PBS Kids’ New Super Why Collection Is Another Magical Must Have For Teachers, Parents, And Children

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

Earlier this August PBS Kids and PBS Distribution released its latest collection of episodes from its hit vocabulary-building series Super Why: Cinderella and Other Fairytale Adventures. Just the latest in an expansive series of releases, this new collection is one more magical (terrible pun fully intended) collection for the whole family. The main reason that it is such an enjoyable collection of episodes is the writing within each of its five episodes. The episodes, on the surface, take Whyatt and the rest of the Super Readers on five more wonderful stories into the world of books in order to solve problems within the books and in turn problems in their own lives. On another level, the work of the episodes’ writers pays off as it teaches some more subtle lessons along the way that tie in to the episodes. Those more subtle lessons could easily be used as starting points for discussions between children and grown-ups on some very real and very important issues. That is another reason that this latest collection of Super Why episodes proves to be yet another enjoyable collection for the whole family. It will be discussed at more length later. Staying on the topic of lessons being taught, Super Why: Cinderella and Other Fairytale Adventures also comes with some starting points for equally important and invaluable lessons included inside the DVD’s case that are equally valuable in the classroom and the living room. All three elements together make Super Why: Cinderella and Other Fairytale Adventures yet another must have for every educator, parent, and child.

Super Why: Cinderella and Other Fairytale Adventures is hardly the first collection of episodes to be released from PBS Kids’ hit vocab building series. That aside it still is no less enjoyable for audiences. As a matter of fact, considering its title and collection of episodes, it could be said that it is in fact quite the magical collection of episodes. The main reason for that is the work of the series’ writers in crafting each of the collection’s episodes. That is exemplified through the fun adaptations of the five classic fairtytales presented in the collection. Snow White is presented as are Cinderella, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Prince and the Pauper and even Cinderella as told from the Prince’s vantage point. While the writers don’t necessarily stick completely to the original stories–which is the norm with any Super Why episode–but the presented adventures do stick just closely enough to the source material to make the Super Readers’ adventures enjoyable. On another level, they make the adventures enjoyable that they leave young readers wanting to read the original stories from which the adventures were lifted. What’s more, the writers clearly and efficiently manage to tie in the Super Readers’ problems with the stories’ problems. This makes both concepts easily accessible for the show’s young viewers. It is yet another way in which the writing behind each episode proves to be so important to the whole of the presentation that is Super Why: Cinderella and Other Fairytale Adventures. It is just one aspect of the whole that makes the DVD so enjoyable, too. The more subtle lessons that are tied into each of the DVD’s episodes are collectively another important part of the disc’s whole.

The primary lessons that are tied into each of the DVDs episodes in themselves gives this presentation plenty of reason to be watched. However, they make up only one part of what makes this DVD worth the watch. There are some more subtle lessons tied into each episode that makes for even more reason to watch each episode. Now not every lesson might have been intentionally inserted into the episodes. But they are there regardless. One example of those more subtle, secondary lessons comes in “Snow White.” The Super Readers jump into the episode’s title book here and meet its lead character as she encounters the evil queen in her guise of the elderly woman. Those familiar with this story know that the evil queen is in disguise as part of her attempt to kill Snow White. On the surface, this ties directly into the episode’s main topic. On a more subtle level, it could be argued that this episode serves as a starting point for a discussion on the topic of “stranger danger” as it is typically called. That is because Snow White didn’t necessarily know the old woman. She was a stranger. And she didn’t have the best intentions for Snow White. So to that extent it could easily be argued that said topic is there. On another level, the episode’s main topic in which Princess Pea has a stomach ache and has to decide whether or not to take Goldilocks’ offer for some popcorn presents a chance to talk about overeating. This could also lead to a whole other discussion on healthy eating, too. To that extent, it can be said yet again that even if the lessons in question were not intentionally placed in any of the episodes, they are there. And this episode alone is just one way in which that argument can be made. “The Prince and the Pauper” teaches a subtle lesson that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side. This can lead to a discussion on jealousy (wanting what others have and whether or not it’s really worth it). It could even be argued that a discussion centered on appreciating what one has could be started from this episode, too. Yet again, here is another example of how the secondary, more subtle lessons featured in this disc serve to enhance the overall viewing experience of the presentation in whole. It is not the end of the positives boasted by this latest collection of episodes, either. The bonus lesson ideas included inside the DVD’s case round out the presentation, showing in whole why it is in fact yet another must have for any educator, parent, and child.

