Scholastic’s latest installment in its hugely popular Storybook Treasures series “scares” up lots of fun for the whole family just in time for Halloween. This set boasts so many positives that there simply isn’t time to go into depth concerning each one. The very first thing that audiences will appreciate in this latest box set is a collection of not only stories but songs, too. The collective stories and songs will appeal to audiences of all ages. Not every story or song is appropriate for all viewers. So parents should use their discretion in deciding which stories and songs their children can watch. Parents will appreciate that Scholastic has included songs and stories for viewers of all ages in this set. And by connection, parents will also appreciate that Scholastic has also included once again, the standard read-along feature that can be toggled on or off depending on their young readers’ ages. This and the inclusion of the stories of songs together make this set another success from Scholastic.
Scholastic has made a tradition of including some wonderful, family friendly stories in each of its previous Storybook Treasures Collections. The stories culled for its previous releases have run the gamut from classic fairytales to more socially relevant stories to everything in between. This latest collection is a little different from those sets, though. And that’s not a bad thing, either. This collection includes not only some fun and scary stories, but a collection of songs, too. The interesting thing about the stories collected for this set is that they don’t really fit into the set’s overall Halloween theme. Again, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It makes for a nice change of pace in the grand scheme of things for viewers. Most audiences will recognize the classic ‘Hush Little Baby.’ Perhaps less familiar are the songs, ‘The Erie Canal’ and ‘The Fox Went Out on A Chilly Night.’ So for some, hearing them here might be the first time for just as many audiences. Audiences of all ages will especially enjoy the Dixieland feel of the prior of the two. The latter of the two might not be entirely suitable for all audiences. That’s both because of the song’s lyrics and its imagery. It involves the fox hunting and killing some geese. Some younger viewers might actually be unsettled by such imagery. So parents should use their discretion in terms of this piece.
The songs included in The Halloween Stories Collection: Volume 2 are a nice addition to this set, even though one of them might not be suitable for all viewers. In that same vein, Scholastic has offered viewers of all ages a grouping of stories that will appeal to viewers of different ages. This is major boon to this set as parents can pick and choose which stories they want their young readers to take in regardless of age. One of the best of the stories is the set’s anchor, “The Day of the Dead.” This short story is fitting for audiences of any age. It is so important in that it presents Halloween from a perspective with which many young viewers might not be so familiar. It presents Halloween from the perspective of the Hispanic culture. Young viewers will learn in this story that unlike in American culture, Hispanics use October 31st to November 2nd to honor the loved ones who have moved on in the previous year. They honor their loved ones by baking good food and lighting candles that will attract home the spirits of their loved ones. Viewers will learn that this is done not just in Mexico but in many Latin American and Central American countries. It serves as an excellent starting point for a discussion with young audiences over what is known as cultural relativity. Whether in the living room or the classroom, young viewers need to learn that not everybody does things the way that they do things. So what better way than to use a holiday to explain this concept?
Where “Day of the Dead” is a great story for any younger viewer, the much scarier “Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman” is more fitting for older audiences. The story, which is somewhat similar to the Brothers Grimm’s story of “Hansel and Gretel”, follows three young boys that go off into the forest and encounter an evil witch despite the youngest of the three having tried to keep his brothers from going in the first place. The boys had been told about the legend of the witch-woman. The combination of the narration and the illustrations in this story make it an especially scary story. Scare factor aside, it does have a happy ending. Parents should still use their discretion with this story. It is up to parents to decide if their children are old enough to take in such a scary story.
Scholastic’s The Halloween Stories Collection: Volume 2 offers plenty of fun and scares for the entire family. Each of the set’s three discs offers stories and songs for young viewers of every age. And because parents will enjoy them all too, they can sit down with their kids and decide which of the stories are fitting for their young viewers. Something else that parents and young viewers will appreciate in this set is that Scholastic has once again included the read-along feature that has become standard on each of its Storybook Treasures collections. This feature can be toggled on or off depending on a child’s reading ability. It is a wonderful tool to help children develop their reading ability. It makes this latest set one more invaluable learning tool for any young viewer. It is available now and can be ordered direct via the New Kideo website at http://www.newkideo.com/scholastic/the-halloween-stories-collection-volume-2/. More information on this and other Scholastic releases is available via the New Kideo website and Facebook page, http://www.newkideo.com and http://www.facebook.com/NewKideo. More information is also available on the Scholastic Facebook page and website, http://www.facebook.com/Scholastic and http://www.scholastic.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks 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.