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Product Type: Video
Age: Toddlers

 


2005 Award
Whats the Name of That Song?
(SonyWonder $12.95 Score:) A hit parade of favorite Sesame Street songs, but our favorite moments are Wayne Brady singing "Between," and Patti LaBelle singing the alphabet! Closer in spirit to the original show (with a sense of humor that isn't condescending to kids). 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Elmos World: Families, Mail & Bath Time!
(SonyWonder $9.98 Score:) Elmo, Mr. Noodle, and the rest of his gang give information about how different families can look, how to mail a letter, and how to take a bath. High marks for inclusion of multicultural families and children with special needs. We question why the mailbox needed to fly for "air mail" delivery. As cloying as Mr. Noodle may be to adult viewers, he has big-time appeal with kids. Also recommended, last year's Wake Up With Elmo with tips on sleep, getting dressed, and taking care of their teeth. Live-action film of a first visit to the dentist is especially useful. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Potty Power
(Thinkeroo $14.95 Score:) Toddlers who are on the threshold of "potty power" will relate to the kids in this video who demonstrate all the things they as big kids can do—including "going potty." An amiable young woman sings and speaks along with an animated roll of toilet paper—sounds a bit hokie, but comes across as age-appropriate and not preachy. No miracles promised, but it couldn't hurt! (800) 477-7811. 2 1/2 & up. Also recommended: It's Potty Time (A Vision $19.98). Developed by the Duke University Medical Center, this "story" features kids of many ages getting ready to go to a party.

Age: Toddlers. 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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2006 Award
Peep and the Big Wide World
(WGBH $29.95 Score:) A set of three DVDs from the young science show that introduces children to big science concepts, first through a cartoon and then with live-action film. For example, Peep’s New Friends focuses on the metamorphosis of a butterfly, told through a cartoon story and followed by a visit to a real butterfly pavilion. Other concepts include things that hatch, making boats that float, and a follow-your-nose smelling adventure. “Nova” for the preschool set. 21⁄2 & up.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Bear Snores On...and other stories to celebrate the seasons
(Scholastic $14.95 Score:) Bear Snores On was a Platinum Book Award winner in 2004 and it losses none of its charm as it is brought to life on the video screen. There is next to no animation and the pace is slow-as is the book. Just right for settling down for a cozy nap or enjoying a snowing day indoors. On ths same disk you’ll find Lois Ehlerts paper cuts taking on a new life in Waiting for Wings, the story of the metamorphosis from eggs to caterpillars to butterflies. A good early science book.Also featured here a waiting for rain story, Come On, Rain! Plus, Time of Wonder and Snow Cat.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2007 Award
Caillou, The Everyday Hero
(PBS HOME Video $14.99 Score:) As always, Caillou delivers slice-of-life stories that are right on target for preschoolers. Caillou helps his little sister Rosie, he faces his fears about a waterslide, and plays with his friends as they construct a road and a bridge. No big surprises or scares here. Just right!

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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