The lessons–both primary and secondary–that are presented throughout each episode included in PBS Kids’ new Super Why compilation make this disc by themselves a must have for any educator, parent, and child. While both elements prove equally important to the overall viewing experience here, they are not the only reasons that educators, parents, and children alike will enjoy and appreciate this collection. Along with those lessons, there are also some extra ideas for lessons included inside the case itself that are just as valuable in their own right. One of the lessons in question centers on the story of Cinderella. It utilizes the concept of Cinderella having to keep track of time as a starting point for a lesson on telling time. And it’s not just a lecture lesson either. It encourages educators and parents to actually make a clock together and in turn learn about telling time. From The Boy Who Cried Wolf there is a lesson that not only allows children to have a party but learn at the same time by throwing a party that is centered on a specific letter of the alphabet. The catch is that all of the food, decorations, etc. must center around said letter. This has possibilities beyond just learning letters. It could lead to lessons on manners and maybe even more. There is also a vocab building game that uses musical chairs as its base, and even an invaluable lesson about appreciating and celebrating the things that make us different. This lesson brings everything full circle as it is centered on the Super Readers’ second meeting with Cinderella. Not every one of those lessons will reach every young viewer. But it can be guaranteed that every one of the noted bonus lessons will reach at least one specific group of viewers. That being the case, each one of the bonus lessons included inside the DVD’s case prove in full why they are just as important as the lessons presented within the episodes. Together with those episodes, they serve to show completely why Super Why: Cinderella and Other Fairytale Adventures is a definite must have for any educator, parent, and child.

Super Why: Cinderella and Other Fairytale Adventures is not the first collection of Super Why episodes to be released by PBS Kids and PBS Distribution. That aside, it proves in whole thanks to its enjoyable stories and equally invaluable lessons to be yet another magical must have for any educator, parent, and child. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=66322776&cp=&sr=1&kw=super+why&origkw=Super+Why&parentPage=search. More information on this and other Super Why collections is available online now along with all of the latest Super Why news and even Super Why games and activities at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/superwhy

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

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PBS Takes Wing Next Month With Its New Avian-Centered Documentary

Courtesy:  PBS/New Hampshire Public Television

Courtesy: PBS/New Hampshire Public Television

PBS takes flight next month when it releases the new box set Counting on Birds: Tales of Migration.

PBS Distribution will release its new box set Counting on Birds: Tales of Migration on Tuesday, September 8th. The new two-disc set features five episodes that follow the migratory patterns of some of New England’s migratory birds. Hosted by Willem Lange, the program was produced by New Hampshire Public Television. Lange makes his way through both North and South America as he follows the birds. He meets a number of bird enthusiasts and experts along the way who work to track and protect the birds throughout their trips. Lange is an author and Emmy Award-winning host of New Hampshire Public Television’s Windows to the Wild series.

The set’s title episode opens the presentation. It is in this episode that Lange brings viewers along to meet members of the National Audubon Society at the organization’s annual Christmas Bird Count. The count takes members of the organization (and Lange) from New England all the way to the mountains of Ecuador and even to Cuba.

“Bird Tales” follows Lange as he meets people from all walks of life and finds out what it is about birds that makes them so devoted to birds.

The set’s third episode “Saving Songbirds” takes viewers along with Lange as he delves even deeper into his encounters with people of all ages working to protect migratory birds. This includes scientists that track the birds’ migratory patterns, coffee farmers that have instated bird friendly practices that protect the birds and their homes, and even school children in Vermont doing their part to bring trees back to the deforested regions of Costa Rica.

