Archive for July, 2007

Boring Educational Videos?…Not If They’re History’s Heroes!

Posted in Press Releases on July 30th, 2007

For Immediate Release

 

Boring Educational Videos? … Not if They’re History’s Heroes!

 

Original New DVD Series, History’s Heroes,
Makes Learning About American History Fun

 


 Initial Title in the Launch

“Patrick Henry: Quest for Freedom” Available on DVD Sept. 18, 2007

 


 

PROSSER, WA (July 30)— The accomplishments of America’s great heroes and heroines have been told over time through evolving mediums: written on parchment, printed on broadsheets, painted on canvas, published in books and newspapers, broadcast on newsreels and television, and spun around campfires. 

 

Now, in the digital 21st century, their stories are being recorded using the latest technologies. History’s Heroes, a new DVD series from American Animation Studios, launches on Sept. 18 along with its a companion web site (www.historysheroes.com), devoted exclusively to young learners.

 

 History’s Heroes series is storytelling at its best. Instead of dry dates and facts, each animated History’s Heroes DVD tells the story of a particular American hero or heroine through colorful characters who actually talk to young viewers, instead of at them. The events and values of our American heritage are brought to life with delightful humor, vivid 3-D animation, and easy-to-follow storylines — all in a format children love, understand, and can enjoy over and over.

“We are pleased to share our passion for history and combine it with our desire for high-quality family entertainment that can be educational and fun at the same time,” said Rob Mercer, co-founder of American Animations Studios, the company behind History’s Heroes.  “Our goal in creating History’s Heroes is to reveal history through inspiring stories that motivate children to learn more about our country’s rich past.”

 

In the series’ inaugural title, “Patrick Henry: Quest for Freedom,” host Boomer, a comical but charming eagle, introduces young patriots to Patrick Henry, one of the American Revolution’s most influential advocates, best known for his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. This engaging program takes viewers back to Henry’s childhood, where he preferred to while away the hours fishing and fiddling.  A chance encounter with a young Thomas Jefferson inspires him to pursue a career (self-taught) in law. 

 

Henry’s integrity and passionate belief in the colonists’ right to independence lead him to speak out against King George, denounce corrupt government officials, and crusade for the rights of his fellow Americans.  The riveting dramatization of Henry’s famous speech will keep even the youngest viewers entranced, as Boomer humorously translates Henry’s sophisticated language into simple terms anyone can understand.

 

“Patrick Henry: Quest for Freedom” shows the value of personal conviction and the influence one individual can have on the course of history.  “Along with history, we hope to help teach children the importance of living their personal values,” said Mercer.

 

Each History’s Heroes DVD  will be available for a suggested retail price of $19.95 and include a 35-minute video program, along with several bonus features:  English and Spanish subtitles, a behind-the-scenes look at how the program was made, and access to the History’s Heroes web site for profiles of other heroes and heroines, homework help, and much more.

 

The company will also release an Education Edition of each DVD, which will include all that is on the consumer plus the 12 minute “featurette” of Patrick Henry’s famous appearance and speech at the Legislative Assembly in Virginia, a discussion guide, student quizzes, classroom projects, and other teaching resources. This expanded Education Edition retails for $39.95.

 

History’s Heroes is recommended for ages eight and older.  The second title in the series “Paul Revere: Midnight Rideis scheduled for release in November 2007.  Beginning in 2008, American Animation Studios plans to release two to four History’s Heroes DVDs each year, featuring such heroes and heroines as Frederick Douglass, Annie Oakley, Amelia Earhart, and others.

 

Fun activities, profiles of American heroes and heroines, additional information about our country’s history, and homework help can be found at http://www.historysheroes.com.  To order History’s Heroes call 1-866-401-HERO (401-4376) or visit www.americananimationstudios.com

 

About American Animation Studios
American Animation Studios was founded by Rob Mercer and John Derrick after they went searching for entertaining yet educational videos for their school-age children. Surprised by the lack of options on American history, the two dads decided to fill the need by re-creating the stories of American heroes and heroines in 3-D animation. The result is History’s Heroes, a DVD series and web site for children, ages 8 and up. Along with the realism of 3-D animation, the DVDs are characterized by spoken narration, original soundtracks, and the voices of professional actors — all to enhance the learning value for classrooms and the viewing appeal for families.

 

 

 

 

Press Information:         Andrea Blain
Andrea Blain Public Relations
9750 Crawford Ave.
Skokie, IL  60076
Phone:  847-933-9884
Fax: 847-673-5836
andrea@andreablainpr.com

 

 

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PBS Emmy Award-Winning “Stories of the American Puppet” Documentary Comes to DVD This Sept.

