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

Treasury of 20 Storybook Classics

Treasury of 20 Storybook Classics

Spring 2009 DVD
Ages: 2 - 8 yrs.
Producer: New Video
DVD Price: $29.95
Weston Woods was the first media company to start animating picture books; their catalog of children's literature is unequaled. This collection of twenty books includes old favorites like Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Jane Yolen's Owl Moon, to recent books like Kadir Nelson's joyful He's Got the Whole World in His Hands or Doreen Cronin's Diary of a Spider. The set of four DVDs, is organized by themes such as "'Beary' Adorable Tales," "Cute Critter Stories, and "Stories to Celebrate the Environment," with the live-action The Mouse and the Motorcycle (with bonus Wee Gillis) on a disc of its own.

Weston Woods keeps a light touch on the animation, adding enough movement to enhance the original artwork without turning each episode into dizzying spins through short-attention-span-theater land. The music is subtle and engaging (unless it's downright infectious, like Chrystal Taliefero's singing of He's Got the Whole World) and some of the narrations are by the authors, like Karma Wilson and Jane Yolen.

Sure, it would be great if families owned all these books so parents could sit down and read them with their kids, but most parents admit that suppers have to be cooked and yes, rainy days happen, and it's impossible to spend every moment engaging in direct Quality Time with their children. Thankfully, this wonderful collection is available to help fill in those times and provide children with exposure to these charming tales.

Reilly Reagan   ©2009 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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