“Journey of the Broad-Winged Hawk” is the fourth program featured in Counting on Birds: Tales of Migration.” This program focuses centrally on the 4,500 mile migration of the Broad-Winged Hawk from New Hampshire to South America. Lange traces the hawks’ migration and meets those that follow their migration along the way.

Closing out this set is “Plight of the Grassland Birds. This program focuses on a variety of birds that call North America home and the danger facing their existence as their habitats are gradually disappearing more and more each year. It serves as a warning to audiences that something must be done to protect the birds in question.

Counting on Birds: Tales of Migration will be available on DVD on Tuesday, September 8th on DVD. It will retail for MSRP of $29.99 and can be ordered online now at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=67509596&cp=&sr=1&kw=counting+on+birds&origkw=Counting+on+Birds&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

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.

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

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.

A Chef’s Life Still The Cream Of The Reality TV Crop In Its Second Season

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ A Chef’s Life is the single-best series of its kind on television today.  The hit reality-series already proved that throughout its first season both on television and in its home release earlier this year.  That reputation was solidified even more this past spring with the release of its second season on DVD.  The second season of “A Chef’s Life” continues to prove the series’ place as the leading name in its genre primarily through its content.  Yet again the pretense that is so common among all of the commercially-based reality series is completely lacking here.  Simply put, it continues to actually live up to the title of reality TV unlike all of those obviously scripted “reality-TV” series that pollute the broadcast and cable ranks.  While Season Two shines yet again because of its lack of pretense, it appears that in this season, the separate cooking segments that were prevalent in Season One are not quite as visible this time out.  While it isn’t necessarily a wholly bad thing it would have been nice to have them included in each episode.  That is because the dishes featured in each episode look and sound so delectable.  Even with that one con, the second season of A Chef’s Life is no less enjoyable than the first.  The work of the show’s editors is one more positive to this set.  It is thanks to those individuals that viewers get to see how unpretentious the show really is.  If anything, it is thanks to the work of the show’s editors that audiences will find themselves laughing and smiling all while trying to keep their mouths from watering.  That positive alongside the series’ continued unpretentious approach shows yet again why A Chef’s Life remains the best reality series on television today.  This is despite the one minor setback shown in this season. 

PBS’ hit reality TV series A Chef’s Life is the only show of its kind on television today that is truly worth watching.  That is just as obvious in the series’ second season as in the first.  It is so obvious right off the top because of its continued lack of pretense.  This is something continued from the series’ first season.  More clearly put, audiences continue to feel like they are actually watching a real-life situation within this season’s episodes.  There is never a sense of any forced drama or even anything scripted.  That is obvious in the two-part episode “Don’t Tom Thumb Your Nose At Me!” and “Apples” just as much as in “Obviously, It’s Pecans” and “Chicken Lickin’.”  That lack of pretense is so obvious in “Don’t Tom Thumb Your Nose At Me” as Vivian and Ben hit the road for the annual SFA conference in Oxford, Mississippi.  Things don’t go completely as planned for Vivian as she and Ben are preparing her presentation lunch.  It would have been so easy for those behind the show to generate some kind of over-the-top drama here for the sake of ratings.  Luckily though, that didn’t happen.  So instead audiences see Vivian’s natural stress to her first major public presentation outside of the restaurant.  “Apples” is another example of what makes this season continue to feel so real in a number of ways.  From Vivian talking to real, down home people as she plans her next, apple-related dish to her own humility as she cuts herself while slicing apples, the moments shared both in and out of the kitchen in this episode show time and again just how unpretentious this series continues to be.  Her joking about how people pronounce the word “pecan” at the start of “Obviously, It’s Pecans” shows that just as much.  It’s a short moment.  But her demeanor in that introduction sets the tone for the whole episode.  Vivian’s reaction as she watches the fate of the chickens chosen for “production” in “Chicken Lickin’” shows in its own way the lack of pretense in this season.  No need to worry.  The cameras don’t show what happens.  They do show her reaction, though.  And that mix of emotional pain and shock speaks volumes.  That is not something synthetic.  That is really her.  It is a powerful and telling moment.  And it makes even clearer just how real this series is in comparison to its commercially-based competitors.  These are just a few examples of how the continued lack of pretense in the second season of A Chef’s Life.  There are plenty of other examples that viewers will find for themselves throughout Season Two’s fourteen total episodes.  In seeing those many other moments, viewers will agree that this element alone is more than enough reason to watch this season of A Chef’s Life.
 
