PBS Kids’ Second Reading Rainbow Collection Will Hopefully Not Be Its Last

Courtesy:  PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

PBS’ programming has changed a lot over the years since the network first hit the air. Through all of the changes in its programming lineup, there have been some shows that have remained fan favorites among the network’s legions of fans. Those shows include the likes of Wishbone, Sesame Street, and Reading Rainbow are just a few of those shows. There are plenty of other classics that remain favorites among audiences today. The specifically noted shows are just a few of the network’s most popular series to date. The latter of that trio of series went off the air almost ten years ago. Though, it did make its somewhat triumphant return online roughly a year or so ago much to the surprise and even dismay of some. Thankfully for those hoping for its return to television, PBS Kids and BS Distribution released a pair of DVDs this summer containing a handful of classic Reading Rainbow episodes. The first of the DVDs, Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, was released this past May. The second collection, Reading Rainbow: Animal Café, was released June 30th. This collection is even more of a must have for long-time Reading Rainbow fans as the prior release. The main reason for this is its episodes. Three of the collection’s four episodes originally aired in 1985. That was when Reading Rainbow was still very much in its infancy. Older audiences will get a sense of nostalgia watching those episodes. That is especially the case in seeing the fashions from that era as well as hearing the music and the show’s overall production values. The episodes themselves are just part of what makes Reading Rainbow: Animal Café enjoyable for audiences. Some of the books teach even more invaluable lessons and others present some simple, enjoyable stories that will put a smile on any viewer’s face. Last but not least that makes this latest collection of episodes so fun for the whole family is the “teaching guide” included with the set. The “guide” serves as a starting point for teachers and parents alike to present lessons about ecology, conservation, and simply giving thanks. It is a great addition that can go a long way for teachers and parents alike. And together with the set’s episodes and their content contained therein, it makes the collection complete. It works with those elements to make this collection one more than every family should have in their home DVD library.

Reading Rainbow: Animal Café is only the second official collection of classic Reading Rainbow episodes to be released by PBS Distribution since the series went off the air in 2006. That is saying quite a bit. Being only the second official collection released from the one-time home of the family favorite series, it proves itself to be one more welcome new collection and hopefully not the last either. It proves itself so valuable primarily through its featured episodes. Four more classic episodes are presented in the body of the DVD. Three of those episodes come from 1985. That is the when the series was still in its infancy. It would have only been on the air for two years at that time. And it shows through the fashions and music in each episode as well as the hairstyles and production values. It might leave some audiences laughing including the series’ now grown-up original viewers looking back on how much things have changed since then. In the process, looking back at the days gone by, watching these episodes may even create a sense of nostalgia for those same audiences. It will remind those audiences of what once made PBS great and by comparison what still makes it so great even today. The children of those viewers will enjoy the episodes not for the nostalgia but for the general content of the episodes. They and their parents will all enjoy LeVar’s comedy makeover and classic slapstick routine in connection with the book Ludlow Laughs. The “Rainbow Classic” bicycle race set against the beautiful, tropical backdrop of Hawaii in the collection’s second episode and the race itself will entertain audiences of all ages just as much. And the throwback to New York City of the 1980s is still as relevant today as it was in 1985. That is because there are still people both there and across the country that work overnight. So it is still just as worthwhile an episode today as it was in its original broadcast. It is just one more example of what makes the episodes featured in this collection so important to the success of the set’s presentation in whole. Together with the collection’s other episodes, all four episodes show in whole why they are so important to the success and enjoyment of Reading Rainbow: Animal Café.

The episodes featured in PBS Kids’ latest Reading Rainbow collection do plenty to make this new collection a must have for any of the show’s original fans and for the next generation of Reading Rainbow fans. They are collectively only one part of what makes this latest collection so enjoyable for the whole family. The content of the episodes and the books presented in relation to the episodes make for even more enjoyment. The episode centered on The Tortoise and the Hare teaches the invaluable lesson of perseverance and hard work and its related results while Giving Thanks teaches exactly that. It teaches young viewers to be appreciative of everything that they have. Being that we seemingly live increasingly in a me first world today, this is an especially important lesson for young viewers to learn. Such a timeless lesson is yet another example of why audiences of all ages will appreciate this latest collection of Reading Rainbow episodes. Set against the collection’s more straight forward, fun-filled episodes, the material featured in all four episodes makes this collection all the more enjoyable. Collectively, all of the material presented in each of the disc’s four episodes shows just as much as the episodes themselves why this latest collection is a must have for Reading Rainbow fans of all ages.

