Scholastic’s latest collection from its Storybook Treasures series is another hit for audiences of all ages. This single disc compilation offers four more stories that not only entertain but also teach very important life lessons. It’s all anchored by the famed children’s story, The Red Hen. The Red Hen makes this compilation well worth the compilation’s price. Though, it isn’t all that makes it so enjoyable. Veteran actress Lily Tomlin (The Magic School Bus, Prairie Home Companion, Malibu Country) adds her touch to the short story, Bread Comes to Life. And while it isn’t animated, this short story offers a nice little lesson how bread is made that easily understandable for younger audiences and just as entertaining. Along with the entertainment factor of Bread Comes to Life, the other features on this disc offer their own entertainment from both their genuine animation and their lessons. And as with Scholastic’s previous releases, this one also offers the option to toggle the read-along feature, depending on the age of one’s child/children. It’s one more continued tradition that parents will enjoy whether they are first time audiences or more experienced. And of course, let us also now forget the bonus recipe for Simply Splendid Cake that kids and parents can make together. That recipe, along with the four features included here all come together for a compilation that will leave a great “taste” in any viewer’s mouth (ba-dump-bump-bump). Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week!
The Red Hen…and More Cooking Stories is anchored by its title story. The Red Hen is a story that both children and parents will enjoy because of its ability to connect to viewers. The Red Hen wants to make a cake. But no one will help her. So she is left to do all the work of making a cake all alone. When the work is all done and the cake is decorated, the cat, the rat, and the frog all offer to help her eat it, but get none. There’s a very valuable lesson to be taught here. It’s a lesson of cooperation and responsibility. The cat, the rat, and the frog learned the hard way that no work means no reward. This applies not just in the kitchen but in everyday life. One reaps the rewards of the work that one does whether with a team or by one’s own self. Considering this factor, “The Red Hen” instantly becomes that much more of a fit to start off this new set of shorts.
The lesson on cooperation and teamwork makes for a wonderful start to this most recent set. It’s not the only lesson taught. “How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food” also teaches another important lesson for children. It teaches a lesson about manners. What young child doesn’t love dinosaurs? By using that connection, it teaches children that while they may be wild creatures, even dinosaurs have manners. So if dinosaurs can have manners, so can children. They should use the dinosaurs as an example of what behavior is right and wrong. And that it features actual animation instead of CG based visuals makes it that much more enjoyable, especially in an age when so much children’s programming is CG-based.
“The Red Hen” and “How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food” are both enjoyable additions to Scholastic’s latest Storybook Treasures compilation. The other pair of shorts is entertaining for its own purposes, too. And just as they make for their own entertainment, so will the bonus feature, teaching kids and adults how to make The Red Hen’s Simply Splendid Cake. The Red Hen takes viewers through the process of making the cake in this bonus feature. She even makes certain to point out to younger viewers that they should not try to make the recipe on their own. They should have adult supervision in making it whether for cupcakes or for an entire cake. So not only does the Red Hen teach about cooperation and teamwork, she also teaches young viewers about safety in the kitchen. It makes for one more positive to this already enjoyable set for the whole family.
The Red Hen…and More Cooking Stories is available now. It can be ordered online at the New Kideo online store at http://www.newkideo.com/scholastic/the-red-hen-and-more-cooking-stories/.
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