The unpretentious approach taken by A Chef’s Life in its second season is more than enough reason for audiences to pick up this season of what is the only reality TV series worth watching today.  While that approach presents plenty of reason to watch, Season Two isn’t without at least one rather noticeable con.  The con in question is the lack of separate cooking segments.  Season One offered audiences the chance to watch Vivian cook her dishes separate from the episodes.  It allowed audiences the chance to learn on their own how to cook some of the dishes featured in the show.  And there was, again, no sense of pretense in these segments.  Sadly, it appears that said segments are sadly missing from this season’s menu options.  In defense of those at PBS Distribution and whoever is charged with assembling the DVDs, there were a lot of recipes featured this season.  To that extent maybe someone felt that there were so many recipes that it would be a fool’s errand to try and include each one.  That being the case at least seeing the dishes being prepared within the context of each episode serves as a starting point for those that want to try out said recipes for themselves.  From there, viewers can look up the recipes online via any number of cookbooks and online cooking sites.  So in the end while the omission of the separate cooking segments is a con that must be addressed, it is not one that ultimately kills this season’s home release.  It just would have been nice to have that in there even if only one of the recipes from each episode and in the very least as bonus material.  With any luck audiences will see those segments return after Season Three ends and is released on DVD likely late this year or early in 2016.
 
The lack of the cooking segments that were originally included in Season One’s set is something that had to be noted in examining this set in whole.  While those segments are sorely missed in the case of this season’s set, their omission isn’t enough to ruing the double-disc set.  That is because the presentation of each episode in whole once again is done so in a manner completely opposite of its commercially-based competitors.  The episodes are presented in a fashion that makes the show believable.  It doesn’t feel like any element of the show is scripted.  A big reason that it maintains that truly real feel is the work of the show’s editors.  Vivian and Ben’s trip to the SFA conference is one prime example of how the show’s editing helps make it so enjoyable in whole.  The editors do an impressive job of presenting Vivian’s stress at being at one of her biggest public appearances.  Rather than show moments that might have presented an otherwise overly dramatic moment, the editors instead showed Vivian as herself.  There’s no yelling.  There’s no screaming or cursing.  There’s just Vivian ready to pull out her hair from stressing herself out.  It makes her a much more relatable figure for audiences.  The fact that the editors kept in the moment in which Vivian cuts herself while slicing apples is another example of the importance of the show’s editing to its overall success and enjoyment.  She calls herself a professional while slicing the apples, only to cut herself in the process.  From there, she even pokes fun at herself for having spoken so soon.  It is one of those moments that having been left in its given episode, makes her more relatable and human.  More simply put, it keeps her on the same level as the show’s viewers rather than elevating her to that upper pantheon of TV celebrities, which is good both for her and the show.  On a more technical level, audiences will note that the cuts from shot to shot are not as fast-paced as in other reality TV series out there.  Most people don’t pay very close attention to this element.  But the use of such technique is often used to heighten a show’s tension.  The editors behind A Chef’s Life don’t use that practice as is evident yet again in the series’ second season.  Rather the pacing of their cuts keeps a tone throughout each episode that somehow manages to maintain that fully unscripted feel about the show.  Any number of moments could be cited as examples of that talent and its importance.  Audiences will find that, again, for themselves when they purchase A Chef’s Life: Season Two for themselves.  The talent of the show’s editors alongside the overall unpretentious approach to the show makes fully clear why it remains in its second season the only series of its kind worth watching today.  This is the case even with the omission of the separate, standalone cooking segments that were included in the show’s first season.  All things considered, the approach taken with this season and the work of the show’s editors combine to make A Chef’s Life: Season Two another example of reality TV done right and why in turn A Chef’s Life remains the cream of the reality TV crop.  That being the case, Season Two ultimately shows once more why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.
 
