A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the stories included on this DVD may already be familiar to the young children at which it is aimed, but they are presented in ways to complement rather than replace the printed books. One story handles adoption from China in a beautiful and loving manner.
What's the story?
Another of the Storybook Treasures series of DVDs from Scholastic, CORDUROY AND MORE STORIES ABOUT CARING is actually a series of classic children's stories brought to life and related to a central theme, in this case the different ways in which we care for and about one another. "Corduroy," based on the book by Don Freeman, is about a winsome bear doing his part to find a permanent home away from the toy store shelf, while in "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel," based on the book by Virginia Lee Burton, Mike and Mary Anne's efforts to help the townspeople of Popperville are richly rewarded. Other storybooks narrated in the DVD include The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio, I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis, Smile for Auntie by Diane Paterson, The Happy Owls by Celestino Piatti, and Goose by Molly Bang.
Is it any good?
The animation styles are as varied as the different acts of caring portrayed in these delightful stories. "Corduroy" is a live-action short while "Mike Mulligan" and "Crazy Cakes" simply show the books' illustrations set to a background of perfectly chosen music. In all seven stories, the words are displayed underneath the action so that early readers can follow along with the narration, which is provided by the likes of Mia Farrow and Laura Dern.
The little brown teddy bear playing Corduroy is irresistibly cute, and the puppetry technique used to animate the bear as he embarks on his quest through the department store for a spare button is impressive. Because much of that book depends on a narration of the bear's inner thoughts, this segment of the DVD plays mostly like a silent movie without losing any of the story line. "I Love You Like Crazy Cakes" handles the tale of a baby adopted from China with grace and sincerity. This DVD is perfect for kids ages 3 to 8 as a means of complementing the reading a parent does away from the TV set.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which of the seven read-along stories are favorites, and why. What is the act (or acts) of caring in each story? Many of the characters have to solve problems, like Corduroy looking for a lost button and Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne digging a basement that they can't get out of. Are there other ways that you would solve the main problem in each story?