The episodes that were chosen for Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe and the material contained therein are both key reasons that audiences of all ages will want to add this latest Reading Rainbow collection to their home DVD libraries. They are not the only reasons that audiences will appreciate it, either. Along with the centrally featured episodes, Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe also includes a “teaching guide” of sorts inside the DVD’s case. The “teaching guide” serves as a good starting point for teachers and parents alike. That is because it forms a foundation for the lessons presented throughout each of the presented episodes. Teachers and parents can drive home the lessons of Giving Thanks by having children form a “cleanup party” that with permission from a city or town government, would clean up designated areas of said town or city. The lessons presented by The Tortoise and the Hare are driven home by presenting an interactive activity that would see children grow their own plants. It would teach them the rewards of patience, hard work, and perseverance. There are even activities included in the “guide” that give parents and educators a starting point to teach children about appreciating not just Earth but all that Earth has to offer in its natural beauty. Teachers and parents could go from here and build lessons about appreciating other things (or people) that children have. As if that is not enough, there is also a lesson that lets children make their own pots just like the Native Americans presented in “Giving Thanks.” Each of the lessons in themselves offers its own enjoyment for adults and children alike. Together, they provide yet one more solid reason that this DVD should be in every living room and classroom even despite the episodes’ ages. And when set alongside the episodes themselves and the episodes’ content in whole, all three elements together show in whole why Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe is not just another must have for any family and educator but one of the year’s best new DVDs for children and families.

Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe is one of this year’s best new DVDs for children and families. It proves this through the combination of its episodes, their featured content and the DVD’s companion “lesson guide.” Whether used in the classroom or the living room, it proves to have something for audiences of all ages and will no matter how many times viewers watch it. Audiences can only hope that it will not be the last of PBS Kids’ Reading Rainbow compilations to see the light of day. With any luck it and its companion DVD Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie will prove successful enough that maybe PBS Kids and PBS Distribution will release this classic series in its own standalone season sets rather than smaller four-episode collections. Time will tell. And while audiences wait to see if anymore classic Reading Rainbow episodes will see the light of day, they can purchase this DVD in stores or order it online now via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=60650596&cp=&sr=1&kw=reading+rainbow&origkw=Reading+Rainbow&parentPage=search. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pbs

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PBS Kids’ New Reading Rainbow DVD Shines As Brightly As A Rainbow

Courtesy:  PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Reading Rainbow is one of the greatest programs to ever be included as part of PBS’ daily broadcast lineup. The pro-literacy program ran as part of the network’s daily lineup for some twenty-three years, running from June 6th, 1983 to November 10th, 2006. Considering its long and largely successful run, it was a shock to most audiences when the program ended. Even more of a shock was the announcement in 2014 that a Kickstarter campaign aimed at funding Reading Rainbow’s return was underway. Sadly, it turned out that while the fundraiser was way more than successful, Reading Rainbow’s return was online only rather than on PBS. One can only guess why this was the case. Thankfully though, PBS came through for fans of the beloved series this year and released two volumes of episodes from the classic series on DVD in the form of Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe. The prior of the pair was released this past May in stores and online. This DVD is one that audiences of all ages will appreciate; especially the show’s original audiences. The main reason that audiences will appreciate this disc is that it presents four classic episodes of the series in their entirety. It’s the first time that they have seen the light of day, too. The stories and related central topics featured in each episode are just as important to the whole of its presentation. Last but hardly least worth noting of these episodes is the work of host Levar Burton. Burton was just as wonderful of a host in these episodes as he was early in the series’ run. Simply put, his presence in front of the camera felt just as genuine in these episodes as in the show’s early episodes. All three elements combined, they show PBS Kids’ new Reading Rainbow DVD to be one more welcome addition to any family’s home DVD collection.

