Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2010 Holiday Guide: DVDs and videos

Last week we began this series covering the Gifts of Music, with more choices in that category to follow in the coming weeks.

Today we turn our attention to some of the finest new DVD and videos that have been released this year that are perfect for holiday entertainment gift giving for children and teens.

From now until December 21, 2010, new offerings will be featured in many entertainment categories in addition to music, DVDs and videos, so you may wish to bookmark this page to enable further explorations of the highlighted links at your leisure.

The products, which appear below have been researched for quality as well as value, and are geared to provide the children in your life with many hours of positive and fun-filled entertainment.

Best pricing options, available at the time of this posting are provided below, but it is suggested that you cross-compare DVD and video pricing with your favorite online as well as stick and brick retailers when available.

As always, you are the best judge of what is appropriate for your child’s entertainment.

Enjoy the visual journey as there will be many choices provided, covering a multitude of viewing tastes. Simply click on the links to further explore each title in depth, some include viewing previews.



A visually enchanting stylized hand-drawn animated adventure fantasy that garnered worldwide recognition with numerous nominations and awards, which included a 2010 Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year.

The story revolves around the fictionalized character of “Brendan,” a young Irish lad and his connection to one of the finest literary treasures in all of Ireland, The famed Book of Kells.

There is no MPAA/CARA rating for Secret of Kells, but you may connect to parent/audience reviews from the original feature film presentation through IMBD.

The DVD/Blu-ray combo pack includes two discs; a running time of 75 minutes with special bonus features from for $26.49.


It’s always a pleasure to introduce parents and caregivers to the outstanding lineup that is consistently offered under the Scholastic Storybook Treasures banner. Every visual adaptation includes high production values along with professional narrations produced by Weston Woods Studios, considered one of the foremost creators of audiovisual adaptations of classic picture books for children.

Here are several of this year’s releases that will delight.


This two-DVD set release includes eight literary works brought to the screen from beloved author/illustrator Rosemary Wells whose career has spanned more than 40 years and has included 140 books treasured by children.

The stories presented on the ROSEMARY WELLS COLLECTION include such classics as “Max’s Chocolate Chicken;” “Max’s Christmas;” Morris’s Disappearing Dog;” “Otto Runs for President;” “Noisy Nora;” “Emily’s First 100 Days of School;” “Voyage to the Bunny Planet” along with “Reading to Your Bunny,” a special presentation that includes advice about the importance of reading books to the child in your life.

Also included in the 153-minute set are enhanced read-along and comprehension questions for building early literacy skills, plus Spanish Versions of “Noisy Nora” and “Max’s Christmas” and a “Gonna Read to My Bunny” music video.

Available for $10.49 from


Something to keep kids entertained as you hit the road traveling during the holidays.

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS KIT provides two musical DVDs that features 15 animated literary classics; a CD with 13 sing-along songs; a 34-page booklet that includes crayons and assorted games and activities designed to reinforce math and early reading skills. And, everything is packed in a portable child-sized mini-case, which includes some travel tips just for parents and caregivers.

Specifics about the two featured DVDs and CD are:

The first DVD -"The Wheels on the Bus...and more sing-along favorites" is adapted from the picture book by Paul O. Zelinsky, and the classic children's song is brought to life with Zelinsky’s artwork and musical score by The Bacon Brothers. The DVD also includes six additional stories.

The second DVD -“There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly...and more sing along favorites” is visually adapted from the picture book by Simms Taback with musical interpretation provided by Cyndi Lauper, plus seven more stories for more than an hour’s worth of sing-along fun.

The separate audio CD features the following sing-along story songs: “The Wheels on the Bus;” “The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night;” “Dinosaur Bones;” “Chicka Chicka 123;” “Donut Make You feel So Good;” “Dem Bones;” “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands;” “Everything’s Better (When You Come Together);” “Over in the Meadow;” “The Erie Canal;” “Frog Went A-Courtin’;” “Tooth School Anthem” and “Gonna Read to My Bunny.”

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS KIT is available from for $11.49 and you may a view a video excerpt by simply following the above link and clicking on the small icon that is provided beneath the product picture.


Fourteen stories on three DVDs for total running time of 179 minutes are included in this hilarious and whimsical collection, which features such classic tales as “Crazy Hair Day;” “The Teacher From the Black Lagoon;” “Miss Nelson Has a Field Day,” and “How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?"

ADVENTURES AT SCHOOL is professionally narrated by notable actors Zach Braff, Calista Flockhart, Alexander Gould and Alfre Woodard, among others.

Perfect for children ages three through nine and available through for $16.99.

FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED... AND MORE FAVORITE CHILDREN'S STORIES                                                                                                                                      

A unique offering that teaches children the art of sign language, which helps promote the development of fine motor skills, and also includes vocabulary lessons and quizzes for each story that assist in reading comprehension.

Cherished stories, “Little Quack” and Mercer Meyer’s “There’s Something in My Attic” are presented with pleasant voice narration, musical score and sign language.
The 38-minute DVD is available through for $11.49/

Two additional sign language formatted releases of beloved children’s books, GOODNIGHT MOON…AND MORE GREAT BEDTIME STORIES and A POCKET FOR CORDUROY AND MORE STORIES ABOUT FRIENDSHIP are available from, both priced at $6.99 each.

By following the above link for Goodnight Moon, an excerpted video is available to view by clicking on the icon immediately under the product picture.


Based on Barney’s Saltzberg’s popular picture book, “Crazy Hair Day,” the 60 minute DVD features the title story as well as Roger Duvoisin’s “Petunia,” James Stevenson’s “Monty”, and Miriam Cohen’s “Will I have a Friend?” narrated by Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State.)

The disc also includes a Spanish version of “Monty” and an interview with Barney Saltzberg.
Available at for $13.49.

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