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KID VID Reviews: Sharks, Recess Monkeys & More

By Jackie Burrell
Monday, July 14th, 2008 at 3:18 pm in children's music, Movies, TV.

Kenny the SharkThe latest batch of kid vids and CDs landed in our inbox recently, so we called on our favorite guest blogger Trine Gallegos and her pint-sized children’s entertainment expert, Sofia, age 6, to weigh in on the big questions: what’s great and what’s merely meh on the kiddie entertainment scene? Here’s their Fab Six lowdown on sharks, moo juice and high octane lullabies :

1) Discovery Kids’ “Kenny the Shark“: This animated TV series on the Discovery Channel is about a sassy 8-foot tiger shark, who just happens to be 10-year-old Kat’s family pet. There are lessons to be learned, of course, all served in a nice little package. With titles like “Goodbye, Ol’ Chum,” you know the shows are filled with some humor. My daughter, Sofia, watched this several times in row, and gave it a thumbs-up. (Kenny’s antics are available on DVD, or check local listings for airtimes.)

2) Nickelodeon’s “Sleepytime Stories“: Take our word on this. Stick with your own lullabies. While the many episodes on this 149-minute(!) DVD are Nick’s cute standard fare (“Dora,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Wonder Pets,” etc.), there is no way these are “sleepytime stories.” Your child will be amped, not tired, after these.

3) Classical Baby Classical Baby: I’m Grown Up Now, the Poetry Show“: Now, here’s the one to get if you want some real sleepytime fare. This show (see HBO Family schedule for times and dates) is charming, engaging and calming. Famous lines from William Shakespeare and the likes are shown in beautiful, watercolor-like animation and read sweetly by performers such as Andy Garcia and Gwyneth Paltrow. What a great way to introduce little ones to poetry. Sofia liked it but felt it was “more for babies.”

4)George & Martha“: If you’re looking for some sweet, charming and downright funny stuff, check out HBO Family’s animated series about two best hippo pals. Yes, the popular book series has hit the small screen. Voiced by Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin, the show focuses and the humorous and inspiring friendship. This is one our favorite shows to watch. We suggest you record it and keep the shows around for a while. (Check HBO Family’s schedule in your area.)

Funky Mama 5)Funky Mama Moo Juice“: We’re big music fans, and were eager to hear Krista Eyler’s CD. While it’s well-done and full of styles mom and dad could appreciate (soul, blues), it didn’t immediate snag our resident kids’ music expert. However, a few more plays in an undistracted area (like on a road trip) could seal the deal.

6)Tabby Road by Recess Monkey“: The title and group’s name alone nearly won us over, but a nice array of playful tunes, such as “Birthday Bite” and “Under My Bed,” absolutely sold it.

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