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



The Man Who Walked Between the Towers...and More Inspiring Tales

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers...and More Inspiring Tales

Spring 2007 DVD
Ages: 5 - 10 yrs.
DVD Price: $14.95
Review:
As children grow, they reach a point where they become interested in more than fiction and magic, as much as they still love might love dragons and Santa Claus. When you're about to tell them a good story and you say, “This really happened, this is about a real person,” a new light of excitement and interest comes into their eyes. Here, the stories of four “real people” are adapted from picture books. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is about Philippe Petit, high-wire walker who in 1974 walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Mordicai Gerstein's accomplished illustrations, the subtle music and Jake Gyllenhaal's narration underscore Petit's skill and determination in planning and executing his record-making feat. [My oldest son was not yet a year old on September 11, 2001; I found I'm not quite ready to explain why “the towers are gone now,” as the book simply states, and he didn't think to ask about it.] Snowflake Bentley is about Wilson Bentley, the Vermont farmer whose photomicrography showed the world the beauty of snow. The adaptation for this story uses the stunning woodcuts by Mary Azarian for the book, interspersed with live-action re-enactments. The shift from illustration to live action was somewhat confusing to young viewers who thought the illustrations were “pretend” and the filmed segments were “now.&rdquo Miss Rumphius, by beloved author/illustrator Barbara Cooney, is the story of Cooney's great-aunt. She was teacher and a world traveler who made her home a more beautiful place. It's also a story about generations and sharing beauty with others. The Pot that Juan Built employs the cumulative rhyming pattern of “The House that Jack Built” to describe how Juan Quezada creates his famous Mexican pottery using ancient methods. A live-action biography of Quezada is included in the bonus materials, as is a short about Bentley and the Spanish version of Miss Rumphius. This collection is an enchanting introduction to the world of “real” stories.
Reilly Reagan   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Reilly Reagan, M.L.S. is a librarian and teacher currently working as a full-time mom. She has been reviewing media since 1991, writing for Library Journal and Video Librarian magazines. Her eight-year old and five-year-old sons enjoy helping with critiques.

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