The Super Readers return once again later this month in yet another new Super WHY DVD in the form of The Three Billy Goats Gruff And Other Fairytale Adventures. This latest collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ hit literacy-based series is yet another hit in its own right. The main reason for this is its featured stories. That will be discussed at more length shortly. The lessons that are presented via each story are just as important to note as the stories themselves. That will be discussed at more length later. Last but hardly least of note are the bonus lessons featured inside the DVD’s case. Each element plays its own important part in the overall presentation of The Three Billy Goats Gruff And Other Fairytale Adventures. Altogether they make this latest collection of Super WHY episodes one that is just as valuable in the living room as it is in the classroom.
Super WHY: The Three Billy Goats Gruff And Other Fairytale Adventures is not the first collection of Super WHY episodes to ever be released on DVD. And even while it is not the series’ first DVD release it is just as enjoyable as its predecessors. That is thanks in large part to its featured stories. Just as with previous Super WHY DVDs the stories presented here are children’s classics. But thanks to the series’ writers, the stories have been tweaked to present a somewhat different story. Even with the noted alterations the stories still work in their own right and in turn entertain young viewers and keep them entertained. This critic’s own three-year old son is proof of that. This time out, the show’s writers took on The Three Billy Goats Gruff and tweaked the story so as to teach an important lesson about manners. That lesson will be touched on later as will the lessons presented in the DVD’s other episodes. In The Tortoise and The Hare, the writers took the original story about determination and hard work and tweaked it for a lesson about teamwork and sportsmanship. It’s an alteration that actually works in the long run. The Ugly Duckling presents the most blatant alteration with the ugly duckling learning a lesson about the benefits of hard work and practice versus the original story’s lesson about the ugly duck growing into a stunning swan. Even as much as the writers have changed the story for its presentation here, it also works in its own interesting way. The same can be said of the writers’ take on The Elves and the Shoemaker. This classic standard has received its own interesting update that is sure to keep audiences of a ages entertained and engaged. That is especially the case with the lesson that is presented as part of the episode’s overall story. It is one more way in which the stories featured at the heart of Super WHY’s new DVD prove to be so important to its overall presentation. It and its fellow episodes show that while the stories may not stick entirely to the original fairy tales they can still keep audiences entertained and engaged even in being updated.
The fairytale updates that lie at the center of Super WHY’s new DVD are in their own right a largely important part of the DVD’s overall viewing experience. They show that even being updated from the original stories they can still entertain audiences just as much as those stories. What’s more, older audiences can use these updates as a starting point to introduce their younger counterparts to the original fairy tales. In turn, discovering said originals could be the foundation for a lifelong love of reading. To that extent, even with the presented standards having been updated once again, it still is not a bad thing even in the case of the featured episodes. Even as important as the featured fairy tales are to the whole of this DVD, they are just a collective fraction of what makes its viewing experience so enjoyable. Each episode’s lesson is just as important as the stories. One of the prime examples of the importance of the featured lessons comes in the DVD’s lead story, the update of The Three Billygoats Gruff. The writers use this classic to present a lesson about the importance of using manners. This is done as the writers essentially make the troll the victim rather than the billy goats here. Unlike the case of the original fairytale, the billy goats in this story are rude and inconsiderate to the troll. And it is not until they realize that they are being rude to him that he finally allows them to cross. Learning this helps Wonder Red use her own manners in order to get some cake in the episode’s main story. The Tortoise and The Hare presents here a lesson about teamwork, sportsmanship, and fair play versus the original fairytale’s story about hard work and determination. On the surface one might think that replacing the lesson about hard work and determination is a bad thing especially in the case of this story. But surprisingly enough it works. In the updated take of The Ugly Duckling, the writers have completely updated the story, replacing the original story of not judging a book by its cover with a lesson, ironically enough, about hard work and determination. In the case of this story, the duckling is having trouble swimming. So it’s up to the Super Readers to help the duckling realize the rewards of hard work and perseverance. It may as well not even be called The Ugly Duckling considering this massive re-working. But that is beside the point. What matters is that the lesson taught here is just as important to the DVD’s overall viewing experience as those presented in the other episodes. Whether for this lesson or the others noted here, it can be said that all of the lessons presented throughout this DVD add their own interest to the DVD’s overall viewing experience. They aren’t the only lessons incorporated into the DVD’s overall viewing experience either. There is also a pair of bonus lessons included inside the DVD’s case. That pair rounds out the key elements included in the DVD that make it worth the purchase.
The lessons that are featured within each of this new disc’s episodes are in themselves plenty of reason for any family and educator to add it to their own home DVD library. Of course they are not the only lessons included in the disc’s presentation. Included inside the DVDs case is a pair of additional lessons for parents and educators alike to use. The first, “Family Letter Fun” uses “Family” in the title. But it can be used just as easily in the classroom as it could in the living room. It entails printing out sixteen letters and pasting them to sheets in a 4 X 4 setting (4 letters each in 4 rows). Children will be asked to put a certain body part on a certain letter very much as a body part goes on a color in traditional twister. The game goes until someone falls down, again just as with traditional twister. It serves to teach letters and entertain young children at the same time. And while the game entails the use of only sixteen letters, more than likely, the whole alphabet could likely be just as easily incorporated into the game. The second bonus lesson, “Practicing Table Manners” is linked to the DVD’s lead episode. This lesson entails planning a very special fancy meal, complete with invitations and fine flatware, etc. Children will be asked to create said invitations and even menus, and those attending will be dressed in their own finest clothes. Throughout the meal, parents (this lesson applies more in a home setting than classroom) and children will discuss why good manners are important. Some might ask, “well can’t we do this sort of thing any day?” The answer is yes. But having children take part in the process is not something that most parents do at such meals. So having children take part is meant to help drive home the importance of the meal and in turn take pride in everything involved. This includes their own manners and appearance. To that extent, this is very much the important lesson to be included in this disc. That being the case, this lesson is a true bonus. And together with “Family Twister Fun,” the two lessons make for even more reason for families and educators alike to add this DVD to their own home DVD libraries. The bonus lessons coupled with the episodes’ lessons and the stories within the stories make this DVD the first great children’s DVD of 2016.
Super WHY: The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Other Fairytale Adventures is the first great children’s DVD of 2016. That is made clear through the stories presented within each of the disc’s four episodes. The stories are classics. However, they have been tweaked somewhat for their presentation here. This is nothing new to fans of the literacy-based series. However even with the changes to the stories, they are still entertaining and educational. The lessons that are incorporated into each of the stories add even more interest to each episode. That is because they teach valuable educational and life lessons. Speaking of lessons, there is also a pair of bonus lessons included inside the DVD’s case that rounds out the whole of the DVD. One bonus can be put to use both in a classroom setting and a living room setting while the other is more apt to be used in a home setting. Both lessons together add their own extra enjoyment to the DVD and prove once and for all alongside the DVD’s main elements why this DVD is 2016’s first great children’s DVD. It will be available Tuesday, January 26th in stores and online and can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=80523556&cp=&sr=1&kw=super+why&origkw=Super+WHY&parentPage=search. More information on Super WHY is available online now along with Super WHY games and activities at:
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