PBS Succeeds Again With Its Latest ‘Nature Cat’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

Early this year, PBS Distribution released another new collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ hit series Nature Cat in the form of Nature Cat: Nature Cat & Mr. Hide.  This latest collection of episodes – another four-episode presentation – is yet another success for the network.  That is especially the case considering that its episodes, which promote outdoor activity and learning, were included in a disc that was originally released in the dead of winter.  Now with summer only days away, those pro-outdoors stories – which form the foundation of the disc’s presentation – are even more timely in their presentation.  They will be discussed shortly.  The biology lessons tied into each story add to the stories even more, and will be discussed a little bit later.  The disc’s average price point put the accent to the disc’s presentation and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of Nature Cat & Mr. Hide.  All things considered, they make this DVD another success for PBS, PBS Kids and PBS Distribution.

Summer vacation is here or almost here for students across America.  While school is either out for summer or almost out, it doesn’t mean the fun and learning have to stop.  Nature Cat: Nature Cat & Mr. Hide offers young viewers plenty of entertainment while also educating those audiences.  That is done in part through the pro-outdoor stories featured in each of the disc’s four episodes.  From playing a game of hide and seek against Ronald and a group of other cats to exploring nature to learn about organisms that light up at night (and light up the night) to frolicking with some friendly dragonflies to enjoying a game of beach volleyball, the episodes featured in this disc do plenty to promote outdoor activity in the warm weather.  With any luck, young viewers will take that promotion for healthy, active lifestyles, and allow it to inspire them to move more while also learning about all that nature has to offer.  Speaking of learning about all that nature has to offer, the science lessons that are incorporated into the pro-active lifestyle stories add their own positive element to the DVD’s presentation.

The science lessons that are tied into each of the DVD’s four featured episodes are just as diverse as the pro-active lifestyle stories themselves.  The disc’s title episode features a lesson about camouflage.  It’s hardly the first time that viewers have been treated to a lesson about the ways in which prey use colors and patterns in nature to keep from being eaten by predators.  It has been discussed in Wild Kratts, another hit PBS Kids show.  It has also been discussed on PBS’ popular wildlife series Nature more than once.  In the case of this episode, viewers learn specifically how creatures, such as frogs and deer use camouflage to hide from predators.  Nature Cat ends up searching for ways to camouflage himself in a neighborhood-wide game of hide and seek that involves, what else, a dog hunting cats.  “The Glow Games” finds Nature Cat and his friends having to find three different bioluminescent life forms before Ronald.  The episode’s title gives a hint about one of the living, light-creating creatures that Nature Cat and company find.  Another of the bioluminescent creatures that the group finds is a popular summertime creature of the night.  It will be left for audiences to discover on their own.  The third is perhaps the most unexpected.  It will also be left for viewers to discover on their own.  Overall, the beings that Nature Cat and company discover are diverse in their own right.  “The Shell Game” takes audiences to the beach and teaches about invertebrates with the introduction of another of Nature Cat’s friends, a hermit crab who has outgrown his shell.  The crab tells Nature Cat and company that if he can’t find a new shell, he can’t help them face Ronald and his team in a game of beach volleyball.  It goes without saying that such a plot point is original in comparison to Nature Cat’s other episodes and to episodes from other wildlife-based series animated and otherwise.  “Enter The Dragonfly” entertains right from its title, which is a spoof of the famous 1973 Bruce Lee martial arts flick Enter The Dragon.  There’s no martial arts featured in this episode, despite that pun.  Rather, the story has a rather medieval vibe as Ronald is sent on a quest to become one of the Knights of Nature.  In the process, he – and viewers – learn the life cycle of a dragonfly.  That can easily serve as the starting point for lessons about the life cycles of other semi-aquatic animals, such as frogs, toads and salamanders.  By now, the diversity in the science lessons featured in this DVD’s episodes should be obvious.  That diversity goes just as far as the episodes’ pro-healthy lifestyle lessons to making this DVD a joy for audiences of all ages and kinds.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to be more money very well-spent.

