I kept meaning to write about my little DVD giveaway extravaganza, but every time I sat down to write it, I would start watching the Olympics. Okay, I'd think, tonight I'm writing about Little Einsteins. Then women's gymnastics would be on, and I couldn't concentrate because I was cheering so hard for our girls (and rolling my eyes at the overly dramatic commentators). Okay, after this routine I'll write.
And then Michael Phelps would show up, and all hope was lost that I'd ever write about Little Einsteins. I mean, really. I like Leo and June as much as anybody, but they don't stand a chance when the greatest Olympian ever is on TV. Plus, I cry every time I see Phelps' mom. And every time I see Dara Torres. Mothers and Olympics...some may complain about how sappy the Olympics are, but I love it. The more sap, the better. I'm a weeping mess.
Though I'm exhausted from all these late, emotional nights of Olympic coverage, I've composed myself enough to write about a few new videos we've been watching around here, and I even have copies to give away to you, dear reader. It's no gold medal, I know. But it'll have to do.
First up, your favorite smarty pants: The Little Einsteins. We're huge fans of Rocket's Firebird Rescue, so it would be hard to live up to that Little Einstein masterpiece. However, the Flight of the Instrument Fairies has some good moments. The first episode (out of four) is definitely the best, and it warms my music-loving heart to no end that Sydney can identify all the instruments by name. "What's that?" I quiz her. "A violin!" she exclaims. Excellent.
I do have to take issue with part of the episode The Glass Slipper Ball. The whole episode takes time and turns it upside down and inside out. There's a huge snowball barreling down the hill, and after showing their initial alarm, they have a discussion about what to do. HELLO! THERE'S A GIANT SNOWBALL COMING AT YOU! RUN AWAY! Then later on, there's supposedly only a minute left until it's too late to go to the glass slipper ball, but two Olympic events later the little Einsteins still have a minute left. Come on, kiddos. I don't care if it was Michael Phelps swimming those Olympic events in world-record breaking time. Don't drag your feet.
Nevertheless, it's good to see Quincy, Annie, Leo and June back in action. They're smart; they promote music awareness; they don't rely in the least on bawdy humor. Syd enjoys retelling the entire last episode about big Jet stealing Grandma Rocket's soup, and the dancing is naturally a big hit with us too.
Second, we have Handy Manny's Pet Roundup. Our household isn't all that familiar with Handy Manny, and I confess to letting Sydney fall into traditional stereotypical roles by allowing her to not be a big fan of videos whose heroes are tools and toolboxes. My professor of feminist literature would be so disappointed. I will say Syd definitely loves real power tools, but her video preferences lean more toward the dancing themes.
We did have a nice chuckle over the tools trying to catch the gopher. The video, of course, has a mostly gentle response to trying to catch gophers. IE: the traps aren't the kind of traps Sydney is used to seeing up at the farm. Let's just say, Sydney learned the word "kill" from all her forays into the fields to check the mole traps.
You'll have to blame her grandpa over that one.
And finally, we have those zany vegetables Bob and Larry appearing in their new video Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue. We meet Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry homesteading along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. They're looking forward to starting their own business, but give all that up to help someone find his mama.
When it comes to videos with a strong positive message, VeggieTales is a good one. A lot of the humor goes over Sydney's head, and I think it might still be a little too old for her (sometimes she learns the opposite of what the movie is trying to teach), but there's always a good message to be learned. In this case, we learn that sometimes not helping someone can be just as bad as actually hurting them. So true.
My favorite part of the video is actually in the special features. There's a whole deal on how to draw Bob and Larry, as well as an interview with the duo who write the silly songs. Fascinating stuff.
I totally wish I had a Boz the Bear video to give away because he is really our absolute favorite of cartoons. Seems to me that Boz videos are tailored more towards the younger kids--like Syd--whereas VeggieTales is more for kids who have a more developed sense of humor.
Now that we've finished that triathlon of movie reviews, I have movies to give away. I have a copy of each of these (in fact, I have two copies of Handy Manny to give away), and all you need to do is leave a comment. If you're only interested in one or two of the videos, just say so in your comment and that'll be fine and dandy. Contest closes Sunday the 24th in honor of the day we are moving out of our house, and the day the Olumpics ends. Yip yip yirree.
Let the comment games begin.