Posted in Press Releases on July 30th, 2007

 

For Immediate Release

 

Emmy® Award-Winning
‘Stories of The American Puppet’

 


 Delightful Documentary Will ‘String’ You Along

Through the Fascinating History of American Puppetry

 

Available on DVD Sept. 18, 2007 from Mazzarella Media

 

BRISTOL, CT (July 30) – Howdy Doody.  Charlie McCarthy.  Lamb Chop.  Kermit.  These are some of the most notable names in entertainment.  They are some of the most endearing characters, beloved by millions.  And they all are puppets.  All part of a distinguished and highly cherished art form spanning an incredible 300 years.  Now you can discover the fascinating and colorful history of puppetry in America in the engaging documentary “Stories of The American Puppet,” available on DVD Sept. 18, 2007 from Mazzarella Media.

 

Produced and directed by Mark Mazzarella, who also co-wrote the documentary with his brother Tony Mazzarella, “Stories of The American Puppet” originally aired on PBS and won an Emmy® in 2001 for Outstanding Writing.  Narrated by Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years), “Stories of The American Puppet” brings the story of American puppetry to life through archival film, rare photographs, historical reenactments, insightful interviews, and in depth profiles of some of the most influential puppeteers of the 20th century, including Jim Henson, Shari Lewis, Paul Winchell and Edgar Bergen.  Suggested retail price for the 58-minute DVD is $19.95.

 

“The art of puppetry has made a huge impact on American entertainment and our cultural heritage,” said Mark Mazzarella, the brainchild behind the project.  “But people also need to know that there’s an artistry and special  talent involved from designing puppets and conceptualizing their personalities, to manipulation of their movements and to storylines that are unique to the puppets’ personalities.  That’s what ‘Stories of The American Puppet’ is all about.”

 

 This expansive documentary chronicles puppetry evolution from the 18th-century street puppets Punch and Joan (later better known as Punch and Judy) to the 20th-century Muppets, highlighting many of the puppeteer masters and classic characters that have shaped American culture.  The film beautifully illustrates the passion behind the art of puppetry and how the masters of the craft have constantly and fervently striven to raise the level of performance and create a truly iconic theatrical experience.

 

Beloved ventriloquist, puppeteer, performer and host of her own television shows and award-winning videos, Shari Lewis, gives her last interview and shares her belief that “You can only really bring to life a puppet that is a facet of you.  You have to let the puppet tell you if it wants to talk.  Maybe the answer to longevity is the truth of the character.” Lewis, who passed away in 1998, created some of the most well known and loved puppet characters including Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy.

 

Other puppeteer masters profiled include Tony Sarg, German-American puppeteer and illustrator who has been referred to as "America’s Puppet Master" and as the father of modern puppetry in North America; Edgar Bergen, actor, radio performer and ventriloquist, best known for his performances with sidekick Charlie McCarthy (and father of Candice Bergen, Boston Legal, Murphy Brown);  Robert Emil Schmidt, a.k.a. “Buffalo Bob” Smith, host of the iconic 1950’s Howdy Doody children’s show; Paul Winchell, ventriloquist, creator of Jerry Mahony and Knucklehead Smiff and early television pioneer; and  Jim Henson, film director, television producer, creator of The Muppets and perhaps the most widely known American puppeteer in modern American television history.

 

“Jim felt he could reach people in a very universal way,” reminisces interviewee Jane Henson about her late husband’s work with modern puppetry.  “He wanted to be someone who made a difference.”

 

Additional interviews include Bart Roccoberton, University of Connecticut Puppet Arts; Margo Rose, former Tony Sarg puppeteer; Allen G. Cook, noted puppet collector; John Bell, professor of theatre, Emerson College; Steve Abrams, president, Puppeteers of America; and Vincent Anthony, founder, Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta.

 

“We are delighted to present many of the performances in their entirety on the bonus extras section of the DVD,” said Mazzarella. 

 

To order “Stories of The American Puppet” call 1-800-583-1988 or visit www.mazz.com.