The average price point for Nature Cat: Nature Cat & Mr. Hide is $5.67, using price listings at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and PBS’ online store.  The most commonly listed price, listed at Walmart, Amazon and Target, is $4.79.  The most expensive listing, $6.99, is at PBS’ store.  The DVD was not listed at Books-A-Million’s website at the time of this review’s posting.  Regardless of which retailer one uses, the money spent on this DVD will still go back to PBS even if purchased from a retailer other than PBS.  What’s more, the fact that the DVD’s average price point of less than $7 is one that clearly will not break any consumer’s budget, whether ordered online or in store.  The content noted in the DVD through this review proves the money spent on the DVD is well-spent.  All things considered here, Nature Cat & Mr. Hide becomes a presentation that proves to be yet another success for PBS, PBS Kids and PBS Distribution.

PBS Distribution’s recently released Nature Cat DVD, Nature Cat & Mr. Hide is another welcome offering from what is another welcome addition to PBS (and PBS Kids’) program lineup.  That is proven in part through stories that promote active lifestyles in each episode.  The science lessons that are tied into the stories add to each episode’s interest, too.  The DVD’s average price point is anything but a budget buster.  Rather, it is money well-spent, considering the breadth and depth of the DVD’s overall content.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Nature Cat & Mr. Hide.  All things considered, they make this DVD yet another positive offering from the still very young series.  It is available now.  More information on the DVD is available along with plenty of Nature Cat activities, printables, episodes and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org/naturecat

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

 

 

 

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“A” Is For “Awesome”: Shout! Factory, Sesame Workshop’s New ‘Sesame Street’ DVD Lives Up To Its Title

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Sesame Workshop

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop will release the latest entry in their Sesame Street DVD series Tuesday in the form of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection.  This latest addition to the series is a fittingly titled offering, too.  That is proven in part through the DVD’s primary content.  It will be addressed shortly.  The DVD’s bonus content adds even more appeal to its overall presentation, and will be addressed a little later.  The DVD’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection.  All things considered, they make this latest offering from Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop a truly awesome DVD.

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop’s latest Sesame Street DVD Awesome Alphabet Challenge is truly an awesome new offering from the companies.  That is proven in part through the DVD’s primary content.  The DVD’s primary content takes audiences through the alphabet from A to Z, giving ample time to each letter along the way.  There are at least three different segments as each letter is introduced.  On the surface, that might not seem like much, but on a deeper level, the repetition is standard teaching fare.  Early Childhood educators will appreciate that approach here, as it drives home the different sounds that each letter makes.  This is especially smart.

While the presentation of each letter in its various sounds forms a solid foundation for the primary content, the fact that this is done by taking viewers through the now 50-year history of Sesame Street adds even more appeal to the presentation.  From the series’ most recent years all the way back to the series’ golden era, which featured the likes of Guy Smiley, to the 90s, when Big Bird, Snuffy and company were still key parts of the show and when Grover was a lovable hapless restaurant waiter, to points in-between, the time span of the content will certainly appeal to plenty of grown-ups just as much as children, if not more so.  Simply put, this is nostalgia done right.  In an age when a company, such as Disney tries to reboot everything and play on the viewers’ sense of nostalgia to sell said reboots in place of any real content, Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop have done the exact opposite.  They have reintroduced the original content while also teaching key lessons, in turn bringing audiences of all ages successfully together.  Keeping all of this in mind, the primary content featured in Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection creates a solid, stable foundation for the DVD.  Resting on that well-grounded foundation is the disc’s bonus content.

The bonus content featured in Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is so notable because it does just as much to appeal to children and grown-ups alike as the DVD’s primary content.  One of the DVD’s bonus features is a spoof of CBS’ former hit series The Great Race in the 13-minute-plus episode “Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race.”  Even the font used for the title is meant to mirror the font used for the font in the noted award-winning CBS competition series.  The story finds Elmo having to make his way around Sesame Street in search of every one of the 26 letters that make up the alphabet.  It continues that process of repetition that is used in the DVD’s primary content, serving even more, to drive home the letters and their different sounds.  He finds letters on the awning for Hooper’s Store, on a book that Abby Cadabby is reading, a bus stop sign and a sign on a door among many other locations.  Along the way, the “host” of the “show” keeps track of things.  In the end, Elmo and Telly get to the alphabet’s end before the chicken strikes the gong, and get a special surprise, which won’t be given away here.  From start to finish, the “episode” does everything right in continuing what was started in the DVD’s primary content.