PBS Kids’ new Reading Rainbow DVD When You Give A Mouse A Cookie is one of the most welcome DVDs to be released by the network so far this year. It is a piece that audiences of all ages are sure to enjoy. That is especially the case in a digital age in which children are being increasingly driven away from books and more towards all things computers. This collection of classic Reading Rainbow episodes is anchored by the episodes themselves. Audiences will note in watching these episodes that PBS Kids and PBS Distribution have presented them in their entirety complete with feature story and book reviews by a select group of young readers. Obviously those young readers are much older by now. That aside, the fact that PBS Kids and PBS Distribution would go to such lengths for audiences is a bold statement. All four episodes have also obviously been tweaked in terms of their production values. While the original, grainy look of the episodes is still clear, it isn’t overpowering. The audio mix is just as impressive. All things considered here, all four episodes featured in Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie will impress the series’ original just as much as the episodes’ first-time viewers. It will remind those older audiences what once made this series so great. It will also show those younger viewers what continues to make it great even today.

The presentation of the four episodes featured in Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie in their entirety is plenty of reason for any family to add this new DVD to their home DVD library. The episodes are presented complete with feature story, book reviews and everything else in their original presentation will impress the series’ original audiences just as much as its younger, first-time viewers. It is just one reason that this DVD stands out in this year’s crop of new DVDs for children and families. The content presented in each episode is just as important to the compilation as the episodes’ presentation. The disc’s title episode teaches young readers about chain reactions through the use If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. There is also an invaluable lesson about never being too old to learn new things in the set’s closing episode, featuring the book Mr. George Baley. And in Owen, the episode’s title book centers an equally important discussion on changes that come along in life and accepting said changes. That is not to discount Two Old Potatoes and Me. Even this book and episode collectively teach their own important lesson, too. Regardless of which episode one chooses, there is not one bad episode presented here. All four episodes will entertain older audiences and educate younger audiences regardless of their ages. not all four will educate audiences the same ages. but there is still something for nearly every viewer presented here. That being the case, it gives Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie a DVD that was well worth the wait.

The presentation of the episodes featured in Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and the content of the episodes together makes this DVD one that every family will want to have in their homes and should have in their homes. Of course for all of the importance that both elements present in this argument, there is still one more reason that audiences will and should have this DVD in their home collections. That reason is host Levar Burton’s presence. Audiences that are familiar with this classic series will note that the episodes presented here were lifted from the latter portion of the show’s run. That being the case, it would have been so easy for Burton to simply phone it in in each episode. Yet even so late in the show’s run he didn’t do that. He still came across as being just as genuine in his personality as in the show’s early days. His short PSA of sorts at the end of the disc noting the importance of teaching children to read shows that he was being serious in his on-screen persona, too. He really did then and does now care about children’s literacy and even that of their adult counterparts. It’s nice to see that he wasn’t and isn’t like all of those other children’s hosts (and hosts in general) that take that easy road. It makes each of the disc’s episodes that much more enjoyable. Together with the episodes’ content and their full presentation, this final element/reason rounds out the reasons that Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie is such a wonderful new release from PBS Kids and PBS Distribution. It is so wonderful that audiences of all ages will agree that it should be in every family’s home DVD collection along with its companion disc Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe. That disc will be discussed next week.

Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie is one of the most welcome DVDs that PBS Kids and PBS Distribution have released so far this year. The fact that all four episodes presented in this disc are shown in their entirety just as they appeared in their original broadcasts is plenty of reason in itself for any family to purchase it. The content presented in each episode makes the compilation in whole al the more worth the purchase. And seeing Burton’s genuine approach so late in the series’ run in these episodes, audiences will agree that this element of the presentation is just as important as its other elements. All three elements combined, they show clearly why Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie is one of this year’s most welcome new releases from PBS Kids and PBS Distribution, and potentially one of the year’s best new DVDs for kids and family to be released this year overall.

Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie is one of the most welcome new DVDs to be released by PBS Kids and PBS Distribution so far this year. It is also one of the best new DVDs for kids and family overall this year. That is thanks to the presentation of its featured episodes in their entirety and to the content of said episodes. Host LeVar Burton’s on screen persona in these is just as genuine as in the series’ early days, too. It rounds out the reasons that every family will want to and should have this DVD in their home DVD collections. Reading Rainbow: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie is available now in stores and online. It can ordered online direct from PBS’ online store now at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=60958876&cp=&sr=1&kw=reading+rainbow&origkw=Reading+Rainbow&parentPage=search. More information on this and other releases from PBS Kids is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbskids.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSKIDS

