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Content by Ginger Meggs
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Ginger Meggs (Australia)

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Sesame Street: Learning to Share [Import]
Sesame Street: Learning to Share [Import]
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 61.85
15 used & new from CDN$ 2.09

1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, long-winded, and not the right message, June 24 2004
I have many Sesame St videos from the great (123 Count With Me, Bert and Ernie's Word Play) to the not so great (Get Up and Dance), but I absolutely HATE this one!
Firstly the "sharing" message is delivered in a heavy way with very few songs to liven it up. Then the newsreader/interviewer format used doesn't work at all - it is just incredibly boring. Even the introduction of familiar characters like Jack and Jill and the Three Little Pigs cannot save this dud.
I think it may even teach children to be more selfish and "MINE" oriented than they were before they watched it. Elmo constantly talks about Elmo's train, and it's clear that he absolutely hates to share. At the end he only agrees to share due to purely selfish reasons (otherwise Zoe won't play with him anymore), and he tries to share as little as possible (as little as Zoe will let him get away with).
This DVD portrays sharing as a strict case of quid pro quo - I'll give you a cookie, but ONLY IF you give me half your glass of milk. Never mind that I have lots of cookies (more than I can eat). I think sharing should be portrayed as motivated by friendship, affection and caring, not only selfish "what's in it for me?" thinking.

Sesame Street: Do the Alphabet
Sesame Street: Do the Alphabet
DVD ~ Caroll Spinney
Price: CDN$ 17.00
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy Richard Scarry ABC instead, June 24 2004
The problems with this DVD are that it doesn't effectively teach the alphabet and it is pretty annoying. A fair chunk of it is Baby Bear complaining with a whiny lisp, and Big Bird patronising him. Big Bird even runs an "alphabet support group" (like psychotherapy) which I think is a really unsuitable concept for young children. But worse than that, the letters are not taught in a systematic, complete way - only selected letters are featured prominently.
For an alphabet DVD I would recommend Richard Scarry ABC or Learning Songs instead of this one.

Big Red Barn Board Book
Big Red Barn Board Book
by Margaret Wise Brown
Edition: Board book
Price: CDN$ 9.68
119 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Very gentle and calming, March 23 2004
If your child enjoys Goodnight Moon, then they should enjoy this book - it has a similar rhythm and very appealing illustrations. Like the mouse that you can look for in Goodnight Moon, this book has a butterfly that appears on many of the pages. It also shows beautifully the change in the light as the sun sets and day turns to night, and the animals going from active to asleep.
I did find it quite difficult to get a good reading rhythm until I had read through it several times. The rhymes are not exact (not like Dr Seuss, say) - it is more subtle and textured than that. I found some of the lines that work well together require turning over to the next page, and personally I think it sounds better when 3 of the lines are left out completely ("meow meow", "yeow yeow" and "bow wow").
My son (21 months) really enjoys it, and it's a book that you can read every day without going too crazy.

Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell
Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell
by Amy Sohn
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 22.48
83 used & new from CDN$ 0.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, I couldn't put it down, March 15 2004
This is a must-have for any SATC fan - it is filled with great photos and interesting interviews. It has a brief description of each episode (although nowhere near as comprehensive as the episode guide on the hbo website), but for season 6, only the first 12 episodes are described. For the remaining episodes in season 6, there is just a paragraph summarising what happens to each of the four ladies. This is a great pity, and I think the publishers should have waited to include everything in the final season. Don't expect any deep psychological insights or anyone to dish the dirt - it's pretty much eye-candy and feel-good stuff. But having said that, it's great if you're a fan - it includes many of the funniest lines and most memorable fashions in each episode, and I couldn't put it down until I had finished.

Richard Scarry's Best Learning Songs Video Ever [Import]
Richard Scarry's Best Learning Songs Video Ever [Import]
DVD ~ Lacey Chabert
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 130.89
13 used & new from CDN$ 65.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended!, March 3 2004
This is my 2nd Richard Scarry DVD - I also have the ABC DVD. Of the two, I think the ABC is better, but this one is quite good too. It covers a series of concepts with a song each, like counting, shapes, prepositions, alphabet, opposites etc. Of the songs, I don't find any of them memorable except the one teaching the alphabet, which is super (A is for apple, B is for bed, C is for crown that you wear on your head etc).
The DVD is about 30 minutes long, which I find ideal - you can get a bit of housework done without making the TV too much of a babysitter.
Be aware that the Richard Scarry DVDs look a bit low-tech, they are not flashy and polished like Sesame Street DVDs.