The repetition continues even more in the bonus printables that are also featured as extras in this DVD.  Seven pages of printables are available for download.  Six of the printables feature more repetition of the letters, including one page that features the original Sesame Street gang, complete with Snuffy, The Count and even Bert and Ernie, holding all 26 letters of the alphabet.  As an added plus, the very first printable is a connect-the-dots activity that lets young audiences connect the dots to make Elmo’s face and color it.  That, along with the repetition in the other printables and that in the bonus episode “Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race” makes the bonus content featured in this disc live up to its title of being bonus material.  When it is considered along with the repetition in the primary content and the content itself, the whole of the primary and secondary content makes the DVD overall more than worth the addition to any classroom and living room setting.  To that end, the DVD’s average price point is money well spent.

The average price point of Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection, using prices listed at Shout! Factory’s store, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble Booksellers  and Amazon, is $11.47.  At the time of this posting, it was not listed at Best Buy and Books-A-Million’s websites.  The least expensive listing is at Amazon and Walmart — $9.96.  That is also the most commonly occurring price for the DVD.  The most expensive listing is at Shout! Factory’s store, at $13.98.  Target’s pricing of $9.99 is the middle ground for this title, comparing prices.  Regardless of which retailer consumers use, buyers will know that the money paid is well-spent because of the education that it will certainly provide young viewers and entertainment that it will provide children and grown-ups alike.  Keeping this in mind, the education, entertainment and cost collectively go a long way toward making Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection enjoyable for audiences of all ages, and a truly awesome presentation.

Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is a presentation that certainly lives up to its title.  It is an awesome collection that audiences of all ages will enjoy.  This is proven in part through the DVD’s collective primary and secondary content, which drives home each letter of the alphabet to young viewers and repeats each letter’s various sounds in each section.  The throwback to Sesame Street’s various eras that is used throughout the primary content adds even more interest to the DVD for grown-ups.  The bonus episode “Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race” continues the repetition of the primary content while also certainly bringing laughs to grown-up audiences with its spoof of the former CBS hit competition series.  The bonus printables continue that repetition even more.  Considering all of that content and nonstop education and entertainment, the DVD’s average price point of less than $20 proves quite affordable to say the very least.  Keeping all of this in mind, the whole of this DVD becomes a presentation that is…well…awesome.  Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is scheduled for release Tuesday.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

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PBS Kids’ New ‘Ready Jet Go!’ DVD Is Another “Shining” Offering

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS Kids’ hit science-based series Ready Jet Go! has only aired two seasons since its premiere three years ago.  In the short time that the series has been on the air, it has garnered plenty of audiences.  It has also resulted in a series of compilation DVDs along the way, the latest of which – Chasing the Sun – was released just last month.  That latest DVD, released April 9, is another positive offering from PBS Distribution.  That is proven in part through the DVD’s episodes, which will be addressed shortly.  The secondary content contained within the episodes also plays into the DVD’s presentation, and will be discussed a little bit later.  The DVD’s average price point is just as important to note as its overall content.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Ready Jet Go!: Chasing The Sun.  All things considered, they make this DVD another collection from the series that while maybe not as hot as the sun itself, is still a collection that shines.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.

PBS Distribution’s new Ready Jet Go! collection Chasing the Sun is another positive offering from the company.  That is due in part to the episodes that are featured in the collection.  Unlike the series’ previous DVDs, this collection features eight episodes instead of four, which was previously the normal for the series’ DVDs.  Featuring double the episodes also means double the entertainment and education for children.  Speaking of that education, the primary content featured within the episodes features mainly on the sun.  At times, it does get slightly redundant with first Mindy not believing the sun is a star in the episode “Just The Right Distance From The Sun” and then another of Jet’s friends believing the Earth’s sun is the only sun in the universe in “Our Sun is a Star.”  The redundancy continues in “Mindy’s Bedtime” and ‘Galileo, Galileo!”  Each episode centers on the Earth’s orbit around the sun, just in a slightly different way.  Luckily that slight variation makes the lessons just new enough that they are not exact mirror images of one another.  There are also episodes whose lessons stand alone from the others, such as “Sunspot’s Sunspot,” “How We Found Your Sun” and “Solar Power Rover.”  “Sunspot’s Sunspot” introduces viewers of all ages to sunspots (and solar flares), how they are created and how they impact Earth. “How We Found Your Sun” explains how signals travel in space while “Solar Power Rover” explains how the sun can power anything from lights on our homes to electronic devices on other planets.  Simply put, even with the slight redundancy that is evident throughout the episodes, the content and lessons are just varied enough that they will keep young viewers engaged and entertained.  That may not apply if they are expected to sit through the DVD’s full 100-minute run time in one sitting, but they will remain engaged and entertained in smaller stints.  The primary content featured in the episodes is just one item that stands out in examining the episodes.  Their secondary content plays its own important part in the DVD’s overall presentation.

