
• Angus and the Ducks by Marjorie Flack
• Cat and Canary by Michael Foreman
• Wings: A Tale of Two Chickens by James Marshall
There are only a handful of Caldecott Medal and Honor winners in this set, but don't let deceptive marketing keep you from picking this up for your kids. Caldecott Favorites is more than three hours of fun children's books brought to life. While some are close-ups of static pages, most are animated—from simple flourishes to full cartoons. There's even one live action story, Angus and the Ducks. The full screen video quality varies from story to story. Some of the older films show their age (especially in the Keats Collection), but the books' individual art styles are well-reproduced. The stereo audio is equally solid, delivering music and narration—including famous voices like John Lithgow and Laura Dern—in a clean, balanced mix. All of the stories have the option to watch with "read-along" captions. The only extras on the set are Spanish versions of The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, and Make Way for Ducklings.
Books on video might sound like an excuse for kids not to read, but DVDs like Caldecott Favorites are a way to expose your children to a variety of stories in a way they will enjoy. With classic tales by Ezra Jack Keats, Esphyr Slobodkina, and Robert McCloskey, this new Scholastic collection is a great value, however you measure it.
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