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Profile for Michele S. Hays > Reviews

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Content by Michele S. Hays
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Reviews Written by
Michele S. Hays (Evanston, IL United States)

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Sesame Street: What'S the Name of That Song?
Sesame Street: What'S the Name of That Song?
DVD ~ Caroll Spinney
Price: CDN$ 10.97
8 used & new from CDN$ 7.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Sesame Street clips make it good...extras make it great!, May 4 2004
Although, like other Sesame Street made-for-sale products, the storyline is a little weak (Super Grover looks for the Song Everyone Can Sing,) this DVD is still great fun. It's mostly comprised of song clips from the show, including a montage of "Sing," Wayne Brady singing "Between" from the 2003 season, "Operatic Lullaby" with Denyce Graves, "Soul Alphabet" with Patti LaBelle, "The Letter O" with Queen Latifah, and "Everybody's Song" with Diana Krall. Muppet clips include "Do de Rubber Duck," "Doin the Pidgeon," "Eight Balls of Fur," and "You Made Me Love You" with Cookie Monster.
Performances on this DVD are terrific: it's great to see SuperGrover crashing his way through the screen again. If not for the credits, you'd never know Frank Oz isn't a performer - Cookie and Grover are rock-solid, just like I remember them! They could have skipped the letters/numbers homage to West Side Story, but otherwise, it's great to see Oscar and Big Bird interact with Elmo and SuperGrover,
The extras on this DVD really made it worth buying for this vintage Sesame Street fan, though: There are four vintage clips in their entirety: "ABC-DEF-GHI," "I Like You," "Captain Vegetable," and, best of all, a montage of the "Pinball Number Count"(same as the song on the 35th anniversary CD.) I also like the cover - it opens into a board book with lyrics to several songs; a great plus if you have a preschooler!

Bert And Ernies Greatest Hits
Bert And Ernies Greatest Hits
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 62.95
12 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't know how much I loved them until I got this album..., Oct. 8 2003
Ernie and Bert have some of the best music on Sesame Street, and this album is the place to find it. It not only includes the standards "Rubber Duckie" and "Doin the Pidgeon," but there are some terrific songs that were new to me: an incredible lullaby incorporating deep breathing; "Up Goes the Castle" and a fun song about asking for help; "Lonesome Joan." This CD should have a place in any Sesame Street fan's collection, be they 2 feet or 7 feet tall.

Sesame Street Songs From The
Sesame Street Songs From The
Offered by USA_Seller_4_Canada
Price: CDN$ 91.25
5 used & new from CDN$ 31.82

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a terrific collection for both fans and kids!, Oct. 8 2003
I love this CD set - it sure beats hours of looking for downloads! It's got a great mix of vintage originals (plenty of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss for me!) like "Somebody Come and Play" and "What's The Name of That Song" with celebrity songs like "Furry Happy Monsters," and "Elmo and the Lavendar Moon." Best of all, it contains a remix of the Pinball Number Count (you know: one two three FOUR FIVE six seven eight NINE TEN eleven twelve...)There are a couple pop-schmaltz songs on this CD, but they're few and far between. The songs seem to be recorded directly from shows, which may explain another viewer's issue with the quality.
Another plus is 15 pages of terrific liner notes by Sesame Street artist Christopher Cerf (Chrissy and the Alphabeats). It includes a timeline "Sesame Street through the years" on every page as well as great pictures. All the song lyrics are listed (including every syllable of Mah na Mah na!) Buy it - send your percentage of the profits to Sesame Street!

Sesame Street: Learning to Share [Import]
Sesame Street: Learning to Share [Import]
6 used & new from CDN$ 3.95

3.0 out of 5 stars OK overall; high points for educational value., Sept. 15 2003
My 3-year-old finds it impossible to share trains, which must be a common problem, as the video opens to Elmo and "Elmo's Train." Although not as good as "Big Bird Gets Lost," I think this video has value in a preschooler's collection. The message is clear: it's boring to play by yourself, but nobody wants to play with someone who doesn't treat them with respect. Sharing strategies like playing different parts of a game, taking equal turns, putting different games or toys together, and splitting things into parts are outlined by Elmo, Zoe, Big Bird and the Grouches in the main plot.
Katie Couric (who is not an actress - bear with her) cuts in occasionally as a newscaster for "Cooperation Today" solving conundrums like how Jack & Jill can get up the hill, and how the 3 little pigs can keep themselves safe by helping them work together. A few vintage clips "What is Friend?" with Cookie Monster, and "Two Heads are Better than One" are included. Unfortunately, the rest of the music on this tape is not up to Sesame Street standards. Joe Raposo's "Share" by Elmo, Zoe, and Big Bird isn't too bad - but the Elmo's Train song is annoying, and the Cooperation Song is unpleasantly saccharin.
That being said, my 3 year old preschooler was riveted to his seat, and cried for me to rewind it when it was over. He just started school, and is struggling with this issue - the video seemed to help him collect his thoughts. Again, as in "Big Bird Gets Lost," we had a great discussion afterwards. I'd definitely recommend this to parents whose kids are having a tough time learning to play.