The secondary content featured in the DVD’s episodes is important to discuss because of what it adds to the foundation formed by the primary content.  “Galileo, Galileo!” is, on its surface, a history about famed astronomer Galileo.  It presents a brief but accessible lesson about Galileo and his contributions to the science of astronomy.  On another level, it offers a starting point for lessons about overcoming the all-too-familiar issue of stage fright.  It does this by having Jet’s friend focus primarily on that history than on his own fear of performing.  It’s a familiar theme that has been used in so many family friendly TV shows, but having it incorporated into this setting keeps it at least relatively fresh.  “Tree House Observatory” presents a secondary lesson about creating one’s own telescope and doing one’s own star watching.  It makes for a good starting point for families and teachers alike looking for a way to branch out the education presented in the lesson into a who new reach.  “Solar Power Rover” presents a clear message about the importance of using solar power instead of electricity and other non-renewable resources.  The message is not so intentional as it could have been, but it is there.  Again, this can serve as a starting point for a deeper discussion on renewable versus non-renewable resources.  It is just one more example of how the secondary content presented in Ready Jet Go!: Chasing The Sun plays its own key part in the DVD’s whole.  When all of the secondary content noted here is considered along with the rest of the disc’s secondary content and the primary content, the whole of that material gives audiences more than enough to appreciate.  Keeping that in mind, the DVD’s average price proves to be money well-spent.

The average price point for Ready Jet Go!: Chasing The Sun is $9.50.  That price was obtained using listings at PBS’ store, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  The DVD was not listed at Books-A-Million’s site at the time of this posting.  The most commonly listed – and least expensive — price for the DVD is $8.69, at Amazon, Walmart and Target. The most expensive listing is at PBS’ store, at $12.99, so that is well above the average price point.  Now even though PBS’ price is the most expensive, any money spent at other outlets will still go back in part to PBS.  So regardless of which outlet one uses, a portion of the sales will go back to PBS to help continue providing programming for audiences.  What’s more, regardless of which outlet one uses, the prices listed clearly will not break any viewer’s budget.  Coupling that with the amount of content that is featured throughout the DVD and audiences get a presentation in this disc that is yet another positive offering from PBS Distribution.

PBS Distribution’s latest Ready Jet Go! is another positive offering from the company and the series.  That is due in part to the primary content featured throughout the disc’s eight episodes and the fact that eight episodes are featured instead of four, which was previously the standard for the series’ DVD releases.  The secondary content featured within each episode adds more interest to the DVD’s presentation.  The disc’s average price point proves a value especially considering the amount of content featured throughout the disc.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Ready Jet Go!: Chasing The Sun.  All things considered, they make the DVD another “shining” presentation from the series and from PBS Distribution.  It is available now.  More information on the DVD is available online along with more episodes of Ready Jet Go!, games, activities, printables and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/readyjetgo

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

 

 

 

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PBS Kids’ New ‘Ready Jet Go!’ DVD Is “Rocking” Fun For The Whole Family

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution will release another new collection of Ready Jet Go! Episodes next month on DVD.  The new collection, Chasing The Sun, is set for release April 9.  While audiences wait for the DVD’s release, they have another collection of episodes from the hit series in the form of Ready Jet Go!: Space Rocks.  Released this past January, the DVD features four episodes from the series’ first season that will both entertain and educate audiences of all ages.  Those episodes are themselves are just one of a group of reasons for any family to own this DVD.  The episodes’ secondary content plays its own critical role in the DVD’s presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  When the DVD’s primary and secondary content is coupled with the DVD’s average price point, the whole of the single-disc presentation makes the collection a (space) rocking – yes, that awful pun was intentional – collection that the whole family will enjoy.