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PBS Kids Set To Give Kids Lots Of Tricks And Treats With Its Latest WordWorld DVD

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Fall is just around the corner. That means temperatures are soon going to begin turning along with the leaves on the trees. It also means the growing anticipation for the annual holiday season beginning with every kid’s favorite holiday, Halloween. In celebration of the big night, PBS Distribution has announced that it will release a new WordWorld DVD next month to both get kids excited for Halloween and educate them at the same time.
PBS Distribution will release WordWorld’s new DVD Halloween Fun on Tuesday, September 1st. The DVD features five Halloween-themed episodes from the family favorite PBS Kids series including: “A Spooky Kooky Halloween,” “Sheep’s Halloween Costume,” “Dog’s Camping Adventure,” “Nightlight,” and “One Hat Fits All.” In the collection’s opener–“A Spooky, Kooky Halloween,” it’s the night before Halloween and Pig is sleepwaking. This leads his friends to think he’s a ghost. In “Sheep’s Halloween Costume,” Sheep has a problem. Her friends all say they need pieces of her costume for their own. So it’s up to Sheep to solve this dilemma and still have a costume for herself. Bear’s friends help her deal with her fear of the dark in “Nightlight.” And in the disc’s final episode, “One Hat Fits All,” Sheep’s magician’s hat is blown away on a blustery day. Every time that one of Sheep’s friends come upon it and fix it, it takes a different shape that perfectly fits their own personalities. This leaves Sheep and her friends to wonder could her hat in fact be…magical?

WordWorld: Halloween Fun will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, September 1st. It will retail for MSRP of $6.99 and 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:

Website: http://www.wordworld.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WordWorld

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PBS Kids Set To Release New Super Why Episode Collection Next Month

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

PBS Kids will release a brand new collection of episode from the network’s hit series Super Why next month.

Officials with PBS Kids and PBS Distribution announced this week that Super WHY: Cinderella and Other Fairytale Adventures will be released on Tuesday, August 11th in stores and online. The DVD will feature five more episodes from the hit vocabulary-building series anchored by “Cinderella.” Also included in this collection are: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” “Snow White,” “The Prince and the Pauper,” and a new take on Cinderella, “Cinderella: The Prince’s Side of the Story.” It is in this episode that Super Why and company must travel into the story of Cinderella once again, this time in order to solve another mystery—the mystery of Little Boy Blue’s disappearance. Only Prince Charming can help them because he has experience with a similar experience.

“Snow White” presents the classic fairytale and adds a modern twist that teaches an important lesson about overeating. The lesson is taught as Princess Pea and the Super Readers are at a carnival in this episode. Princess Pea has eaten so much that now she has a stomach ache. But then Goldilocks offers her some popcorn just like the evil queen tempted Snow White with the poisoned apple in the story of Snow White. Princess Pea is tempted to eat just a little bit of the popcorn offered to her by Goldilocks even though she knows that she shouldn’t. So it’s up to the Super Readers to convince her to not give in, leading to the trip into this story.

Whyatt and Princess Pea learn the age-old adage that the grass always seems greener on the other side in “The Prince and the Pauper,” the third of the collection’s five episodes. When Whyatt thinks that his house is too loud and Princess Pea thinks that hers is too quiet, the pair decides to trade places. First, the pair, along with the rest of the Super Readers, travel into the story of The Prince and the Pauper and discover that maybe trading places isn’t such a good idea after all.

“The Boy Who Cried Wolf” introduces young audiences to the episode’s namesake “fairytale” after Whyatt is the only one around when his baby sister Joy says her first words. In order to figure out how to get people to believe him, he and the rest of the Super Readers travel into the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and help its lead character convince everyone about the wolf.

In the last of the set’s episodes, Red is going to Sleeping Beauty’s princess party. The problem is that Red isn’t a princess. So she and the Super Readers jump into the story of Cinderella to find out how its main character dealt with her own princess problem. Parents will especially enjoy this episode as it teaches not only about the classic fairytale but also an important lesson about self-esteem.

