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



The Wheels on the Bus...and More Sing-Along Favorites

The Wheels on the Bus...and More Sing-Along Favorites

Spring 2006 DVD
Ages: 3 - 9 yrs.
DVD Price: $14.95
Review:
This high-quality, entertaining DVD will hold the attention of parents and children alike. The music has a great range of styles and the animation is superb. The characters all move at a pace that is completely appropriate for young children—nothing startling or jolting or overly loud or frightening. For those parents interested in actor Kevin Bacon, they might be surprised to learn that he and his brother, Michael, are the vocalists on Wheels on the Bus. Each short story is sung by someone whose music you would like to hear again, without or without the visual effects. “Dem Bones” and their lively skeletons are sure to please all viewers; “I Want a Dog” is a lovely story about a girl waiting and finally receiving a puppy; “Over in the Meadow”, arranged and performed by Mae Robertson, provides a lovely introduction to counting with its familiar animal poem; “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” sung by Burl Ives, is another wonderful classic with a very modern and amusing twist-it had the kids giggling.

On a more serious note is one of the extras, “The Chinese Violin.” Although the joy that music played on a Chinese violin is the message, younger children may find the voyage a sad one. A boy and his father move from China to Canada after his mother dies; his father can't find work; he gets mugged on the street; his violin is crushed by bandits; he has to take a job washing dishes to support his son; but in the end his hard work and perseverance allow him to buy his son a Chinese violin. With the music, “all sorrows turn to joy.” Throughout, the father and son support each other through trying times. A loving testament to the hardships in family life, and how music can bring much joy.

Ann Hillers   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Ann Hillers, a creative writing graduate of Duke University, is a mother of three boys and a former international tour director. Her work led her all around the globe and she's imparted her kids with the same wanderlust. They have traveled together to 20 countries including South Africa, Botswana, Nicaragua, Colombia, Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia, where they all became certified scuba divers. After living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for six years the family now resides in California.

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