on November 23, 2010
Our family has treasured our collection of Scholastic Storybook Treasures original Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics. This fall a new collection, jam packed with another 100 storybook renditions on DVD was released and has proven to be just as packed with value as the first collection.
For those unfamiliar with the Scholastic Storybook Treasures collection, each DVD includes an assortment of favorite children's picture books on DVD. The picture books (and their DVD renditions) range from the `70s to the current day and include a wide variety of presentation styles. There are live-action renditions, fully animated versions, versions where a camera pans over the original illustrations to provide movement and visual interest, and so forth. These collections are always eclectic (and that is GOOD!) and I'm always surprised by the new favorites my children discover.
There is really a lot here, and everyone can pick their own favorites. I tend towards favoring the `classics' like Caps for Sale, but I also liked many of the musical stories on discs 3 and 4, such as There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and Frog Went A-Courtin'. My oldest daughter (7) enjoys the zany stories such as The Emperor's New Clothes (a version in which the emperor is drawn in the buff, cartoony style - not full frontal, but you can see his bum), Bark, George, and she LOVES discs 11 and 12 - this Miss Nelson and Black Lagoon stories. My middle daughter (4) and youngest (2) are pretty flexible, though I do notice a lot of requests for the Black Lagoon from my 4-year-old.
As a family we don't celebrate most Western-style holidays, so we've skipped discs 15 and 16, the Christmas and Halloween-oriented collections, but there is more than enough content by far to make up for these rare exclusions.
Each of the main title features includes optional read-along captioning that highlights each word as it is read by the narrator -great for beginning readers! This is one of my favorite features, but this captioning isn't included on the "Bonus Stories" generally speaking.
Seventeen DVDs are included in the box set, most of which have been previously released as stand-alone titles or in previous Scholastic Storybook Treasures sets. If you already own the first box set - Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics - there are only two duplicate stories present in this collection. In this second treasury there are included (the Amazon listing above this review isn't accurate as of this posting):
DVD #1. Corduroy and More Stories About Caring, 60 minutes
- Corduroy (this is live action!)
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (classic!)
- The Happy Lion
- I Love You Like Crazy Cakes (an adoption story)
- Smile for Auntie (`70s style eccentricity my children really dig)
- The Happy Owls
DVD #2. Good Night, Gorilla and More Great Sleepytime Stories, 61 minutes
- Good Night, Gorilla
- Happy Birthday, Moon
- The Napping House
- The Rainbabies
- Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (fun introduction to the orchestra)
- Elizabeti's Doll
DVD #3. The Wheels on the Bus and More Musical Stories, 67 minutes +extras
- The Wheels on the Bus
- Musical Max
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
- Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!
- All the Colors of the Earth
- Keeping House
- Hush Little Baby
Other Features: Spanish version of Musical Max (with captioning), interview with author/illustrator of Bugs! Bugs! Bugs, discussion questions
DVD #4. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and More Sing-Along Favorites, 65 minutes
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (sung by Cyndi Lauper, yes - really!)
- This Land is Your Land (sung by Arlo Guthrie!)
- Frog Went A-Courtin'
- Over in the Meadow
- Giraffes Can't Dance
- Dem Bones (anatomical fun!)
- The Chinese Violin
- Changes, Changes
DVD #5. Is Your Mama a Llama? And More Classic Children's Stories, 66 minutes
- Is Your Mama a Llama?
- - Noisy Nora
- Each Peach Pear Plum
- The Little Red Hen (traditional ending)
- Reading to Your Bunny
Other Features: Spanish versions of Is Your Mama a Llama? and Noisy Nora, there is supposed to be a visit with Rosemary Wells (author of Noisy Nora and Reading to Your Bunny), but I couldn't find it on my DVD
DVD #6. Giggle, Giggle, Quack and More Stories by Doreen Cronin, 84 minutes + extras
All of these stories are written by Doreen Cronin, we love her work! Randy Travis does the narrations for all the farm titles.
- Giggle, Giggle, Quack
- Dooby Dooby Moo
- Duck for President
- Diary of a Worm
- Diary of a Fly
Other Features: Spanish versions of Giggle, Giggle, Quack and Duck for President, Interview with Harry Bliss (illustrator of the Diary of series), discussion questions
DVD #7. The Hans Christian Andersen Collection, 119 minutes
Some of these renditions are traditional, others are VERY modern, watch my notes.
- The Ugly Ducking (traditional)
- The Emperor's New Clothes (traditional, nude emperor)
- Nightingale (traditional)
- The Red Shoes (very modern)
- The Little Match Girl (very modern)
- The Swineherd (traditional, also included in the original Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics)
DVD #8. The James Marshall Fairytale Collection, 83 minutes
These fairytale versions are all retold and illustrated by James Marshall. The stories are fairly classic modern retellings (what most of us are familiar with as opposed to the Grimm's versions, The Three Little Pigs may be a bit different than the version you're most familiar with (only one pig survives).
- Red Riding Hood
- James Marshall's Cinderella
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears
- The Three Little Pigs
- Hansel and Gretel
- Space Case (about an alien visitor, Halloween setting)
DVD #9. He's Got the Whole World in His Hands and More Stories to Celebrate the Environment, 60 minutes
- He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
- Come On, Rain!
- Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
- Owl Moon
- The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks (sort of morose, but a surprising hit here)
- A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog
DVD #10. Antarctic Antics and More Hilarious Animal Stories, 60 minutes
- Antarctic Antics (very fun and educational, a new favorite find for us)
- In the Small, Small Pond
- Bear Snores On
- Bark, George
- Caps for Sale (how can you not love it?)