PBS Distribution’s new Ready Jet Go! DVD, Space Rocks is a collection that space enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy.  That is due in part to the episodes featured in the DVD and their primary content.  All four of the episodes featured in this latest RJG compilation are lifted from the series’ debut season, and are presented in exactly the same chronological order in which they were originally aired on television.  This is good in itself in that it means nothing is left out as audiences watch.  Instead of jumping around from one point to another, audiences can feel as if they are watching it on television instead of on DVD.  It’s a minor aesthetic element, sure, but in the bigger picture, that element goes a long way toward the DVD’s presentation.

The actual primary content presented in the episodes is just as important to note of the episodes as their sequencing.  Audiences of all ages will enjoy the lessons about the changing forms of space rocks in “Asteroids, Meteors and Meteorites” and the lessons about the compositions of meteorites and comets in the episodes.  Older audiences will enjoy the lessons because, honestly, plenty of adults forget the specifics of the noted topics very easily.  So for adults, the lessons would be learned for the first time again while for younger viewers, the lessons will be just as fresh, learning them for the first time ever.  As if this is not enough, the lessons tie into one another from the first to the last.  First is the lesson about the different terms used to classify space rocks as they make their way toward and onto Earth.  From there, audiences learn how to determine an average Earth rock from a space rock in terms of its composition and characteristics.  Immediately after that episode, audiences are taught about the composition of comets, which themselves are space rocks.  From there, Jet and his friends create their own asteroid patrol, a smaller version of what NASA already does.  They are then introduced to what the said scientists do every single day.  Again, older audiences will enjoy learning facts that they likely forgot over the years while younger viewers will enjoy just as much, learning those same lessons for the first time.  It makes for an enjoyable time for the whole family.  That is more than enough reason for audiences to check out this DVD, but most definitely not the only reason.  The secondary lessons incorporated into the episodes add even more reason for audiences to view the DVD.

Audiences learn how to make their own homemade comet in the secondary lesson in “Comet Fever.”  “Mindy’s Meteorite Stand” uses the lesson of how to tell the difference in an Earth and space rock as its primary AND secondary lesson.  The use of the magnets plays into the traits that determine if a rock is from space or Earth.  This is the starting point for families and even teachers to do their own lesson about how to spot Earth rocks and space rocks.  “Asteroid Patrol” helps viewers of all ages learn where to look for asteroids in the sky and what to look for.  Simply put, the lessons presented in each episode are just as valuable as the primary content because they take the information presented in the primary lessons and use them to continue that learning first hand.  When the two lessons are coupled, they give audiences more than enough to appreciate.  Keeping that in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to be money well-spent.

The average price point of Ready Jet Go!: Space Rocks is $5.17.  That price is obtained by averaging prices from PBS’ online store, from Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  The least expensive listing at the time of this review is at Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart at $4.79.  The most expensive listing is at Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  Whether one purchases the DVD at the low end or high, neither price is very high.  Purchasing the DVD will not break any family’s budget, and will be enjoyed plenty of times at that one-time price.  Considering all that the DVD offers, that makes the disc’s average price point quite affordable.  Keeping everything in mind here, the DVD in whole proves itself a positive addition to any family’s home DVD library.

PBS Distribution’s most recent Ready Jet Go! DVD, Space Rocks is another enjoyable new offering from Craig Bartlett’s (Hey Arnold!, Dinosaur Train) hit science-based educational series.  That is thanks in part to the episodes featured in the DVD and their primary content, which will entertain and educate audiences of all ages.  The secondary content serves as a solid starting point for educators and families alike to try their own related experiments and experiences.  The disc’s average price point is money well-spent, considering all that the primary and secondary has to offer audiences.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Ready Jet Go!: Space Rocks.  All things considered, they make the DVD another out of this world hit for the whole family.  More information on Ready Jet Go!: Space Rocks is available online along with lots of games, activities and printables at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/readyjetgo

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

 

 

 

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PBS Opening New Year With New ‘Nature Cat’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

PBS Distribution has another new Nature Cat episode collection coming later this month.

Nature CatNature Cat & Mr. Hide is scheduled for release on DVD Jan. 15.  According to a news release sent Wednesday about the forthcoming DVD, the collection will feature four more episodes from the hit animated science-based series.  It will retail for MSRP of $6.99, and can be pre-ordered now via PBS’ online store.