 

About Mazzarella Media

Mazzarella Media is an Emmy award-winning company that develops products to foster the fun and excitement of learning.  Their products are designed to get kids thinking about themselves and the world around them and to enhance intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth by stimulating the imagination, nurturing creativity and developing a love for learning.  The company has released a multitude of programs including the multi-awarding-winning children’s Monkeydoos fitness DVD series, Potty Power!, which teaches children potty training in an engaging musical format; and several titles in the Thinkeroo line of science programs including Spacetrekkers, Rock Finders and Bio Trackers.  Their educational division recently released Exploring Our Past: Native Peoples of North America, an engrossing five-part DVD series narrated by Grammy® award-winning singer-songwriter Joanne Shenandoah, which introduces young viewers to the many Native American tribes that have lived in the vastly diverse regions of the country

 

 

Extras on “Stories of The American Puppet” DVD
 include expanded footage of these performances:

 

 

·        Tony Sarg’s Stonehenge Circus: Tony Sarg produced a series of animated shorts Tony Sarg’s Almanac, which featured prehistoric silhouetted characters using stop action.  Sarg offered a different take on the relationship between prehistoric man and their animal counterparts in The First Circus (1921). The film’s intertitle announces, "In 1871 P.T. Barnum started his now world famous circus . . .but he was small potatoes compared to Stonehenge Circus 30,009 years ago." The audience watches as anachronistic acrobats wielding sticks use a dinosaur for a trampoline and a tightrope.

 

·        Tony Sarg’s Arabian Nights: Marionette show

 

·        Margo and Rufus Rose Films: "Treasure Island", "Rip Van Winkle",  Marionette Shows

 

·        Remo Bufano Performance: This performance was at UCLA. Bufano used 9 foot tall rod puppets. The most spectacularly prominent art-theatre puppeteer was Remo Bufano, who emerged. from New York’s little theatre movement to create not only art-theatre but included large puppets.

 

·        Thomas Edison’s "Dancing Chinamen:" An 1898 Edison film, Dancing Chinamen-Marionettes, consists of one scene — a stage set on which are two marionettes on strings next to each other. During the brief film, the marionettes are pulled up by strings above, then quickly let down until they sit on the ground doing splits, pulled up, let down, pulled up, let down, and so on. This movement within the static shot creates an image of a strangely multijointed body, a body that is definitely "foreign" -coded as "Chinese." Such a mobile body, whose limbs seem to be able to perform physically impossible feats, reveals a strange fascination with precisely this kind of "strange" body and, at the same time, a considerable aggression. After all, the marionettes are on strings, moved by an invisible hand.

 

·        Shari Lewis: Shari Lewis & Lamb Chop "Christmas" Show they sing Jingle Bells

 

·        Howdy Doody: Howdy Doody Theme Song and Howdy sings a Friend Song

 

·        Paul Winchel: performs on a variety show with Jerry Mahoney,

 

·        Rootie Kazootie Club: Piece of the Rootie Kazootie show:If you’re a babyboomer kid like me, who grew up watching television in the 1950’s, you’ll remember the name ROOTIE KAZOOTIE, almost as well as you know your own name. It’s a memory flash to our childhood past, and images of a by-gone era, lost and forgotten in time, when puppets and their human hosts first dominated the Saturday morning air waves, all at the start of  the Golden Age of Television. 

 

·        Bur Tillstrom’s "Berlin Wall": Although he is most closely identified with Kukla, Fran and Ollie, Tillstrom was featured on the series That Was The Week That Was (TW3) in 1964 without the Kuklapolitans. He won a special Emmy award for a hand-ballet symbolizing the emotional conflicts caused by the Berlin Wall crisis. His work on TW3 was cited by the George Foster Peabody committee which, in 1965, decided to recognize distinguished individual achievements rather than general program categories after chiding the radio and television industry for "a dreary sameness and steady conformity" in its programming.

 

·        Kukla, Fran and Ollie: Excerpt from the TV show: Sing a love song

 

·        Foodini The Great: Excerpt from the TV show: Foodini began his career in 1948 on a show called "Lucky Pup." In one episode Foodini the magician tried to swindle a dog that had received a large inheritance. He became so popular that the series’ name was changed to "Foodini the Great." Foodini was assisted by his inept assistant, Pinhead. The show was performed live for 15 minutes Monday through Saturday and ran from 8/23/48 through 6/23/51.

 

·        Bil Baird’s "Life with Snarky Parker": Excerpt: LIFE WITH SNARKY PARKER/CBS/1950, an earlier marionette show created by the Bairds. Snarky Parker was a deputy sheriff of a western town of Hot Rock during the 1850s. With the aid of his talking horse Heathcliffe, he rid the town of Hot Rock of such dangerous critters as Ronald Rodent and Blackie McGoo. Additional characters included Cuda Barra, a siren; Miss Butterball, the school marm; Slugger, the Hot Rock Cafe piano player; Noose Nolan, a reformed desperado; and Fluff Webster, his partner.

 

####

 

 

Press Information:         Andrea Blain Public Relations

                                    9750 Crawford Ave.

                                    Skokie, IL  60076

                                    Phone:  847-933-9884

                                    Fax: 847-673-5836

                                    andrea@andreablainpr.com

 

 

“Kids Love Spanish” Comes to DVD This September for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted in Press Releases on July 30th, 2007

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Contact:  Andrea Blain

Andrea Blain Public Relations

andrea@andreablainpr.com

847-933-9884

For Immediate Release

 

¡Bienvenidos al Mundo Maravilloso de Español!

