The stories Appellate Judge Tom Becker knows that begin with "splat" aren't really suitable for children.
Fourteen beloved read-aloud classics
Scholastic's been turning out short film and video adaptations of classic children's stories for decades. This set contains 14 of them on three discs, including the 40-year-old "Rosie's Walk."
Splat the Cat & Other Furry Friends
"Hondo & Fabian" by Peter McCarty—A dog and a cat have very different days.
"Picnic" by Emily Arnold McCully—A baby mouse wanders off during the Mouse family picnic.
"Leo the Late Bloomer" by Robert Kraus, Illustrated by Jose Aruego—A young tiger seems to be a little…too young for his age.
The Napping House & Other Stories That Rhyme
"Each Peach Pear Plum" by Allan and Janet Ahlberg—Nursery rhyme characters hide out in pictures, waiting to be spied.
"Drummer Hoff" by Barbara and Ed Emberley—A rhyming story about a military brigade firing a cannon.
"Bear Snores On" by Karma Wilson, Illustrated by Jane Chapman—There's plenty of activity in Bear's cave, but since he's hibernating, Bear snores on through it all.
"Wild About Books" by Judy Sierra, Illustrated by Marc Brown—A librarian drives her bookmobile to the zoo, and the animals learn the joys of reading.
The Story About Ping & Other Fine Feathered Friends
"Goose" by Molly Bang—A baby goose is adopted by a family of woodchucks.
"The Most Wonderful Egg in the World" by Helme Heine—Three hens have a contest to see who can lay the most extraordinary egg.
"Duck on a Bike" by David Shannon—Duck decides to take a bike ride; craziness ensues in the barnyard.
"Rosie's Walk" by Patricia Hutchins—Rosie the hen is enjoying her walk in the barnyard, unaware that a fox is following her.
If you've ever seen a Scholastic video, you pretty much know what you'll be getting: simplistic, if charming, animation—it's just pages from the storybooks given a bit of movement—and a reader/narrator. There's also an optional "read along" function, which brings up larger-than-usual subtitles. Personally, I find the rudimentary animation and read-aloud quality of the narration to be charming, and it emphasizes literacy rather than video, but children raised on computer graphics might be a little harder to sell.
At least some of these have been released before. "Drummer Hoff" and "Rosie's Walk" are the oldest videos here, with 1969 and 1970 production dates, respectively. Others were made in the '80s and '90s, and a few—including "Splat the Cat" were made in the last few years. I believe all of these are full frame, and they all have a simple stereo audio track.
This is a good set if you want a reasonably comprehensive video library of children's classics. Please note that while DVD Verdict received this as a bundled three pack, the discs are also being sold separately on Amazon.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Other Reviews You Might Enjoy
Scales of Justice
Studio: Scholastic Video
• Spanish Version
Review content copyright © 2011 Tom Becker; Site design and review layout copyright © 2015 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.