Scholastic’s new Christmas and Winter-themed collection of stories set to the small screen is another impressive set for the whole family. Not only does it entertain audiences, but it also educates. The collection is highlighted by a small screen adaptation of author Rob Scotton’s Merry Christmas, Splat. This story is a fun piece that is actually much deeper than what some might see on the surface. It’s just one reason that parents, students, and teachers will appreciate the set as a whole. Viewers will discover in watching all four of the stories that each one has an important message for everybody. That’s not the only reason that viewers will enjoy this latest set from Scholastic. Viewers will also appreciate each story’s animation. Each story boasts its own animation. By direct connection, the set’s bonus “Behind-The-Scenes” featurette reveals a little known secret about at least one story’s animation. And what DVD compilation from Scholastic would be complete without the standard Read-Along option? Yet again that option has been included for all young audiences. Together with everything else previously noted, it plays just as important a role in the success of the set.
The lessons taught through this collection are nothing new to Scholastic’s Storybook Treasures collections. That’s not to say that the lessons included her are old. Rather, the inclusion of stories with valuable lessons is nothing new. And that Scholastic has continued to include such content is a big reason that its Storybook Treasures collections have been so successful. It’s a big reason for the success of this latest collection, too. Viewers are taught through the set’s first story that one’s family will love them even if they haven’t been completely perfect. In its own way, it also helps to dispel the time honored belief that Santa will only bring gifts if one has been good. It’s a much better lesson to teach kids instead of telling them that they’ll only get gifs from Santa if they’re good. That lesson is one that parents should not use on their children, especially in the country’s current economic state.
The lesson taught in Merry Christmas, Splat is just one of the valuable lessons taught in this set of stories. There is also a lesson of appreciating the little things in life in two of the stories. Those stories are: Owl Moon and Snowflake Bentley. Owl Moon teaches young viewers to appreciate the little things in life as a young girl goes out into the forest with her father to see a Great Horned Owl. The way in which the forest and the moon are both described shows how much reverence author Jaqueline Briggs Martin has for something as simple as the way that snow reflects the light of the moon. It’s truly something beautiful to think about in seeing the illustrations of Mary Azarian. Snowflake Bentley is made even more interesting in that it does more than just teach a life lesson. It also teaches a history lesson. It teaches a lesson about William Bentley, who first used microscopic photography to take pictures of snowflakes. Bentley’s name is not one that is very well known among most circles. But his is a life and career that is definitely worth learning about by viewers of every age. It’s interesting to learn how Bentley became so famous among scientific and academic circles, yet never gained any real major fame or fortune from his work.
The lessons taught through the stories noted here are important parts of Scholastic’s latest Storybook Treasures collection. Just as important to note is the artwork in each story. The artwork used for each story gives each one its own identity. Again, this is another tradition held by Scholastic with its Storybook Treasures collections. It’s nice to see the original drawings from each story’s book used in each story, instead of computer generated graphics. Given, a little bit of computer use is incorporated, as audiences will see in this set’s bonus “Behind-The-Scenes” featurette. But as audiences will also see, the amount of computer use is minimal at most. And that is a very good thing.
The bonus “Behind-The-Scenes” featurette included in this latest of Scholastic’s Storybook Treasures collection is the final piece of the puzzle for viewers. Anyone that has any experience in the use of Adobe’s Creative Suite or that has any interest in graphics work will appreciate this bonus. Audiences learn how the artwork of Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas was actually pulled directly from the book and used in the small screen adaptation. It has already been noted how minimal the use of computers was in each story’s animation. And this featurette proves that. It shows how the art from the book was scanned into the computer, and actually brought to life thanks to the use of the Adobe Creative Suite. It is definitely something that older audiences will appreciate. And along with the stories themselves, it is a fitting final piece for the overall presentation that is Merry Christmas Splat…and more winter stories. It is available now and can be ordered online from New Kideo’s website at http://www.newkideo.com/scholastic/merry-christmas-splat-and-more-winter-stories/. More information on this and other releases from Scholastic is available online at http://www.newkideo.com, http://www.facebook.com/NewKideo, http://www.scholastic.com, and http://www.facebook.com/Scholastic. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.