- The Hat
- The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge
DVD #11. The Teacher From the Black Lagoon and More Slightly Scary Stories, 59 minutes + extras
My four-year-old is a bit monster-sensitive, so I wasn't sure how this would go over in our house, but it is a BIG hit here, and is often asked for. These are all by Mike Thaler and illustrated by Jared Lee except for the last story.
- The Teacher from the Black Lagoon
- The Librarian from the Black Lagoon
- The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon
- Shrinking Violet (narrated by Calista Flockhart)
Other Features: Interviews with Mike Thaler and Jared Lee, discussion questions.
DVD #12. Miss Nelson Has a Field Day and More School Adventure Stories, 61 minutes + extras
If you're in my age-range you'll remember the Miss Nelson stories fondly from school. My children really enjoy them.
- Miss Nelson Has a Field Day
- Miss Nelson is Back!
- The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash (Steven Kellog illustrations, more memories!)
- The Dot
- Amazing Grace
Other Features: Spanish versions of The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash and Amazing Grace, discussion questions
DVD #13. Crazy Hair Day and More Funny School Adventures, 59 minutes + extras
- Crazy Hair Day - (another top pick from my 7-year-old)
- How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? (written and narrated by Jane Yolen, my four-year-old really likes this one)
- Will I Have a Friend?
Other Features: Spanish version of Monty, interview with Crazy Hair Day Author/illustrator Barney Saltzberg, discussion questions
DVD #14. So You Want to be President? And More Stories to Celebrate American History, 76 minutes + extras
We are Canadians, but there are still some great stories in this collection regardless of your nationality.
- So You Want to be President (funny, educational overview of American presidents to date)
- My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, D.C.
- Madam President
- I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote
Other Features: Interview with Lane Smith author/illustrator of Madam President, meet Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Splash authors of My Senator and Me, Presidential timeline, discussion questions.
DVD #15. The Night Before Christmas and More Classic Holiday Tales, 73 minutes
- The Night Before Christmas
- In the Month of Kislev (Hannukah)
- Seven Candles for Kwanzaa
- Too Many Tamales
- Max's Christmas
- Morris's Disappearing Bag
- The Little Drummer Boy
Other Features: Spanish version of Too Many Tamales
DVD #16. A Very Brave Witch and More Great Halloween Stories for Kids, 69 minutes
- A Very Brave Witch
- By the Light of the Halloween Moon
- A Dark, Dark Tale
- The Witch in the Cherry Tree
- The Three-Legged Cat
- The Three Robbers
- Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
DVD #17. Ralph S. Mouse Based on the Book by Beverly Cleary, 85 minutes + extras
- Ralph S. Mouse
- Stanley and the Dinosaurs (also included in the original Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics)
- Uncle Elephant
Interestingly, all of these stories are live action (Ralph is a furry puppet style mouse with a human cast) or claymation style, another favorite DVD of my oldest.
Other Features: Discussion questions
There are also some improvements that make the collection much easier to use for parents. An alphabetical index is included on a separate sheet that lists each story alphabetically, then shows the title of the collection it is included on as well as the disc number. This is so helpful when you don't have the contents of the DVDs memorized as well as your children do and they ask for a specific title!
The 100 storybooks are presented in a very compact collection of 17 DVDs, collected according to theme (or sometimes author), often with two discs to a DVD case, making this collection economical on shelf-space as well as the pocketbook!
With 19 hours+ of high-quality children's programming and over 50 children's literature awards between the collected titles, this is such a great collection! I love it when storybooks are faithfully rendered in DVD format, the content and language is much richer than you find with mainstream children's programming, and these titles are proven winners!
This collection is very diverse, whether you are a primary-level educator (we are homeschoolers, and I love the Spanish versions, captioning, and how many of the titles are classics we use as read-alouds for literature), a parent, or a grandparent looking for a great gift idea, I can only imagine that these discs will be warmly and enthusiastically received by any child in the 2 - 9 age range.
I know I've gone through the collection by DVD, but if you prefer an alphabetical story-listing (looking for a favorite tale?) then here is one for you:
All the Colors of the Earth
Bear Snores On
A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!
By the Light of the Halloween Moon
Caps for Sale
The Chinese Violin
James Marshall's Cinderella
Come On Rain!
Crazy Hair Day
A Dark, Dark Tale
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
Diary of a Fly
Diary of a Worm
Dooby Dooby Moo
Duck for President
Each Peach Pear Plum
The Emperor's New Clothes
Frog Went A-Courtin'
Giggle, Giggle, Quack
Giraffes Can't Dance
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Good Night, Gorilla
The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon
Hansel and Gretel
Happy Birthday, Moon
The Happy Lion
The Happy Owls
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?
Hush Little Baby
I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote
I Love You Like Crazy Cakes
In the Month of Kislev
In the Small, Small Pond
Is Your Mama a Llama?
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
The Librarian from the Black Lagoon
The Little Drummer Boy
The Little Match Girl
The Little Red Hen
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge
Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Miss Nelson Has a Field Day
Miss Nelson Is Back!
Morris's Disappearing Bag
My Senator and Me: A Dog's Eye View of Washington, D.C.
The Napping House
The Night Before Christmas
Over in the Meadow
Ralph S. Mouse
Reading to Your Bunny
Red Riding Hood
The Red Shoes
Seven Candles for Kwanza
Smile for Auntie
So You Want to Be President?
Stanley and the Dinosaurs
The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks
The Teacher from the Black Lagoon
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
This Land Is Your Land
The Three Little Pigs
The Three Robbers
The Three-Legged Cat
Too Many Tamales
The Ugly Duckling
A Very Brave Witch
The Wheels on the Bus
Will I Have a Friend?
The Witch in the Cherry Tree
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
Spanish versions of:
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
Duck for President
Giggle, Giggle, Quack
Is Your Mama a Llama?
Too Many Tamales
There are also the additional interviews, discussion questions etc. as listed above by DVD.