Search Results for -
Product Type: Videos
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Music and Activities


Blue's Big Treasure Hunt and ABC's And 123's
(Paramount $ Score:) These two videos mark a turn in the road for blue-not necessarily a desirable one for programming targeted to old toddlers and preschoolers. The happy thing about Blue was how smart kids felt as they shouted to Steve and tried to show him the clues they saw before he seemed to. Now, the climate has switched to quizzes that undermine kids' sense of smarts with questions they should not be asked, or know the answer to. The letter P is introduced-the sound of paw, and pop, and the next thing we see is a sign for phone-but no one mentions that "ph" sounds like "f," not "p." Further, kids are supposed to follow reading clues and rebus pictures, but without left-to-right readiness cues-initial sounds for the word k-e-y are introduced and the word is spelled from top to bottom instead of left to right. All in all-a treasure map? reading for preliterate kids? Sorry-it's off track, Blue!

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2000.

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2003 Award
Blue's Clues: Meet Joe
(Paramount $12.95 Score:) Steve, the original host, is gone. In his place, his younger brother Joe takes on the job of putting preschoolers through their paces, trying to find Blue's Clues. We're not sure how new viewers will be with old videos featuring Steve. Of the old series we liked Blue's Clues Rhythm and Blue, PLATINUM AWARD '00; and Blue's Clues Story Time, PLATINUM AWARD '99 Closed-captioned. 2–5.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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Barney's Musical Castle
(Lyons Group $14.95 Score:) If your child has ever been to or dreamed of going to a Barney show, Barney's Musical Castle 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, if you are over three! Still recommended, Sing & Dance with Barney (four). Depending on where you stand, this 56-minute reunion tape featuring 27 Barney hits will be either a preschooler's dream come true or your 9-year-old's worst nightmare. New for 2004, Barney Best Manners (two), all original songs about manners (e.g., "Keep Your Sneeze to Yourself"), left us wanting for more standard Barney songs. 2-6. (800) 791-8093.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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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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Blue Talks
(Paramount $12.95 Score:) It would have been better for Blue to remain speechless. More importantly, the stories about "moon fairies" and far-out fantasy are way beyond the understanding of young preschoolers. The strength of the original Blue concept was right on the mark for preschoolers who loved the magic of helping the host finding the clues. These episodes empowered kids, making them feel very smart. We find a disconnect between the new stories and the audience, who are still sorting out real and make-believe. We also have trouble with Blue's Clues: Blue Takes You to School. Our problem is that the featured color is chartreuse, and the shape of the day, a pentagon. How about starting with green and a triangle? A much better choice is Blue's Clues Shapes and Colors. Joe and Blue play a lot of shape-hunting games with some licks of color thrown in.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: .

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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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2006 Award
Healthy Happy Monsters
(Sony, Sony $14.99 Score:) This is so much better than most of the piles of videos we reviewed this season. It delivers the information in a lively format that encourages kids to get up and move along with their friends from Sesame Street. Getting exercise, eating healthy—all important messages that are presented with humor that is age appropriate and not condescending in tone. Still top rated, Fiesta! BLUE CHIP (Sony $12.98 ) introduces kids to counting, colors, and familiar music with a Latin beat. Also top rated: Get Up & Dance () and PLATINUM AWARD ’97 winner Elmocize (). We have found the Elmo’s World series to be inconsistent. Our viewers enjoyed Birthday Games & More () (once they got past the first frenetic 10 minutes), but found Elmo’s Magic Cookbook () to fall below the usual high standards set by Sesame Street. We found the dumbed-down content was more irritating than inspiring.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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