2003 Notable Children's Videos Committee: Paula Brehm-Heeger, chair, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio); Martha Edmundson, Denton (Texas) Public Library; Crystal Faris, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, N.Y.; Elizabeth B. Miller, College of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia; Margaret Tice, New York Public Library; Kathryn Lee Whitacre, Free Library of Philadelphia; Lucinda Whitehurst, St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, Va.; Kim M. Woo, Los Angeles Public Library; and Stephen A. Zampino, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.
These titles are selected by the above committee of librarians and educators from across the country on the basis of their originality, creativity, and suitability for young children. The members select materials that respect both children's intelligence and imagination, exhibit venturesome creativity, and encourage the interests of users.
Company’s Coming. Spoken Arts. 7 min. 1-800-326-4090. Ages 5-8.
Arthur Yorinks’ and David Small’s classic picture book comes to life in this iconographic video. Music, voice characterizations, and touches of humorous animation enhance this story of the day aliens came to visit Shirley and Mo.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? Weston Woods. 8 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 4-8.
This humorous animated adaptation of Jane Yolen’s picture book combines engaging narration by the author, additional artwork, and inspired direction to create the memorable story of a diverse group of prehistoric creatures with sometimes difficult and sometimes impeccable bedtime manners.
The Hungry Squid. National Film Board of Canada. 14 min. 1-800-542-2164 or 1-212-629-8890. Ages 7-up.
Though beset by knotted hair, loving but absent parents, and homework eaten by a dog, a caterpillar, and eventually a giant squid, Dorothy Sue Ann triumphs over her adverse circumstances. Using a variety of animation techniques, filmmaker John Weldon creates an innovative tall tale with whimsical sophisticated humor and unique visual effects.
I Love You Like Crazy Cakes. Weston Woods. 8 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 4-8.
Mia Farrow narrates a moving iconographic presentation of a picture book based on author Rose Lewis’ experience adopting a baby girl from China.
Martin’s Big Words. Weston Woods. 8 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 5-12.
The power and beauty of Doreen Rappaport’s and Bryan Collier’s collaboration combined with Michael Clarke Duncan’s evocative narration creates an impressionistic portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This iconographic video, enhanced by computer animation, highlights Dr. King’s words of inspiration. A gospel music soundtrack completes the sensory experience.
Max (Reading Rainbow). GPN. 30 min. 1-800-228-4630. Ages 5-8.
Max, the son of superheroes, cannot learn to fly. Narrated by Regina King, this iconographic production of Bob Graham’s humorous story proves that a difficult situation can help a person find the hero within. Combining live action interviews with New York firefighters and a field trip to a wildlife rescue center, this video demonstrates that heroes come in many forms.
Merry Christmas, Space Case. Weston Woods. 13 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 4-8.
Buddy McGee and the thing from outer space return to celebrate the holiday in this wacky, fun, animated adaptation of James Marshall’s book. Christopher Lloyd’s narration and spacey music highlight this satisfying tale of friendship and triumph over the bullies.
Miss Twiggley’s Tree. Bix Pix Entertainment. 22 min. 1-773-248-5430. Ages 8 and up.
In a claymation adaptation of Dorothy Warren Fox’s book the townspeople find it “simply disgraceful” that a woman lives in a tree with a dog and two bears. When a hurricane hits, Miss Twiggley and her treetop home come to the rescue.
Operation Cuckoo. National Film Board of Canada. 13min. 1-800-542-2164 or 1-212-629-8890. Ages 4-10.
This unique animated film featuring a lively musical soundtrack continues the story of Mr. Edgar (Cuckoo Mr. Edgar, 2001 Notable Children’s Video), a sensitive mechanical cuckoo bird. When he loses a gear from his precious cuckoo clock, Mr. Edgar’s reunion with his adopted family is nearly ruined, until he discovers the power of friends and family.
Our Big Home: An Earth Poem (Reading Rainbow). GPN. 30 min. 1-800-228-4630. Ages 7-11.
Tour the United Nations headquarters with Le Var Burton, then travel with members of “Kids Can Free The Children” as they journey from their homes to Nicaragua to build a school. This Reading Rainbow production includes an iconographic reproduction of Linda Glaser’s picture book.
So You Want to Be President? Weston Woods. 27 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 6-12.
From George Washington to George W. Bush, David Small’s Caldecott-winning book comes to life through an animated irreverent romp through the public and private lives of forty-two presidents. Stockard Channing narrates Judith St. George’s book with wit and humor.
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Weston Woods 7 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 4-7.
Foot tapping and hand clapping music gleefully accompany a rollicking version of the well-loved poem of a silly old woman who swallows everything from a fly to a horse. Sing along with Cyndi Lauper in this hilarious animated adaptation of a cumulative folk tale in rhyme based on Simms Taback’s Caldecott Honor book.
Waiting for Wings. Weston Woods. 7 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 2-6.
Bright vibrant colors celebrate the life cycle of a butterfly in this animated adaptation of Lois Ehlert’s award-winning book. The single poem sung by Crystal Taliefero recreates the joy of butterflies flying. Waiting for Wings – Fly! Fly! Fly!