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Case Number 08776: Small Claims Court

Buy The Dot...And More Stories To Make You Feel Good (Scholastic Video Collection) at Amazon

The Dot...And More Stories To Make You Feel Good (Scholastic Video Collection)

Scholastic Video // 2005 // 53 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 10th, 2006

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All Rise...

If Grace can be Peter Pan, then Judge David Johnson can be The Terminator! Grace...thanks for the push.

The Charge

Turning pages is tiring.

The Case

More Scholastic stories, this time tied together by the theme of "inspiration." Each story features characters embracing perseverance, and committing to do whatever they put their minds to. You know, that "you can be anything you want to be" crap. So, got a sprout in the doldrums? Have a tike who, no matter how hard he tries, can't quite take care of business on the potty? Then maybe one of these uplifting tales will deliver the needed motivation.

• "The Dot"
By Peter H. Reynolds
Narrated by Thora Birch

A young child named Vashti (I'm not entirely sure what gender he or she is) suffers from a severe mental block. His/her teacher is all over him/her to get an art project done, but Vashti feels the talent just isn't there. When pressed by the overbearing educator, Vashti draws a dot, which simply mesmerizes the teacher, and his/her fame quickly spreads. The night of the school art show finds Vashti the center of attention as people gush over the multitude of dots the little artist has laid down. This story may inspire some, but to me just seemed like a love letter to mediocrity.

• "Amazing Grace"
By Julius Mary Hoffman
Narrated by Alfre Woodward

Grace is a young black girl with a flair for drama. When it's announced that her class is going to put on Peter Pan, she eagerly volunteers to play the part. But Natalie, a bitchy white classmate informs her that there's no way she can get the role because she's black. Undeterred, Grace, along with her family, is determined to land the role, and obliterate institutionalized racism in the elementary school drama department for good.

• "Brave Irene"
By William Steig
Narrated by Lindsay Crouse

When a dressmaker falls ill, she turns to her daughter, Irene, to deliver a dress to a ball a few miles away. Trouble is: a fierce winter storm rages. But Irene is resilient and takes to the frozen wasteland, battling snow, ice, and wind. She eventually makes it of course, and her mom is promptly taken into custody for child abuse. Nah, just kidding.

For your bonuses, Scholastic has included "Flossie and the Fox" by Patricia C. McKissack, a story of a young child outwitting a sly fox, and the Spanish version of "Amazing Grace." Yeah, it's kind of a shaft job in terms of extra stories, but the Spanish translation will likely appeal to bilingual families.

All in all, this is a set of stories that I didn't particularly care for. I get the "where there's a will, there's a way" thrust and all, but I found the tales themselves pretty dopey.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile

Studio: Scholastic Video
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English
Running Time: 53 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• All Ages
• Animation

Distinguishing Marks

• "Flossie and the Fox"
• "Amazing Grace" Spanish Version
• Read Along
• Auto Play


• Scholastic

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