A Chef’s Life is the only series of its kind worth watching today.  It proved that solidly in the series’ premiere season and has continued to do so in its second season as is proven in Season Two’s recently released second season.  Season Two is just as unpretentious as Season One.  The work of the show’s editors plays into that effect.  Even with the omission of the separate cooking segments this time out, the show still easily holds its own among its commercially-based competitors.  All things considered A Chef’s Life: Season Two is another must see for anyone wanting real reality TV.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=52748966&cp=&sr=1&kw=a+chefs+life&origkw=A+Chef%27s+Life&parentPage=search.  More information on A Chef’s Life is available online now along with all of the latest updates from the show at:
 
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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

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.

The Civil War Starts Again This Fall

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

This fall, PBS’ the Civil War returns.

Ken Burns’ famed documentary mini-series The Civil War will be re-issued this fall. Originally aired on PBS in 1990, the mini-series has been re-mastered and presented in high definition on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, October 13th. The upcoming release is in honor of its 25th anniversary. Its upcoming release marks the first time that it has ever been released on Blu-ray. The Blu-ray box set will retail for MSRP of $129.99 and the DVD box set for $99.99. Both presentations are spread across six discs. It will also be available for digital download.

Along with the central program, the upcoming re-issue will also feature two hours of bonus material including: “The Making Of The Civil War 25 years later,” uncut and re-mastered interviews with Shelby Foote, and much more.

More information on The Civil War is available online now at http://www.pbs.org/civilwar. It can be pre-ordered online now at:

Blu-ray: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=69016416&cp=&sr=1&kw=the+civil+war&origkw=The+Civil+War&parentPage=search

DVD: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=69016396&cp=&sr=1&kw=the+civil+war&origkw=The+Civil+War&parentPage=search

More information on this and other programs from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/

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

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.

Lethal Seas Will Fully Immerse Audiences

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Our world is in peril.  Those five simple words opened every episode of the once –popular animated, eco-friendly animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers.  As preachy as that series was, it made a clear and valid argument.  The argument in question was that mankind is killing Earth.  People around the world are finally beginning to see and admit this, too.  Yet there are still those they want to deny that the world is indeed in peril even today, more than two decades since Captain Planet and the Planeteers first debuted and nearly two decades since it went off the air.  Now thanks to Lethal Seas, the latest installment of PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA, the network has shown in its own way once again just how much peril the Earth is facing even today.  It does so by showing the effects of the rising acidity levels in Earth’s oceans.  The presentation centers on the effects of the oceans’ rising acidity levels both on a micro scale and a macro scale (an oyster-fishing operation and major coral reefs respectively).  That is just one aspect of this episode that makes it worth the watch.  The episode uses science to explain what exactly is happening to the oceans as a result of greenhouse gases being trapped inside the Earth’s atmosphere, going all the way down the atomic level in order to do so.  That is another way in which this episode proves to be so enlightening and entertaining—especially considering that the science doesn’t get too in depth for general audiences.  The graphic illustrations and footage used to illustrate the scientific discussions go hand in hand with those discussions and round out the ways in which the program proves itself so interesting for audiences.  Both elements together with the topic itself make Lethal Seas even more proof of why NOVA remains today the best science-based series on television and why PBS in whole is the last remaining bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today.