The DVD’s title episode finds Nature Cat facing off against his old nemesis, Ronald, in hopes of dethroning him as the neighborhood Hide ‘N’ Seek Champion.  In order to become the new champion, Nature Cat has to learn about camouflage so that he can stay hidden in plain sight.

“Glow Games,” another of the disc’s featured episodes, pits Nature Cat and Team Nature Cat against Ronald once more.  This time, he and Ronald are facing off to find three bioluminescent animals first.  The winning team takes the Golden Glow Trophy.

In “The Shell Game,” Nature Cat again faces off against Ronald, this time in the Animal Beach Volleyball Championship.  There’s just one problem:  Nature Cat and his friends are short one player.  Who will the team pick, and what will happen?

In “Enter The Dragonfly,” Nature Cat and his friends send Ronald in search of a a dragonfly in order to become a Knight of Nature.

More information on Nature CatNature Cat & Mr. Hide is available online along with lots of Nature Cat games, activities and printables at:

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org/naturecat

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

 

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‘Nature Cat: Winter Dance Party’ Gives Audiences Plenty To Celebrate

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/Public Media Distribution

Winter is here again, and just in time for the season’s return, a new collection of winter-themed Nature Cat episodes is available on DVD in the form of Nature Cat: Winter Dance Party.  The new 4-episode, 50-minute collection is a wonderful way to entertain and educate children on those days when the weather forces them indoors.  That is proven in part through the stories featured in this latest collection.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lessons taught in each of the lessons are important in their own way to the whole of the new DVD, and will be discussed a little later.  The DVD’s average price point is money well-spent, and will be discussed later, as well.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Nature Cat; Winter Dance Party.  All things considered, they make the DVD a wonderful winter treat for the whole family

PBS Kids’ new Nature Cat DVD, Winter Dance Party, is a welcome new way for the whole family to pass the season’s coldest days indoors.  That is proven in part through the stories that make up the collection’s body.  All four of the stories featured in this collection are pulled from the series’ first season.  They are not presented precisely in the chronological order, but that is not the most important item to note.  What is most important to note of the stories is that all four follow the central theme of winter, and focus on Nature Cat’s ongoing rivalry with Ronald.  The collection’s title episode finds Nature Cat and Ronald having to work together to celebrate the winter solstice while “Ice Is Nice,” the DVD’s second episode, finds both felines having to find out why their mugs of hot chocolate broke.  “A Jump To Remember” finds Ronald trying to keep Nature Cat from breaking his ski jump record, and of course getting what he deserves in the end while the disc’s finale, “The Groundhog Way” once again finds the two cats competing to see who is the better meteorologist after the groundhog says he is not going to try to predict whether winter will end early.  Those common threads of Nature Cat having to deal constantly with Ronald and of winter – and the fact that each story boasts its own identity separate from its counterparts, goes a long way toward making the episodes entertaining and engaging for audiences of all ages.  The stories themselves are just part of what makes this latest DVD another entertaining offering from the science-based animated series.  The lessons taught in each story are just as important to the collection as the stories, which form the episodes’ foundation.

Just as the stories boast their own identity from one another in each episode, so do the lessons that are tied into each story.  “Winter Dance Party” boasts a lesson that is focused directly on the winter solstice.  It explains the direct role of the angle of Earth’s rotation in the amount of sunlight seen prior to and after the solstice.  This is a lesson that might actually enlighten just as many grown-ups as children.  As is explained here, there are more hours of daylight, post winter solstice because it takes longer for the sun to make its way across the sky after the solstice than before.  In other words, the days are not necessarily longer.  It is just that the angle and speed of Earth’s rotation collectively just widens the arc through which the sun travels, not necessarily lengthens the day per se.  The manner in which this lesson is explained makes it accessible to audiences of all ages.

“Ice Is Nice” features an equally simple lesson about the phases of matter after Nature Cat and Ronald’s mugs of hot chocolate break.  The lesson here reveals that when water freezes, it expands, which is why the pair’s mugs broke.  This is just as important for grown-ups to learn because it explains exactly why pipes burst in extremely cold temperatures.  Frozen water expands in pipes, causing the noted breaks.  Yet again, this is proof of the accessibility of the lesson for audiences of all ages.  The only complaint that one might have with this episode is that Nature Cat and Ronald each used water for their hot chocolate.  There was no mention that milk also expands, as it is roughly 80 to 90 percent water.  So, it would have been even more interesting to have seen one of the pair use water and another use milk, to the same end.  That would have covered all of the bases.  Regardless, even using just water for the hot chocolate mix still gets the point across clearly enough.