Super Why: Cinderella and Other Fairytale Adventures will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, August 11th. It will retail for MSRP of $12.99 and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=66322776&cp=&sr=1&kw=super+why&origkw=Super+Why&parentPage=search&searchId=62950646. More information on this and other Super Why DVDs is available online now along with lots of Super WHY games, activities and more at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/superwhy

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/superwhy

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PBS Kids Announces Release Date, Specs For New Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Next month, PBS Distribution will release its latest collection of episodes from the hit PBS Kids series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Officials with PBS and PBS Distribution announced recently that on Tuesday, August 18th, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel Tiger Goes To School will be released in stores and online. It will feature eight more episodes from PBS Kids’ hit children’s series that will both entertain and educate young viewers including: “Be A Vegetable Taster!,” which teaches young viewers about the importance of eating healthy, “Problem Solver Daniel,” which teaches viewers about both working together and helps them develop problem solving skills, and “Safety Patrol,” which teaches about the different safety rules used to keep people safe around town.” There are plenty more episodes that will entertain and educate the whole family on this new DVD. The complete episode listing for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel Goes To School is listed below.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel Goes To School Episode List

“A Trip to the Crayon Factory”
Daniel Tiger, Miss Elaina, and Katerina Kittycat take a fun trip to the factory to see how crayons are made but, O the Owl can’t come because he’s sick. At the factory, the kids watch the crayons being made, and Daniel looks and listens closely. Daniel has an idea to take pictures at the factory and give them to O at the end of the day, so that O can learn about crayons too!

“Be a Vegetable Taster!”
Teacher Harriet introduces Daniel and his friends to the school’s vegetable garden and convinces them to pick out some healthy veggies for their snack. They explore the garden, picking and trying different vegetables…with mixed results!


“Line Leader Daniel”
The children are getting new classroom jobs at school. Daniel really wants to be line leader! When he doesn’t get the job he wanted, Daniel is disappointed. Soon he learns that all of the jobs are necessary to keep the classroom running smoothly.

“Problem Solver Daniel”
Daniel and Miss Elaina are playing with the blocks at school but they each want to build something different. They call Teacher Harriet over to help fix the problem, but she tells them to work out a solution without her. They do, and feel proud that they can figure things out all by themselves.


“The Class Votes”
At school, Daniel and his classmates get to choose their new class pet! Teacher Harriet explains that they can either get a bunny or a turtle. The kids learn what it means to “vote” and that sometimes it doesn’t always turn out your way. Luckily, ALL of the kids find something to love about their new pet, “Snowball”!


“O Builds a Tower”
In the block corner at school, O the Owl is determined to use all of the blocks to build the tallest tower in the world. After many failed attempts, he is frustrated, but Teacher Harriet and O’s friends encourage him to try once again.

“Play Pretend”
Teacher Harriet shows the children a big cardboard box and asks them what they think it could be. Daniel and Miss Elaina have fun pretending the box is a space ship and a jungle boat, but O the Owl just sees a big cardboard box. With a little help from his friends, O discovers how much fun it is to pretend!

“Safety Patrol”
Today at school, the children are learning about traffic signs. Prince Tuesday comes for a special visit, wearing his crossing guard uniform. He takes the class on a walk through the Neighborhood and they practice their safety rules all along the way.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel Goes To School will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, August 18th on DVD only. It will retail for MSRP of $12.99. It can be prdered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=64547196&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood&origkw=Daniel+Tiger%27s+Neighborhood&parentPage=search. More information on this and other Daniel Tiger’s Neighborood compilations is available online now along with lots of activities and games from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/daniel

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv

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Curious George: The Complete First Season Is Complete In Name Only

Courtesy:  Universal Studios Home Entertainment/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: Universal Studios Home Entertainment/PBS/PBS Kids

Curious George is one of America’s most beloved literary figures. For generations everybody’s favorite curious little monkey has been entertaining readers and viewers of all ages with his adventures. From an extensive series of literary adventures to a classic animated series of sorts in the 1980s to his most recent series, which debuted in 2006, George’s adventures have been teaching important lessons and putting smiles on families’ faces for ages. And this past May fans of George’s most recent animated series were finally rewarded for their loyalty to the series as Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) finally released the series’ first season in its entirety on DVD. Its release marks the first time that this series’ first season has seen the light of day in whole on DVD. And as entertaining as it is, it has to be said that it isn’t a perfect release. On the good side, audiences get the entire sixty episode (yes, sixty episodes) run from Season One on just four discs. That equals to roughly ten hours of entertainment and education for audiences of all ages. This is especially important for a number of reasons and will be discussed shortly. Sixty episodes is a lot of episodes. So one would naturally think that an episode guide of some sort would have been included in this set. Sadly the exact opposite proved to be the case. There is no episode guide. And that’s just one of a handful of cons that weigh down the set. For all of the cons that weigh it down, there is at least one more positive to consider. that positive is in fact the writing that went into each of the set’s episodes. More simply put, the mix of entertainment and education incorporated into each episode offers its own value to the whole of Season One. That value set alongside the set’s cons and its one major positive, Curious George: The Complete First Season isn’t a total loss for audiences. It is one of the year’s best new box sets for children and families. Though, sadly it can’t be said that it is the year’s best.