NOVA: Lethal Seas a rather interesting new edition of PBS’ hit science-based series.  Watching through the nearly hour-long program, it makes clear yet again why NOVA remains today the top science-based series on television today.  That is made clear primarily through the topic at the episode’s center.  The topic in question is that of the increasingly clear effect of pollution on the world’s oceans and their ecosystems.  Audiences will appreciate in watching this episode that those behind the lens didn’t approach its topic in the fashion of so many ecological activist pieces out there.  Rather it presents the problem, but approaches it in a purely scientific fashion.  It presents the effects of carbon dioxide on the earth’s various marine ecosystems both on a micro and macro level.  The micro level presentation centers on a family’s oyster farm and the effect of the rising acidity level of the water on the family’s oysters.  Viewers see in this segment that the rising acidity prevents young oysters from fully developing their shells.  This in turn leads many of them to die.  The resultant effect here is much smaller yields for the family in question.  What’s more, it means that this very same scenario could be playing out across the country for other oyster farmers and even potentially for those running farms for other maritime life.  One the larger scale, the program examines the effects of carbon dioxide and in turn increased acidity in the oceans on the world’s coral reefs.  Audiences will be interested to learn and see for themselves the impact of those rising levels on the ability of coral reefs to spawn and grow.  Viewers are actually presented here with a side by side comparison of a healthy coral and one that has been affected by the noted pollution.  That will be discussed a little more at length later.  But it is an interesting sight that helps establish the basis of the program and in turn makes the program in whole that much more worth the watch.

The topic presented in NOVA’s latest new-to-DVD episode Lethal Seas and the program’s stylistic approach to discussing the problem is in itself plenty of reason for viewers to see the program at least once.  Viewers see both on a micro and on a macro level the effects of rising acidity levels in the world’s waters.  They see the potential effect of those rising levels (brought on by pollution) both on those that use the world’s waters to maintain a living and on those that live in the world’s waters, giving a completely clear and thorough look at the stated problem.  It is just one part of what makes this edition of NOVA worth the watch.  On a deeper level, the program’s overall approach to the problem makes it even more worth the watch.  Viewers will note in watching this episode that while it does present an alarming problem facing the world’s peoples, It doesn’t take the standard environmentalist take used by so many similar programs put out by other networks and studios.  Rather, it walks that line but still manages to maintain its objective and scientific edge over the preachy nature of so many similar programs put out by other networks and studios.  It’s a breath of fresh air to see those behind the lens maintain that objective stance especially considering the program’s subject matter.  It makes for even more reason for viewers to see Lethal Seas at least once.

The topic presented in NOVA: Lethal Seas and the clear, thorough presentation thereof makes it a presentation well worth at least one watch.  The same can be said of the fully objective and scientific approach taken by those behind the lens here.  While both elements are of equal importance to the program, there is still one more element worth noting in the program’s general effect.  That element is the program’s use of graphic illustrations and footage to illustrate the discussion at the program’s center.  The program utilizes a graphic illustration of certain atomic makeups interacting with one another as well as with the organisms living in the world’s waters as this part of the program is handled.  There is also actual footage showing the effect of said the pollution in question presented as researchers examine a coral reef. The footage in question is quite surprising. That is because viewers will see a clear difference between those corals that were healthy and those that had been so drastically affected by the increased acidity in the noted regions. These are just a couple examples of why the graphic illustrations and footage incorporated into NOVA: Lethal Seas is so important to the program in its own right. Those two elements together with the topic itself, and its noted objective approach collectively show why NOVA: Lethal Seas is well worth the watch.

 

NOVA: Lethal Seas is another interesting addition the ongoing success of television’s leading science-based program. That is thanks to the subject at the center of the program. The approach taken to the program makes it even more worth the watch. The elements incorporated into the program round out the presentation showing together with the aforementioned elements why this presentation is another success for NOVA and why in larger part both NOVA and PBS remain at the top of their respective fields. NOVA: Lethal Seas is available now on DVD and can be ordered direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=62105326&cp=&kw=lethal+seas&origkw=Lethal+Seas&sr=1. More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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

 

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