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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Not only will kids learn individual poems from great authors -- Langston Hughes, Li Bai, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and more -- but they'll also hear elementary school kids expressing what they love about poetry, how they listen to poetry to get more than the surface meaning, and even how to count out the syllables in a haiku. One child recites a poem in Chinese, then English. Another uses sign language. A class is shown rehearsing the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet.
Even the very young can identify with the great poets and form their own connections with the art form.
Positive Role Models
This production carefully selects kids from all backgrounds, who all express themselves beautifully on what they love about poetry. Kids are sure to find someone to identify with.
Violence & Scariness
One poem talks about the end of the buffalo and the people who saw them.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mentions of romantic love and lovers in poems and in a class discussion of Romeo and Juliet, where kids giggle about it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Emmy winner for children's programming is just fine for the preschool set, but elementary-aged kids will get the most out of it. Not only will kids hear some great poems, but they'll see kids express what they love about them, how they listen to poetry, and even how to count out the syllables of a haiku. The content is very mild. Some poems mention romance and one uses the word "lovers," and another poem laments the loss of the buffalo. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
What a lovely treat. And just like many good poems, this DVD is brief (27 minutes) and dense with meaning, encouraging viewers to go back again and again to get more out of it.
When you look at the packaging touting a laundry list of artists reading the poems, you expect them to steal the show. But thankfully it's the kids who are the stars here, along with the poems themselves. The young interviewees highlight the poems in ways kids will relate to and express themselves beautifully. The animation keeps it simple while still being lovely, and the music Merchant sets to the poem "Calico Pie" is a rollicking reminder that poetry can be as fun as it is meaningful.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.