ALSC announces 2005 Notable Children's Videos

Contact: Laura Schulte-Cooper

ALSC Program Officer

(312) 280-2165
For Immediate Release

January 27, 2005

ALSC announces 2005 Notable Children's Videos

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected its 2005 list of Notable Children's Videos. The list includes videos for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for a child's intelligence and imagination and that reflect and encourage the interests of children in exemplary ways. The list includes distributor and an annotation.

The videos selected are:

Diary of a Worm," Weston Woods.

With the thankless job of helping the earth breathe, a young worm gives us a view of his daily life from the underground up. The youthful voice of Alexander Gould brings to life this animated version of the humorous book written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss.

"The Dot," Weston Woods.

Discouraged by a blank piece of paper, Vashti is transformed from a frustrated young girl to a confident artist through the gentle nudging of a caring teacher. An inspiring animated adaptation of Peter H. Reynolds' book, perfectly narrated by Thora Birch. Everyone should, "Just make a mark and see where it takes you."

"Duck for President," Weston Woods.

While campaigning for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Duck discovers it is very hard to run a farm, the state, and the country. Randy Travis continues to narrate Duck's animated escapades, as written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin. Vote for Duck! Also available in Spanish.

"The ErlKing," National Film Board of Canada.

Schubert's adaptation of Goethe's haunting poem is brought to life by Ben Zelkowicz's sand-on-glass animation. A kaleidoscope of disturbingly beautiful images form and reform, telling the story of the ErlKing's enticement of a young boy. Sung in German.

"Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey," Spoken Arts.

The reactivation of an old fireboat on 9/11 is related in this iconographic adaptation of Maira Kalman's rendition of a true story. Framed by interviews with the author and the boat's crew.

"I Stink!," Weston Woods.

The roar of the garbage truck and Joel Goodman's jazzy music spring to life in this raucous animated version of Kate and Jim McMullan's stinky tale narrated by Andy Richter.

"Journey of the Loggerhead," Environmental Media.

Spectacular photography and interviews with marine scientists document the environmental odyssey of one of nature's endangered creatures, the loggerhead turtle. Bonus features included.

"Let's Get Real," New Day Films.

In a powerful yet balanced documentary, real middle school students who are dealing with issues such as name-calling, bullying, racial and religious differences, disabilities, and perceived sexual orientation, speak with candor about what is happening in their lives. A Columbine Award-winning, "in your face" video. Bonus features include an interview with the director.

"Liberty's Kids Series," WHYY-TV/PBS.

A kids-eye view of the American Revolution presented in a "you are there" manner. Celebrity voices bring to life a diverse mix of historical figures and fictional characters. Colorful animation makes history fun and educational.

"Life on the Edge: A Guide to Pacific Coastal Habitats," Earthwise Media.

Snorkel without getting wet in this beautifully photographed and informational film about Pacific Coastal habitats.

"Pollyanna," WGBH Boston Video.

Masterpiece Theatre's presentation of the beloved novel by Eleanor H. Porter breathes new life into the story of how a young orphan transforms her spinster aunt and an English village.

"The Pot That Juan Built," Weston Woods.

This variant of a favorite children's rhyme creates a magical journey into the life and work of Juan Quezada, a famous Mexican potter. Based on the 2004 ALSC Belpré Honor and Notable Childen's book, written by Nancy Andrews-Goebel and illustrated by David Diaz, this iconographic video, narrated by Alfred Molina, is complemented by a documentary visit with the potter.

"Science, Please," National Film Board of Canada.

Twenty-six short segments humorously explain scientific phenomena by the clever merging of old film footage and fun animation. The teachers' guide helps to match each clip with appropriate age and grade levels. English and French tracks are available on the DVD.

"Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving," Spoken Arts.

A humorous look at Sarah Hale, the strong, determined woman who championed official recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday. This iconographic film, based on the book by Laurie Halse Anderson with illustrations by Matt Faulkner, also features an introduction by the author.

"This Is The House That Jack Built," Weston Woods.

Lively music and narration by Mandy Patinkin enhance this classic rhyme in a colorful animated film based on the book illustrated by Simms Taback.

"Through My Thick Glasses," Pravda and National Film Board of Canada Co-Production.

A Norwegian grandfather tells his granddaughter the story of his disturbing experiences during World War II with Aunt Ella and the dreaded war machine. Director Pjotr Sapegin uses clay puppets to present a tragic, metaphorical drama, based on a true story.

"The Wheels on the Bus," Weston Woods.

The classic children's song takes a new turn on the way to the library in this version of Paul O. Zelinsky's adaptation. The Bacon Brothers' lively music perfectly matches the clever animation.

For more information about the videos above, including recommended ages and running times, visit the ALSC Web site at:

More information about all of ALSC's Children's Notable Lists is available on its Web site at, click on "Awards & Scholarships" and "Children's Notable Lists."

Members of the 2005 Notable Children's Videos Committee are: Lucinda Whitehurst, Chair, St. Christopher's Lower School, Richmond, Va.; Elizabeth Abramson, Los Angeles Public Library; Patricia Arnold, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Baton Rouge, La.; Edith Ching, Saint Albans School for Boys, Parrott Library, Washington, D.C.; Martha Edmundson, Denton (Texas) Public Library; Helen Foster James, San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego; Molly Krukewitt, Houston; Linda Sawyer, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library; Margaret Tice, New York Public Library; Kathryn Whitacre, Free Library of Philadelphia; and Susan Wray, Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library.

ALSC is a network of over 3,700 children's and youth librarians, children's literature experts, and publishers committed to improving and ensuring the future of the nation through exemplary library service to children, their families, and others who work with children.