Curious George: The Complete First Season has been a long time coming. Ever since the series made its debut nine years ago, audiences have waited patiently for its release. Yet for some reason the people at USHE instead started with the series’ sixth and seventh seasons and only now released its first season. Why USHE would take that route is anyone’s guess. Getting back on track, audiences will appreciate that while it is complete in name only, Curious George: The Complete First Season is complete at least in terms of its episode listing. Season One boasts a total of sixty (yes, sixty) episodes. Those episodes are spread across a total of four discs that are packaged wisely inside a standard DVD case. The inclusion of all sixty original Season One episodes here is a positive in that it replaces a number of USHE’s previously released standalone Curious George compilation discs. This critic alone owns no fewer than a dozen of those standalone DVD compilations. That means that no less than half of those DVDs can now be eliminated. In other words, that means less DVDs cluttering up the house. Any parent will welcome less clutter. What’s more, owning sixty episodes in one set means that much less worry about missing George when it comes on TV regardless of whether it be on PBS or a family’s local PBS Kids affiliate. Keeping all of this in mind, the inclusion of all sixty Season One episodes in a wisely packaged four-disc set definitely makes Curious George Season:  The Complete First Season worth the addition to any family’s home DVD library.

The presentation of all sixty episodes from Curious George’s first season is within tiself plenty of reason for families to add this box set to their home DVD library. It potentially eliminates clutter from families’ homes. And it means that much less worry about missing Curious George when it comes on TV. Those are all great aspects of Season One. For every positive there is always at least one negative, though. Sadly, Curious George: The Complete First Season has its share of cons. The most glaring of those cons is linked directly to the season’s sixty-episode run. It is the lack of an episode guide of any kind. Considering that Season One boasts so many episodes, one would have thought it common sense that some thing as simple as an episode guide outlining which episodes are on which disc would be included in the set. Apparently someone at USHE thought otherwise. So audiences essentially have to either memorize the episode listing or write up an episode listing themselves and add it into the box. It’s sad that that was apparently an afterthought for the people at USHE. It is just one of a number of cons that weigh down this set, too. Along with that con, audiences will also note that there are no bonus features to speak of anywhere in the set.

The “mid-show” segments that feature kids doing what George did in the corresponding episode are nowhere to be found, either. The “mid-show” segments are commonplace with each broadcast on television. They are even there on the series’ standalone sets. So why not here? It’s doubtful having them in each episode would force an extra disc or even more to the set. So why not have them here? It seems a trivial aspect. But in reality those segments help to drive home the concepts being taught in each episode. They drive home the presented concepts because they present children doing the things that George did in the corresponding episodes. This makes them that much more relatable for young viewers and in turn more capable of reaching them. So not having them included here yet again weighs down the set even more. It means that parents and teachers have to find ways to keep those audiences engaged after the episodes are over and figuring out how to drive the lessons home themselves. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it would have been nice to have that starting point regardless. Because it isn’t there audiences are actually losing out by not having them included here. The same can be said of the lack of bonus features.

The bonus features that are so commonplace in the series’ standalone compilations also help to drive home the concepts being taught in the presented episode. They, too are starting points for bigger lessons that can be taught on the presented topics. A prime example is the rocket building game that corresponds with “Curious George’s Rocket Ride.” That game is included in the standalone DVD which features said episode as its focal point. That game in nowhere to be found anywhere on this set. It keeps children interested in rockets and space all while teaching a basic lesson about shapes. It’s just one of so many games and other activities not included in this set that could have been included. Because it and the others from other Curious George DVDs aren’t here, it means teachers and parents having to figure out how to come up with a cost-effective way to present the same games on their own. Yet again, that’s not a total loss. But still it would have been nice to have at least something there. Not having any bonus games, “mid-show” segments, or episode guide to go by, so much enjoyment and even education that could have been had is potentially lost from this set. Considering this, Curious George: The Complete First Season loses a lot of points and shows even more to be in reality complete in name only.

