Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly...and More Stories That Sing

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly...and More Stories That Sing

Fall 2004 DVD
Ages: 4 - 9 yrs.
By: Simms Taback
Length: 57 minutes
DVD Price: $14.95
All the stories on this volume of the new Scholastic Video Collection are based on picture books dealing with music. In the title story, one of the two standouts in this excellent collection, Simms Tabak’s Caldecott Honor book is first read and then sung by Cyndi Lauper and a chorus of soon-to-be-swallowed animals. Hats off to the innovative choice in casting. The Carnegie Medal winning short film Antarctic Antics presents a series of eleven songs and poems based on Judy Sierra’s picture book of the same name, which introduces reader/viewers to penguins and other animals of the Antarctic. Musical Max by Robert Kraus rounds out the three main stories included. The story of Max the hippo, who loves to practice his music much to the chagrin of his neighbors, teaches patience, appreciation and understanding. Young viewers will also learn a bit about musical instrument identification.

The compilation is new though some of the shorts have been around since the 90’s. DVD extras include a Spanish version of Musical Max and two exclusive stories: a short New Zealand film of Margaret Mahy’s Keeping House about a messy trombone player who finally cleans her house and Lois Ehlert’s Waiting for Wings set to music. With the subtitles provided, families will be able to read and sing along.

Tim Capehart   ©2004 Parents' Choice
Tim Capehart, a Children's Librarian, has served on library staffs in Kentucky, Massachusetts and Ohio. TIm often reads books out loud to his two cats, who prefer picture books without dogs.

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