1997 Notable Children's Films and Video

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Notable Children's Films and Videos committee members: Tim Wadham, chair, Dallas (TX) Public Library; Shelia Carson; Teffeny Edmondson, Oakland (CA) Public Library; Dorothy Evans; Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal ; Melinda Greenblatt, Fund for New York City Public Education; Sharon Harvey, Allen County (IN) Public Library; Leslie Jacobs; Elizabeth B. Miller; Jean Pollock, King County (WA) Library; and Flo Starkey.


Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea.
Spoken Arts. 9min. $44.95. Ages 8 up.
Poems by Joyce Carol Thomas, some solemn and some celebratory, describe African American family life in a rural setting. Ruby Dee reads with exceptional skill and humanity as the iconographic camera explores Floyd Cooper's rich book illustrations.

Children Remember the Holocaust.
SVE. 46min. $149.95. Ages 12 up.
Historical photos and moving images are set against words from the diaries of many young people who suffered or perished during the Holocaust. The various European accents give an authenticity to this compelling documentary, which juxtaposes the comfortable peacetime existence of many of these young people with the increasingly graphic images of Hitler's war against the Jews. Keanu Reeves' unobtrusive narration sets the historical stage and connects these events to current world situations.

How Dinosaurs Learned to Fly (Not a True Story).
Bullfrog Films. 6min. $95. Ages 3 up.
In this fantasy, dinosaurs eat junk food, have poor dental hygiene, throw wild parties, and form rock 'n' roll bands to the constant annoyance of other early mammals. Dick the Dinosaur, who likes to jump off cliffs but doesn't like the landing, eventually finds a way to solve this problem, and his friends follow suit. This short animated film is shot through with a sense of whimsy and creativity that will charm children.

The Maestro Plays
SRA/McGraw-Hill. 10min. $42. Ages 3 up.
Colorful images and sounds delight the eyes and ears as the maestro cajoles sounds from the instruments of the orchestra. Rhymes, shapes, bold colors, and an expressive musical score expand on Bill Martin's book and make this video perfect for sharing.

Notes Alive! On the Day You Were Born.
Minnesota Orchestra. 30min. $19.95. Ages 3-8.
In this Story Concert, author Debra Frasier reads her picture book to powerful original music composed by Steve Heitzeg for the Minnesota Orchestra and to stunning 3-D animation. This video celebrates birth and new life throughout the natural world. This is an excellent choice for parents to share with their children.

Reading Rainbow: Fly Away Home.
GPN. 30min. $43.95. Ages 8 up.
Discussions with children about home and homelessness provide context for a reading of Eve Bunting's book. Children explore their feelings on these issues with compelling honesty and courage.

Reading Rainbow: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin.
GPN. 30min. $43.95. Ages 5 up.
This rousing invitation to the world of music begins with the mathematically melodious tones from Lloyd Moss' book. Other movements include an introduction to the smiles and sounds of the young musicians of the Julliard Youth Orchestra and a heart-thumping visit with the cast of the off-Broadway show .

Sousa to Satchmo. (Marsalis on Music series)
Baker & Taylor. 53min. $19.99. Ages 8 up.
The history of music in the U.S. is brought to life by Wynton Marsalis' demonstration of the progression of European-style orchestra music in American band music. In this title from his enlightening series, Marsalis uses the music of Sousa, Joplin, and Armstrong to show how music evolved through ragtime and improvisation to New Orleans jazz.

Why Toes Tap. (Marsalis on Music series)
Baker & Taylor. 53min. $19.99. Ages 8 up.
In another segment from his educational and entertaining series, Wynton Marsalis teaches a group of students some of the basic elements of music by demonstrating variations of rhythm using two versions of The Nutcracker: Tchaikovsky's original and Duke Ellington's jazz arrangement.