Sesame Street: Big Bird Gets Lost
Sesame Street: Big Bird Gets Lost

4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific education for parents and kids - but not a sermon, June 3 2003
After my disappointment with Elmo's Magic Cookbook, I was a little reticent to view any of the "Kid's Guide to Life" videos - I was afraid they would be badly-produced and full of platitudes. I needn't have worried - this is a terrific, entertaining video with the potential to create dialogue between you and your toddler. My son (almost three) and I watched together, and enjoyed it as much as a regular Sesame Street episode.
In the story, Big Bird and Maria go shopping at ABCD Mart (shot in what must be a real "Mart" store.) Before they go, Maria makes sure Big Bird understands how easy it is to get lost, and how important it is to stick together. Then they discuss what to do if they get separated. She teaches Big Bird his Granny Bird's phone number with a song, and tells him how to identify people who can help (store employees, police.) When Big Bird gets lost chasing a wayward skate, he finds a store employee, who helps him find Maria again.
The style of this tape is very like a Sesame Street episode. The songs are very entertaining - even the spoof on "Maria." (hey, they had to do it sometime!) and because the production values were very good, it was easy to compare to real experiences in later discussion. Frances McDormand was excellent, didn't play "celebrity appearance" at all. I highly recommend this one.

Sesame Street - Sing Yourself Silly [Import]
Sesame Street - Sing Yourself Silly [Import]
5 used & new from CDN$ 25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Milly? - No, SILLY! Muppet fans - you need this one!, Feb. 18 2003
This video, in addition to being almost exclusively songs, contains not only great Muppet songs like "Honker Duckie Dinger Jamboree," but terrific vintage Sesame Street animation, and, for diehard fans - A FULL-LENGTH clip with Kermit and DON MUSIC (parents, pad your pianos!) There's a terrific "acapella" version of "Old MacDonald" with Honkers, Dingers, Fluffy the Elephant and a Yip-Yip. Also, it's got James Taylor singing "Jelly Man Kelly" and the celebrity-soaked "Put Down the Duckie"
I love the way the clips are introduced - a muppet appears and comments on them - there's no award show, no setup, no plot - JUST MUPPETS BEING SILLY (OK, there's one appearance by Maria and Luis in Groucho glasses!)

Sesame Street - Elmo Says Boo  [Import]
Sesame Street - Elmo Says Boo [Import]
3 used & new from CDN$ 20.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting to hate this - but I think it's terrific!, Feb. 15 2003
Many of the newer Sesame Street videos, particularly if they feature the "little red menace" are watered-down and icky sweet. This one actually scared my toddler a little bit at the beginning - but engaged him enough to keep him watching until he wasn't scared any more - EXACTLY what you want it to do!
Toddlers have lots of fears - especially around halloween - and this video is a good way to show them that being scared can be fun! It's filled with knock-knock jokes, bad puns, and spooky talking skeletons, ghosts, and more fun props. I love that they didn't get rid of the thunder, lightning, or any other "scary" stuff in the Count's castle. There's also a lot of muppet-kid interaction where everyone gets silly.
I highly recommend this video to anyone who's got a shy toddler!

Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
5 used & new from CDN$ 8.88

1.0 out of 5 stars Disney-fied pablum with great performers at their worst, Feb. 15 2003
I hate to give a bad review of this one, because I admire the work of many of the people in it. However, if you're looking for entertainment that's educational, this isn't it.
This video is a single aphorism stretched out to movie length. Although I liked some performances (Joey Mazzarino as the bug,) and some songs (the STOMP - inspired song at the laundromat) the big picture was completely ignored in this video. I can't stand when children's performers talk down to kids, and this movie does that in spades...

Sesame Street: Computer Caper [Import]
Sesame Street: Computer Caper [Import]
3 used & new from CDN$ 9.13

3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise!, Feb. 15 2003
I often think the newer Sesame Street videos don't stack up to the old, but this one is an exception: a great introduction to computers that's entertaining, covers a wide variety of topics, and has an Elmo's world at the end for the diehard toddler fans!
The premise (which should spawn some discussion about internet and email safety with parents whose kids are old enough) is that Telly, who has sent his friends a request for replies after setting up a new email address, gets a mysterious email message from a friend who asks him to guess who they are. Telly and other Sesame Street friends search high and low to find out who the mystery emailer is! There are a lot of Sesame Street animated clips and songs to help the plot along, including a GREAT bit with Cookie Monster and Prairie Dawn. If you're raising a budding hacker, this is for you!

Sesame Street-We All Sing [Import]
Sesame Street-We All Sing [Import]

4.0 out of 5 stars Diversity - Sesame Style, Feb. 13 2003
In a recent interview, Sonia Manzano (Maria) said she didn't realize until she was touring that many people in the US had never seen a Latino other than on Sesame Street.
As a half-Latin Midwesterner who grew up in the '70s, I can attest that this aspect of Sesame Street made a big difference in my life. This video is all about this wonderful side of Sesame Street.
Herry Monster anchors a "Monster Report" about kids, which cuts to a series of song clips like "Skin," "Fixing My Hair," and "Faces;" and then bring things back around to show Gladys the Cow and Buster the Horse singing "Different Yet the Same" and rounds it all off with "We All Sing With the Same Voice" Terrific handling of a touchy subject.
My toddler loves this video, and I do, too - and it has Elmo in it for the diehards. It's out of print - buy it if you can find it!

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