Curious George: The Complete First Season is sadly complete in name only. That is because despite having its full complement of sixty episodes, it is lacking in a number of other areas, as has been pointed out. For all of its cons, there is at least one more important pro that should be noted here that is directly related to the cons. That pro is the actual writing that went into this season’s episodes. The writers expertly balanced the series’ entertainment value with its educational content in every episode without fail. From one episode to the next there are various lessons that teach problem-solving skills, basic math and science skills, and so much more. For example, in “From Scratch,” George teaches viewers about using deductive reasoning by trying to solve what made scratches on the furniture at Chef Pisghetti’s restaurant and clear Gnocci’s name. Young viewers won’t even realize that they are being taught thanks to the fact that the series’ writers made the episode a whodunit sort of story with George playing the detective. “Zero To Donuts” teaches viewers basic math skills as George accidentally orders one hundred dozen donuts when he should have only ordered one dozen. So he has to learn about the values of certain numbers. And in “The All Animal Recycled Band” kids learn both about music and conservation as George wants to make a band of his own. The problem is that he has to figure out how to make his instruments and who will play them. His decision on who will play makes for plenty of laughs for the whole family. The lesson about conservation taught through George’s development of his instruments is just as important to the episode. It’s another example of the writers’ ability to balance important educational content with entertainment throughout Season One. There are plenty of other episodes that could be used as examples of how the writers’ ability to balance educational and entertainment content make Season One’s episodes makes them so enjoyable. There just is neither enough time nor space for a discussion on each one. Needless to say, the talent of the writers to balance both elements set along with the fact that all sixty episodes are finally presented in one complete set makes Curious George: The Complete First Season a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library. This is the case even with all of its negatives. Those negatives make this season enjoyable but sadly complete in name only.

Curious George: The Complete First Season is a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library. The fact that al slixty of its episodes have been presented together here for the first time is just one reason that it is such a welcome addition. The balance of educational and entertaining content within each episode makes for even more reason for families to add this box set to their home DVD library. Sadly there are some glaring issues with the set including the lack of something as basic as an episode guide, the “mid-show” segments that are commonplace in the series’ TV broadcasts and its standalone DVDs, and any bonus features that are common on those same standalone DVDs. Even with those cons noted, they don’t make Curious George: The Complete First Season a total loss. They only make it complete in name only. All things considered, Curious George: The Complete First Season is one of the year’s best new box sets for children and families. But it is hardly the best. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other available Curious George DVDs is available online along with the latest Curious George news at:

Website: http://www.curiousgeorge.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/curiousgeorge

Audiences can also get more information on Curious George, print out coloring pages, and play Curious George games at http://pbskids.org/curiousgeorge. 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Audiences Of All Ages Will Enjoy PBS Kids’ Latest Trip To Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

