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Product Type: Video
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 

Good Night, Gorilla
(Scholastic $9.95 Score:) Peggy Rathmann's storybook narrated by Anthony Edwards is a charming good-night story about the animals at the zoo who keep escaping to go to sleep with the zoo keeper and his wife. Surprisingly, "How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?" loses most of its humor when translated to video. The tape also includes the classics "Happy Birthday, Moon" and "The Napping House." 4-7.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Little House On the Prarie
(- Not Selected - $49.95 Score:) Imagine a whole generation who knows Melissa Gilbert only from infomercials. Feel old? New fans of the books asked, "There was a show?" The first and second seasons (which are truer to the books) are available on six CD sets. Fun to see again and share with your kids!

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
FInding Nemo
(Disney $26.99 Score:) As with most Disney movies, mom bites the dust pretty early on. That said, Pixar creates a compelling underwater world that sparkles. Marlin (Albert Brooks) spends most of the movie in search of his sole (sorry) remaining son, Nemo (Alexander Gould) who has been taken away by a fisherman's net. Ellen DeGeneres adds much humor as Dory, a forgetful fish who befriends Marlin in his search for his son. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Santa Clause 2
(Disney $22.99 Score:) Tim Allen is back as Santa Claus. While he now has fully embraced the joy of being Santa, he is presented with a new dilemma. He must find a Mrs. Claus or give up the red suit gig. Our viewers enjoyed Allen's romp through dating before finding his true love. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2005 Award
Barney Movin and Groovin
(Lyons Group $16.95 Score:) A new Barney meant to encourage your kids to get up off the sofa and dance along. Nothing groundbreaking here, but a classic style Barney video about making your own music that will appeal to fans of the purple dino. Still top rated, Barney's Musical Castle. If your child has ever been to or dreamed of going to a Barney show, the new Barney's Colorful World! will be the next best thing. We have to be honest—we had to mute part of it. Seventy minutes is just too much Barney. These tapes may be preschooler's dream come true, or your 9-year-old's worst nightmare. 2–6. (800) 791-8093.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly & More Stories That Sing
(Scholastic $9.95 Score:) The art from Simms Taback's version of There Was an Old Lady comes to life through brilliant animation. Parents (and kids) will enjoy Cyndi Lauper's narration and singing. The other two stories to sing: a chorus of penguins in Antarctic Antics by Judy Sierra and the noisy hippo, Musical Max, by Robert Kraus. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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Angelina Ballerina: The Magic of Dance
(HIT Entertaiment $12.99 Score:) Many Angelina story lines have been "notched up" with more tears, squeals, and edgy moments than usual this season. It's not terrible, but less would have been more. In "William the Conjurer," William uses his father's magic box and thinks he has made Angelina disappear! In "Angelina and Grandma," a special tutu that Miss Lilly wore when she was a girl gets ripped by accident. Mother is away, and Grandma is busy getting ready for a friend's party and impatient with Angelina. In "Miss Lilly Comes to Dinner," Angelina is worried about impressing her teacher. Finally, a special day is almost spoiled, thanks to many unpleasant exchanges between sneaky Sammy and gullible William, in "Angelina's Valentine." Between the stories there are live-action clips of young dancers. The new Lights, Camera, Action video has the same unnecessary contrived fear and nastiness in two episodes—one with a witch, and another with mice who exclude William. Still top rated, Angelina Ballerina Friends Forever and Rose Fairy Princess, both PLATINUM winners. (866) 587-1778.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: .

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2005 Award
Caillou At Play
(Warner Bros. $12.95 Score:) Caillou is older than Maisy, less noisy than Elmo, and paced just right for young viewers. Playground and friendship issues like sharing and getting along are center stage here. Also recommended, Caillou's Neighborhood and Caillou the Explorer PLATINUM AWARD '02, which explored transportation from a child's point of view.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
(Scholastic $9.95 Score:) Farmer Brown's cows and hens are on strike. They want electric blankets, or else: no milk or eggs! A prize-winning story translated to the screen, narrated by Randy Travis with down-home music. Still top rated from this series: Good Night Gorilla and Chrysanthemum, PLATINUM AWARD '03. Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Mary Beth Hurt narrate three wonderful picture books by Kevin Henkes. 4–7.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Make Way for Ducklings
(Scholastic $9.95 Score:) Parents and even grandparents have grown up with Robert McCloskey's three beloved Caldecott Award winners on this video. "Make Way for Ducklings" tells the jolly tale of Mr. & Mrs. Mallard, who find a home for their ducklings Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack. McCloskey's drawings have not been animated, but they retain superb vitality as the camera pans and zooms in on his jaunty ducklings and their world. There's delicious suspense in "Blueberries for Sal," and summer in Maine is beautifully encapsulated in "Time of Wonder." You'll find two more favorites, "Lentil" and "Burt Dow," plus a Spanish version of "Ducklings" and read-along features that make the DVD version worth the higher price. 4–8.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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