2004 Notable Children's Videos Committee: Stephen A. Zampino, Chair, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.; Elizabeth Jane Abramson, Los Angeles Public Library; Patricia S. Arnold, East Baton Rouge (La.) Parish Library; Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Washington, D.C.; Martha Edmundson, Denton (Texas) Public Library System; Helen Foster James, San Diego; Molly Krukewitt, Fort Bend County (Texas) Libraries; Margaret Tice, New York Public Library; Kathryn Lee Whitacre, Free Library of Philadelphia; Lucinda Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, Va.; and Susan Wray, Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library.
Bark, George. Weston Woods. 7 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 3-8.
John Lithgow narrates the story of George, a puppy who meows, quacks, oinks and moos. Based on the book by Jules Feiffer, this animated film follows George’s strange sounding problem to its farcical solution.
Bread Comes to Life: A Garden of Wheat and a Loaf to Eat. Informed Democracy. 22 min. 1-800-827-0949. Ages 4-12.
From the sowing of the seeds to George Levenson’s shaping and baking of the bread dough, Lily Tomlin beautifully narrates each step while George Winston provides the music on this engaging live action presentation. Bring on the fresh baked bread!
Chiefs. Active Parenting Publishers. 89 min. 1-800-825-0060, ext.139. Ages 12-14.
This documentary follows the Wyoming Indian High School basketball team through two seasons of adversity and perseverance. Each young man faces tough choices including finding his place on the "rez." Voted Best Documentary, 2002 Tribeca Film Festival.
Come On, Rain! Weston Woods. 7 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 5-8.
In this iconographic presentation of Karen Hesse’s and Jon J. Muth’s picture book, Tess’s soft whisper of "come on, rain" soon turns into a joyful dance as the rain DOES come accompanied by Jerry Dale McFadden’s swing music.
Coral Seas (Blue Planet: Seas of Life). Discovery Channel. 52 min. 1-888-892-3484. Ages 10-14.
Vivid cinematography takes viewers to the ocean’s coral reefs teeming with life in this two-part Emmy Award-winning video. Richard Attenborough’s narrative combined with the powerful musical score portrays the battle for life in this fragile habitat.
Dem Bones. Weston Woods. 10 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 5-10.
Bob Barner’s book is brought to bone-shaking life in this animated musical that connects song to information. Raul Malo’s toe-tapping music makes this skeleton band rattle and tickles the funny bone.
Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa. Weston Woods. 18 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 6-12.
A cool cat celebrates the life and music of Ella Fitzgerald in this adaptation of the book by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney. Billy Dee Williams’ narration and music by Joel Goodman and Dan Rosengard with original recordings by Ella Fitzgerald provide an outstanding soundtrack for this animated tale of how Ella found her voice.
Everyday Signs (Signing Time!; v. 3). Two Little Hands Productions. 30 min. 1-801-533-0444. Ages 1-6.
Alex, who can hear, and Leah, who is deaf, invite other young children to share everyday ASL signs. Sister team Emilie de Azevedo Brown and Rachel Coleman created this DVD with an interactive mix of live action and animation.
Giggle, Giggle, Quack. Weston Woods. 9 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 5-8.
Randy Travis narrates this animated down-home version of Doreen Cronin’s and Betsy Lewin’s picture book. Watch out for duck! He’s trouble!
I Want a Dog. National Film Board of Canada. 10 min. 1-800-542-2164. Ages 5-9.
Colorful animation and doo-wop music showcase filmmaker Sheldon Cohen’s adaptation of the picture book by Dayal Kaur Khalsa. May wants a dog but her serious parents say NO! Her inspired solution to their objections provides a hilarious pastime for the neighborhood kids.
Leonardo da Vinci. Kiki & Associates. 23 min. 1-312-642-5526. Ages 6-12.
This humorous animated video smoothly combines the art and life of Leonardo da Vinci. Viewers will both laugh and learn with this adaptation of a book from Mike Venezia’s popular "Getting to Know" series.
"Let’s Get a Pup!" said Kate." Spoken Arts. 8 min. 1-800-326-4090. Ages 3-8.
Bob Graham’s picture book is a fresh take on the story of a child who wants a pet. This iconographic video brings to life the vibrant personalities of Kate and her hip parents as they search for the perfect pup.
Showa Shinzan. National Film Board of Canada. 13 min. 1-800-542-2164. Ages 10-14.
A young Japanese girl experiences both the tragedy of World War II and the power of a volcanic eruption. Based on actual events, this 3-D computer animated video combines historic film footage and drawings with the elements of Bunraku puppetry.
Snowflake Bentley. Weston Woods. 20 minutes. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 5-12.
An innovative adaptation of the book by Jacqueline Briggs Martin combines iconographic images of Mary Azarian’s Caldecott Award-winning illustrations with live action. This biography of Wilson Bentley is highlighted by archival photographs and film. Narrated by Sean Astin.
The Teacher From the Black Lagoon. Weston Woods. 8 min. 1-800-243-5020. Ages 5-8.
A child imagines the very worst on his first day of school in this animated version of Mike Thaler’s and Jared Lee’s book. Diana Canova and Jonathan Lipnicki narrate. Nightmares have never been so funny.
The Velveteen Rabbit. Billy Budd Films. 24 min. 212-755-3968. Ages 4-10.
Margery Williams’ touching classic about a child’s beloved toy bunny that becomes real is presented in claymation on this Adelante Project DVD.