Next week is the last full week of September. At first glance that might not mean much to most people. On another level, though it means that in only a matter of days, the countdown to the unofficial start of the annual holiday season will really begin. What that means is that many people will start making decisions on their costumes for this year’s festivities very soon. They will also start making plans for the festivities themselves. There are plenty of events for grown-ups out there and just as many for younger revelers, too. However for some, they would prefer to enjoy the big night at home. That means even more planning especially for those planning parties for the younger revelers in question. Thankfully PBS Kids has made things at least a little easier for those individuals with the release of the new WordWorld DVD Halloween Fun. Only the second Halloween-themed collection of WordWorld episodes to be released to date it is a good fit both for those home-based children’s Halloween parties. The main reason for that is the list of episodes featured in this collection. That will be discussed at more length shortly. It is only part of what makes this new release so enjoyable. The work of the show’s writers is also to be commended as part of the collection’s overall enjoyment. Not only are young viewers taught wonderful vocab building skills through each episode thanks to the writing but they are also taught at least one or two extra lessons not directly linked to their language skills, too. That will be discussed more thoroughly later. Last but hardly least of all worth noting of the DVD is its collection of bonus lesson ideas included inside the DVD’s case. That, too will be discussed at more length later. It is, along with the previously noted elements, one more part of a whole that makes for a great addition to any family’s Halloween party this year and any year.
PBS Kids’ latest DVD offering from its hit series WordWorld is a great addition to any family’s Halloween party this year and any year. The DVD, Halloween Fun is so enjoyable primarily due to the list of episodes featured in the new release. Two of the episodes—“A Kooky Spooky Halloween” and “Sheep’s Halloween Costume”—were both lifted from NCircle Entertainment’s previously released WordWorld DVD A Kooky Spooky Halloween. That DVD featured only the two noted episodes. PBS Kids and PBS Distribution saw NCircle Entertainment’s offering and raised it with three additional episodes for this DVD. Those episodes are “Dog’s Camping Adventure,” “One Hat Fits All,” and “Nightlight.” Now while those three extra episodes are not necessarily Halloween-themed episodes in the most direct sense that doesn’t take anything away from them. The very fact that their subject matter can at least be loosely connected to the disc’s two main episodes is enough reason to have them added to the overall presentation. Speaking of the content of those episodes, the content of all five episodes, or rather the writing behind each episode, is another reason that viewers of all ages will enjoy this collection.
The episodes that make up the body of WordWorld: Halloween Fun give viewers of all ages plenty of reason to add the DVD to their personal collections. That is because they each present similar underlying connections. This includes the episodes whose stories are not necessarily directly related to Halloween. On a directly related note, the writing behind each of the disc’s episodes is just as important to the whole of the presentation as the episodes themselves. The writing behind the disc’s primary episodes, “A Kooky Spooky Halloween” and “Sheep’s Halloween Costume” is a prime example of the importance of the episodes’ writing. In the first of the episodes audiences get a fun, family friendly story that sees Pig inadvertantly scaring his friends when he ends up sleepwalking around WordWorld, covered by a sheet. Of course the sheet covers him wholly by accident. But because this all takes place at night, Pig’s friends don’t realize it is him. That is they don’t realize it is him at first. Of course everything turns out alright in the end. but the execution of the story will have viewers of all ages laughing and smiling from beginning to end. “Sheep’s Halloween Costume” is an especially important example of how the writing succeeds in these episodes as it actually presents not just its central story but an important secondary lesson about individualism and being creative at the same time. Sure those are big concepts especially for the show’s generally younger viewers. But the writers do a good job of translating that lesson on a level that the audiences in question can easily grasp. “Nightlight” is another good example of the importance of the episodes’ writing because it, too does more than just presenta a fun story. It actually uses the story to teach young viewers its own important lesson. The lesson in question here is that there is no reason for said viewers to be afraid of the dark. Every parent will agree that getting children past their fear of the dark is an important part of any child’s development. So that lesson about not fearing the dark becomes an especially important part of the writing behind “Nightlight.” “Dog’s Camping Trip” presents a similar lesson when Dog, Pig, and Frog go on a camping trip together. It’s just one more example of the importance of the writing behind the episodes featured in PBS Kids’ new WordWorld DVD. That is not to ignore “One Hat Fits All” either. The set’s final episode, it presents its own enjoyment as Sheep’s hat flies around WordWorld and becomes something different for each of her friends. The lesson taught here is just as deep as those presented in the set’s other episodes and in turn shows even more why the writing behind each of the disc’s episodes is just as important as the episodes themselves.
The episodes that make up the body of WordWorld: Halloween Fun and the writing behind each episode are both equally important in their own right to the overall enjoyment and success of WordWorld: Halloween Fun. While both elements are of the utmost importance to the set’s overall presentation, they are hardly all that viewers will appreciate about this disc. The bonus “lesson plans” included inside the DVD’s case round out the reasons for the DVD’s enjoyment. There are only two “lesson plans.” But both are still equally great additions to the DVD’s overall presentation. The first of the lessons ties in to “A Spooky Kooky Halloween.” It encourages parents and educators to have children search for words that begin with a specific letter just like Pig did in his search for more B’s to make more bags to collect candy. It is a great way to develop vocab skills whether during the days leading to Halloween or any other time of the year. That is because not only does it help teach words but aso drives home the letters of the alphabet. The second of the featured bonus “lessons” is just as important as the first. That is because helps children develop certain skills as they build their own candy bags with the letters B, A, and G. On another level, it serves as yet another starting point for parents and educators to interact with children and build those all-important bonds with the children in question. That time spent (especially with parents) and encouragement to build said skills is perhaps more important than anything else. That is because it brings everything full circle and can help build children’s interest in the lessons taught through each of the set’s episodes. That being the case, this “lesson” and its fellow bonus “lesson” work together with all of the DVD’s previously noted elements to make a presentation that will be fun for the whole family not just on Halloween but during any time of the year.
WordWorld: Halloween Fun is not the first Halloween-themed DVD to be released from PBS Kids’ hit vocabulary building series. It is also hardly the first holiday-themed collection to be put to DVD, too. Despite this, it does a number of things right, improving quite a bit on NCircle Entertainment’s previously released WordWorld DVD “A Kooky Spooky Halloween.” It adds in three more episodes that while not necessarily Halloween-themed, are still fitting additions to the DVD in their own right. It also presents five stories that not only entertain but educate and help young viewers to grow developmentally and emotionally. This is done both through the DVD’s main episodes and through the bonus “lesson plans” featured inside the DVD’s case. Each element in itself proves a valuable singular part of the DVD’s whole. Collectively, all three elements present the DVD to be yet another great release from PBS Kids and PBS Distribution, and one that audiences of all ages will enjoy not just on Halloween but any time of the year. WordWorld: Halloween Fun is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=66322796&cp=&kw=wordworld+halloween+fun&origkw=WORDWORLD+HALLOWEEN+FUN&sr=1. More information on this and other WordWorld DVDs is available online now along with lots of WordWorld games and news at:
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