2008 Notable Children's Videos

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2008 Notable Children's Videos CommitteeKathleen Apuzzo Krasniewicz, Chair, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, Conn.; Molly M. Collins, Malden Public Library, Malden, Mass.; Cora Phelps Dunkley, University of South Florida - SLIS, Tampa, Fla.; Deborah B. Ford, Instructional Media Center, San Diego, Calif.; Jan Johnson, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, N.J.; Christy Schink, Scenic Regional Library, Union, Mo.; Grace Shanahan, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Lisa Marie Smith, Vernon Area Public Library, Lincolnshire, Ill.; Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, Bridgeport, Conn.; and Linda Zeilstra-Sawyer, Skokie Public Library, Skokie, Ill.

*If a producer/distributor has multiple listings, only the first listing for that producer/distributor will include its phone number.*


Becoming an Organized Student .  Human Relations Media.  20 min.  800-431-2050. Ages 10-14.
Meet four middle school students who need help.  Each demonstrates the disadvantages of being disorganized, gives tips on how to get a handle on schoolwork, schedules, sports and social life, and then shows how much easier life can be with a little organization.

Big Brown Bear’s Up and Down Day .  Nutmeg Media.  24 min.  1-877-262-3690.  Ages 2-6.
Three of David McPhail’s delightful stories about Big Brown Bear and his small friend, Rat, are iconographically depicted on a single DVD.  Cozy watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations bring Bear’s adventures to life.  Author interview follows.

Dooby Dooby Moo .  Weston Woods Studios.  10 min.  1-800-243-5020.  Ages 3-8.
Duck steals the show when Farmer Brown‘s stable of precocious animals compete in a talent show in this animated version of the book written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin.  Enhanced by Randy Travis’s homey narration and lively music by Scotty Huff and Robert Reynolds. Includes a read along option.  "Whacka-whacka!"

Finding Daddy : A Story of the Great Depression .  Nutmeg Media. 17 min.  Ages 5-10.
When the impact of the Great Depression forces her daddy to seek work far from home, Bonnie overcomes her shyness to find a solution that reunites her family.  Gently narrated by the author, Jo Harper, this iconographic video also includes a Spanish language version.  Ron Mazellan’s illustrations and period music complement this moving picture book.

Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Andy Warhol .  Getting to Know, Inc.  24 min.  1-877-270-2787. Ages 8 -14.
An animated Andy Warhol tells us all about his life in this DVD adapted from the book series by Mike Venezia. Music, contemporary photographs and art reproductions make this an educational as well as entertaining introduction to the world of pop art.

Huffing: The Latest Facts about Inhalant Abuse .  Human Relations Media.  20 min.  Ages 10 & up.
Chilling interviews with surviving parents and friends, testimony from a recovering addict, and clips of teens discussing the dangers of this disturbing fad are interwoven in this important video. Appropriate for instructional or family viewing.

I Hate English!   Nutmeg Media.  15 min.  Ages 5 -9.
In this iconographic adaptation of her book, author Ellen Levine relates Hong Kong–born Mei Mei ‘s reluctant adjustment to life in English-speaking New York with moving authenticity.  A conversation with the author is an added bonus.

John, Paul, George & Ben .  Weston Woods Studios. 13 min.  Ages 6-10. 
This humorous and factual history of five lads who grew up to become Founding Fathers brings the early days of American history to life. This DVD adaptation of Lane Smith’s book is narrated by James Earl Jones and accompanied by Scotty Huff and Robert Reynolds’ Beatles-inspired music.

Jump In!: Freestyle Edition . Buena Vista Home Entertainment. 85 min. Ages 10-13.
Pulled in two directions, Izzy Daniels must find a balance between his passion for boxing and his promise to help his friends with an intense double-Dutch jump roping competition. The live-action  Jump In! combines themes of friendship, hard work, and individuality with energizing hip-hop music and impeccable choreography. (2008 Carnegie Medal)

Just Yell Fire:  Empowering Girls to Protect Themselves .  Just Yell Fire/ Maggie Jessup.  45 min.  360-521-0437.  Ages 11-19.
Brutally honest, this gripping instructional video focuses on teaching young girls self-defense; various attack scenarious and helpful tips on avoiding attackers will empower girls to protect themselves.  Just Yell Fire was originally started as a school project by Dallas Jessup in Portland, Oregon.  Evangeline Lilly and Josh Holloway of Lost have cameo appearances.  Fight like a girl!