PBS Kids will release the latest collection of episodes from its hit series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood later this month.  It’s A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood is an aptly titled release as it is such a great new collection.  The central reason that it is such a joy is the collection of lessons incorporated into each of its eight episodes.   From its opening lesson on getting outside and getting active to its lesson on healthy eating to a lesson about responsibility and making things right when one makes mistakes and more, the lessons incorporated into these episodes make them a wonderful watch for audiences of all ages.  Another reason that it shines so brightly is the fact that the episodes are run in chronological order once again as with previous collections and with the series itself.    Last but not least worth noting is the material added onto the collection as bonus material.  The printable coloring pages and activities that have been included with previous collections are present here.  There are also a couple of bonus music videos performed by the trio Voodoo Highway Music & Post.  One of the videos and its song drives home the lesson centered on self-confidence.  The other sees the trio performing the show’s theme song.  All three elements together show fully why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is yet another welcome addition to any family’s personal DVD library.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood offers plenty of reason for any family to add it to their personal home DVD library.  The central reason that it is so worth the purchase is the collection of lessons incorporated into each of its episodes.  Being that summer is now right around the corner, many of the lessons the lead off lessons centered on getting outside and exploring nature is a fitting way to lead off the collection.  These lessons are taught as Daniel and his friend O The Owl go outside with O’s uncle X The Owl for a walk in “Daniel Explores Nature” and “Daniel’s Nature Walk.”  X teaches the boys about appreciating all that nature has to offer in these episodes and that even if there’s a little sprinkle it doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to go indoors.  The boys (and in turn audiences) learn about all the different plants and animals in nature in the collection’s lead off episodes.  This will hopefully get young audiences encouraged to go outside themselves and learn about all the joys that nature has to offer.  By connection, going outside also promotes getting active which is just as important for young viewers to learn if not more so.  On a similar note, the pairing of “Fruit Picking Day” and “A Trip To The Enchanted Garden” teach young viewers about healthy eating by showing just some of the great tasting healthy foods there are out there.  If that isn’t enough for audiences (especially parents and teachers), there is also a lesson about being responsible for one’s actions and making things right when one has made a mistake.  The lesson includes a sub-lesson of sorts that teaches young viewers about taking things that aren’t theirs without asking.  Yet again, here is another reason that this collection should be in every family’s home and maybe even every pre-school and kindergarten classroom.  It’s not the last reason that it should be included in both settings, either.  There is also a lesson that teaches young viewers about the importance of cleaning up and another centered on safety at the beach (again just in time for summer).  Regardless of which lesson(s) one chooses, every viewer will agree that every one of the lessons featured in this collection make it well worth the purchase and the watch.

The lessons that are presented throughout the course of PBS Kids’ new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood collection are central to its success.  That should be crystal clear by now.  They make up just one reason that every home and every pre-k and kindergarten classroom should have this collection.  Another reason that it proves itself well worth the purchase and the watch is the fact that the lessons are presented in a clear and concise fashion.  More simply put the episodes that teach each of the lessons are presented together once again just as with previous collections from the series.  It also mirrors the way that the lessons are presented in the series, too.  This is a direct throwback to the way the lessons were taught in Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood so many years ago.  Keeping the episodes in question in chronological order as it were means keeping young viewers’ fully engaged.  Had the episodes jumped around then the lessons incorporated into said episodes wouldn’t have been driven home as well if at all.  But in keeping each episode paired, it ensures the lessons are driven home.  It is one more way in which the people at PBS and PBS Kids have succeeded once again with this latest collection and even more reason for parents and teachers alike to add this set to their home and classroom collections respectively.

The lessons incorporated into the new collection of episodes from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and the clear connection of the episodes to drive home the lessons are both key in their own way in making the collection enjoyable.  Having noted the most important of the disc’s elements there is still one more element to note that makes it so enjoyable.  That last element is the material included as bonus material.  Included with this collection are all of the bonus printable coloring pages that were included with the series’ previous DVD collections.  The bonus activity “All Aboard” is included once again, too.  The coloring pages feature Daniel and his friends by themselves and together on board Trolley.  Speaking of Trolley, the bonus activity “All Aboard” gives young viewers the chance once again to “buy” their own imaginary tickets and ride their own make believe trolley.  Along the way, the activity teaches those same viewers about taking turns.  Those families and teachers that might not have the series’ previous DVDs will most appreciate that these same bonuses have been included once again.  That is because it keeps them on the same page as viewers that do have the noted collections.  The music videos included with this collection are the new additions.  The videos present the series’ theme song and another piece that teaches young viewers about self-confidence.  The songs in both pieces are performed by Voodoo Music & Post.  The second of the songs is especially important as it can be used as part of an invaluable discussion on self-worth especially in an age when it seems like bullying is still at near epidemic levels in this country.  It is one more important way in which Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: It’s a Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood shines, proving itself a must have whether in the classroom or the living room.

PBS Kids’ new collection of episodes from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is yet another must have whether in the classroom or the living room.  Its lessons and their organization are both important in their own way to the enjoyment and success of this latest collection.  The bonus material included with the disc is just as important to the presentation in whole.  All three elements considered together, they prove once again the collection’s value regardless of the setting in which it is used. It will be available Tuesday, May 26th on DVD and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=60958536&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood&origkw=daniel+tiger%27s+neighborhood&parentPage=search. More information on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is available online along with more episodes and games at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/daniel

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.