Richard Scarry's Best ABC Video Ever! [Import]
Richard Scarry's Best ABC Video Ever! [Import]
DVD ~ Richard Scarry
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 253.66
11 used & new from CDN$ 50.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Great - my son loves it!, March 3 2004
This is a great educational DVD; I bought it for my 18 month old son and he loves it. It doesn't have fancy bells and whistles, and looks old fashioned compared to other children's DVDs, but it holds his attention well. It doesn't have songs though, just the alphabet song, so it may not be interesting for children younger than 18 months.
In terms of teaching the alphabet, we also have Sesame St Do The Alphabet, and I prefer the Richard Scarry. The Richard Scarry consistently goes through each letter, with a short, cute, animated segment for each. (The Sesame St is haphazard, covering some letters only.)
The DVD is about 30 minutes, which I think is ideal for maintaining a child's interest.

Thomas the Tank Engine's Hidden Surprises (Thomas & Friends)
Thomas the Tank Engine's Hidden Surprises (Thomas & Friends)
by Rev. W. Awdry
Edition: Board book
Price: CDN$ 6.11
57 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Not very interesting, Jan. 28 2004
I bought this book for my 19 month old son because he is a great fan of Thomas, but it hasn't proved to be a hit with him or with me. There isn't much of a storyline, and it's barely worth lifting the (very small) flaps, as the pictures underneath are mostly uninteresting and tiny. The colours are also a bit strange (Bertie the bus is brown), and the text does not show the personality of Thomas or any of the other characters. In terms of lift-the-flap, books like "Where's Spot" or "Spot Goes to the Farm", with large flaps and clear, colourful pictures underneath are far superior.

The Adventures of Bert
The Adventures of Bert
by Allan Ahlberg
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty boring, there are many better children's books, Jan. 28 2004
This review is from: The Adventures of Bert (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I am a fan of Raymond Briggs, but I found it very disappointing. There are 5 short chapters in this book. The first and the last are almost identical (saying hello and goodnight to the Bert family in bed) and the middle 3 are very brief, poorly developed and lack a meaningful storyline. There seems to be no relationship or flow between the chapters either - it's just a jumbled mishmash. In Chapter 2, Bert buys a new shirt, and when it gets stuck on his head, he rolls out on the street and ends up in a lorry on his way to Scotland. And there the "story" ends - it just doesn't go anywhere. In Chapter 3, he is frightened by a man in sausage suit, in Chapter 4 he rescues a puppy from the river. The illustrations are quite charming, but the text is uninvolving. My 19 month old son really enjoys reading books (like Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and We're Going on a Bear Hunt) but shows minimal interest in this one.

Sesame Street - Get Up & Dance [Import]
Sesame Street - Get Up & Dance [Import]
DVD ~ Jim Henson
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 74.46
9 used & new from CDN$ 40.03

1.0 out of 5 stars Mostly dull and annoying, July 2 2003
My son owns quite a few Sesame St DVDs but this is by far the worst one. The dance teacher is dreadful - she has a terrible singing voice, and her speaking voice is pretty annoying too. The plot is very dull and most of the action takes place in a dance studio/classroom. Mostly it shows children, not much of the muppets. The dances themselves don't have interesting moves, and the songs are not at all memorable for their tune or their words.

Cookie Monster's Kitchen
Cookie Monster's Kitchen
by Random House
Edition: Board book
13 used & new from CDN$ 19.48

4.0 out of 5 stars How to make a mess in the kitchen!, April 7 2003
This is a big board book showing Cookie Monster mix, bake, and of course, eat, a batch of cookies. My son likes the song "C is for Cookie" so he likes this book, and its size gives it some novelty value. On the downside it has minimal text, consisting of non-imaginative sentences, and the illustrations don't change much from page to page; it also doesn't help that Cookie's kitchen is depicted in washed-out pastel colours. (And I always thought that Cookie's cookies were chocolate-chip, but according to this book, they are raisins.)

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