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster .  Weston Woods Studios.  8 min.  Ages 3-8.
Being a monster doesn’t come naturally to Leonardo.  After all his attempts to frighten Sam fail, he decides that being a wonderful friend is better than being a terrible monster.  This masterful short animation of the ALA Notable Children's Book is narrated by its author, Mo Willems.

The Librarian from the Black Lagoon .  Weston Woods Studios.  9 min.  Ages 5-8.
Oh no, not a trip to the scary and terrible library, where frightening child-laminating monsters lurk! In this animation of the tale written by Mike Thaler and illustrated by Jared Lee, a class prepares for a dreaded trip to the library only to find a kind and welcoming librarian bearing many delightful books.  Narrated by Alexander Gould.

Max’s Words .  Weston Woods Studios.  10 min. Ages 4-9. 
When his brothers won’t share their collections of stamps and coins, Max starts a collection of his own, made up of words.  Based on the book by Kate Banks, this DVD uses a remarkable combination of iconographic and animated elements to bring the art of Boris Kulikov to life and is brilliantly narrated by T.R. Knight.

Nightmare at School .  National Film Board of Canada.  9 min.  1-800-542-2164.  Ages 8-14.
An anxious student’s trip to school takes surprising and scary turns when scale is skewed, perspectives shift, he grows and shrinks, and his familiar world goes topsy-turvy.  Appropriately bizarre music sets the tone, and innovative original animation makes this a clever cautionary tale. 

Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin .  Spoken Arts.  13 min.  1-800-326-4090.  Ages 8-12.
A special appearance by author/illustrator Gene Barretta sets up this iconographic treatment of his book about the work of Benjamin Franklin, American thinker, inventor and patriot.  People have long relied on Franklin’s innovations and inventions, from bifocals to Daylight Savings Time. 

Rosa .  Weston Woods Studios.  14 min.  Ages 5-10.
The brave actions of Rosa Parks are brought to life in this video version of Nikki Giovanni’s highly-honored picture book.  Bryan Collier’s rich illustrations of watercolor and collage are handsomely explored through iconographic film.

Seven Blind Mice .  Weston Woods Studios.  7 min.  Ages 4-8.
It takes seven blind mice seven days to figure out what the curious “something” is that inhabits their world.  Each mouse has a single perspective, and only when the seventh mouse puts together all of their ideas is the mystery revealed.  Intriguing music by Ernest V. Troost and gentle narration by B.D Wong complement fantastic animation of Ed Young’s stunning collages. 

A Very Brave Witch .  Weston Woods Studios.  7 min.  Ages 3-8.
A brave little witch dares to participate in the human holiday of Halloween despite reading off-putting information about scary humans.  Playful animation adds a humorously creepy tone to this adaptation of the book written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Harry Bliss.

Wallace’s Lists .  Weston Woods Studios.  15 min.  Ages 4-8.
Wallace loves his lists, and he sticks to them absolutely, even when they don’t make too much sense.  Before this action-packed animated treatment of the book by Barbara Bottner and Gerald Kruglik ends, Wallace realizes that his new friend Albert is more important than any old list!  Olof Landström’s colorful illustrations blend with the text to tell this delightful story, narrated by Zach Braff.

Water Detectives .  National Film Board of Canada.  12  minutes. Ages 8-14.
School children in Matamoros, Mexico changed how the people in their town used water and lowered their water consumption to nearly 20% in just one year.  Students concerned about the environment will be inspired by the children’s pro-active exploration of their local river.  This documentary includes sound tracks in English, Spanish, and French.