“A Jump To Remember” teaches a relatively basic lesson about how water turns to snow on a cold day.  The lesson is taught as the group runs water through a hose on a very cold day and uses a specific type of nozzle to help create the snow.  It is basically what many ski lodges do in warmer winters in order to generate snow and keep guests.

“The Groundhog Way” is perhaps the most important of this disc’s episodes because its lesson makes clear that a rodent is not a weather forecaster.  It takes time to point out that the groundhog’s shadow does not determine one way or another the length of winter.  It drives this home by having Nature Cat and Ronald using their own “old wives tales” to try to prove they can determine when winter will end, with neither one winning in the end.  Some might dislike this lesson, as it debunks the pseudo-science of Groundhog Day and proves the absurdity of the day at the same time.  No one, not even the most experienced meteorologist or even the Old Farmer’s Almanac can actually determine when winter will end and spring begin.  This is a lesson that adults need to take in just as much as children, and is yet more proof of the importance of the episodes’ lessons to the whole of the DVD.  When the lessons noted here and their companion stories are considered together, the whole of those elements goes a long way toward entertaining and engaging audiences.  Even with their importance, they are just some of the DVD’s most important elements.  They collectively make the DVD’s average price point money that is well-spent.

The average price point for Nature Cat: Winter Dance Party is $6.44.  That price was determined using prices listed at PBS’ online store, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble Book Sellers.  Apparently, the DVD is not listed at Target, but the series’ debut DVD and its upcoming title, Nature Cat and Mr. Hide are listed there.  With an average price point of $6.44 and a mode price (mode is the most common number in a set of numbers) of $5.99, this DVD hardly breaks the bank.  It is more than affordable, as a matter of fact.  What’s more, the entertainment and education offered collectively through the course of the DVD’s 50-minute run time will leave audiences feeling that the money paid was very well-spent.  Keeping all of this in mind, audiences will agree that Nature Cat: Winter Dance Party gives audiences of all ages plenty to celebrate.

PBS Kids’ new Nature Cat DVD, Winter Dance Party is another entertaining and engaging offering from the animated science-based series that audiences will leave grown-ups glad they spent the money on the more than affordable DVD.  That is proven in part through the story featured in each episode.  The stories stand on their own merits while following two central themes from one to the next.  The science lessons featured in the episodes are accessible for audiences of all ages, and are themselves all winter-themed.  The average price point, as noted, is money well-spent, considering the breath and depth of the set’s content.  Keeping this in mind, this latest Nature Cat DVD gives audiences of all ages plenty to celebrate.  More information on the DVD is available online along with lots of Nature Cat games, activities and printables at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org/naturecat

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

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, 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.

PBS Announces Release Date For New ‘Super Why’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/Public Media Distribution

Whyatt and the rest of the Super Readers are coming to DVD with another new collection of Super Why episodes next month.

Super Why: The Adventures of Little Bo Peep and Her Sheep is currently scheduled to be released Oct. 2 via Public Media Distribution.  The 46-minute DVD features two episodes of the family friendly vocabulary-building series in the form of “Little Bo Peep” and “The Sheep Who Lost Little Bo Beep” in a sort of twice-told tale sort of format.

The first of the two episodes follows Whyatt as he tries to figure out how to find Mr. Lizard after Mr. Lizard goes missing.  The answer, as always, is in a book.  The Super Readers meet Little Bo Peep, who is looking for her sheep in a similar situation.  Their adventure with Little Bo Peep helps Whyatt figure out how to find Mr. Lizard in the end.

“The Sheep Who Lost Little Bo Peep” sees the Super Readers as they help two of Little Bo Peep’s sheep find her in the episode’s namesake book.  This comes after Whyatt has a playdate with Wolfy, but can’t find Wolfy.

Super Why: The Adventures of Little Bo Peep and Her Sheep will retail for MSRP of $6.99.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store.  More information on this DVD is available online now along with lots of games, activities, printables and more at:

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/superwhy

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

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.