Judge Jim Thomas frequently jumps up and down, but that usually means he needs to go to the bathroom.
Scholastic Storybook Treasures brings us another disc of fun; this time out, they've added sign language to the mix. The disc includes three stories:
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed—Five little monkeys (duh) say good night to mama, only to start jumping on the bed. Mayhem ensues.
Little Quack—While his brothers and sisters swim behind their mother, Little Quack is left on the shore. Can our plucky hero find the courage to brave the big water?
There's Something in my Attic—A brave little girl, armed with a lasso, prepares to face the creature in the attic, in order to retrieve her beloved teddy bear.
I have a special place in my heart for X number of monkeys jumping on a bed. The story—in several variants—has been a favorite of all of my children—the youngest of whom, like our titular monkeys, tends to jump on pretty much anything. One time, I was singing the story to my daughter, who was two at the time, and right after I went "Mama called the doctor and the doctor said," she yelled "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!!!!" You had to be there. These are all fun stories, aimed squarely at the 2-4 year old crowd. All the stories are presented with read-along text, sign language, and a strong music score. In the case of those silly monkeys, there are semi-awkward pauses almost every other line to allow a musical cue to finish; as a result, the story never develops any momentum. The same problem plagues "There's Something in My Attic," though the pauses work a bit better for that narrative. "Little Quack," though, brings everything together with a nice rhythm.
Sign language is well-incorporated into the disc—the pacing issues are more related to the music that the signing. Perhaps the signer could have been moved more to the side of the screen; they tend to be right in the middle, occasionally covering up the action. Each story was a signing lesson covering twenty or so key vocabulary words, and the comprehension quizzes use both sign language and readalong.
It's a fun little disc, though a bit on the short side.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Scholastic Video
• Sign Language Vocabulary
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