 (Hey Kids, That Means Welcome to the Wonderful World of Spanish!)
 

 Award-Winning ‘Kids Love SpanishDVD Series

Helps Kids Learn World’s Third Most Spoken Language

 Arrives in Stores Sept. 4 for National Hispanic Heritage Month
 Named One of Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Products for Summer 2007
 < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />SCOTTSDALE, AZ (Aug. 1) – September is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich Hispanic culture.  What better time to introduce your children to the value and benefit of developing a second language, especially one spoken by over 400 million people?  It’s never been easier thanks to the new award-winning Kids Love Spanish DVD series arriving in stores Sept. 4 from Brock Sisters Productions.
 The DVD just was named one of Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Products for 2007
 Recent studies have shown that learning a second language – especially one as widely used as Spanish – before the age of six helps children read sooner, develop advanced cognitive and problem solving abilities, become more creative, have higher levels of self-confidence and acquire a rewarding skill that will last a lifetime.  What parent wouldn’t want to give their child such a powerful and advantageous gift?  And do so through a fun, festive and easy-to-use tool like Kids Love Spanish?
             Developed by Krisse Brock Kelly and Julie Brock Campbell, sisters and moms, Kids Love Spanish teaches the basics of the language involving words and phrases children use everyday.  By using valuable teaching tools such as repetition, colorful graphics and engaging music, not to mention the infectious enthusiasm of its hosts and the recognition of watching kids their own age speak the language, these DVDs – seven in all – provide children with the essential building blocks for Spanish language development.
             “Knowing a second language has given my children greater overall confidence and has really boosted their creativity,” said Campbell, who, along with her sister, studied Spanish throughout school and studied abroad in Mexico and Chile.  Added Kelly, “Because we couldn’t find a dynamic Spanish series that engaged the entire family, we created our own!”
 The Kids Love Spanish DVD series includes:
·         Volume 1:  Basic Words – Focuses on everyday words children can use right away.  Parents will be amazed at how fast their kids will pick up the language.
·         Volume 2:  Alphabet and Numbers – Teaches the ABC’s and 123’s in Spanish.  They’ll enjoy singing right along and joining in the fun of learning.
·         Volume 3:  Family – Teaches children how to say important family names.  Mom, Dad and other family members will be impressed when the young ones address them in Spanish.
·         Volume 4:  Food – Introduces the different names of foods.  Deliciously fun and educational.
·         Volume 5:  Colors and Shapes – Teaches how to refer to all different shapes and colors. 
·         Volume 6:  Animals – Live footage of animals from the Phoenix Zoo brings this lesson to life!
·         Volume 7:  Basic Phrases – Advanced lessons about key phrases for bilingual communication.
  Kids Love Spanish has received the Dove Foundation’s Family Approved Seal, a Telly Award for outstanding production, Platinum Award from Family Review Center for overall excellence in creation, development, and production (the first video to receive the Platinum Award), and The Parenting Site GOLD Seal Award from American Baby Contest for Kids Love Spanish’s high-quality website, which is family-friendly, easy to navigate, and well designed. 
 Kids Love Spanish DVDs are 30 minutes each and recommended for ages two and older.  The series, distributed by Big Kids, is available in a special boxed set for $99.99.  Individual titles are $17.99 each.  To order, call 1-800-477-7811 or visit www.bigkidsvideo.com.  For more information about Kids Love Spanish visit www.kidslovespanish.com. 
 

About Krisse Brock Kelly and Julie Brock Campbell

Sisters Krisse Brock Kelly and Julie Brock Campbell grew up in the border town El Centro, California, where they were exposed to Spanish everyday. Both took Spanish throughout high school and continued their studies while abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Krisse was a foreign exchange student in Santiago, Chile and received her BA in Political Science from UCLA with an emphasis in Education.  She got her Teaching Credential and a Masters in Bilingual Education from UCSB and then taught bilingual education in grades K-4.  Krisse also has a Masters in Administration and Credentials in Administration.  She also served as a bilingual assistant Principal in Southern California.  Julie went to the University of Arizona where she studied media arts and Spanish and then worked in the broadcasting and computer industry where her expertise in Spanish was used frequently. Julie taught her four sons Spanish from the time they were babies.  She and her husband live in Phoenix.

 
# # #
 Distributed by:               Big Kids, www.bigkidsvideo.com, 1-800-477-7811
 Press Information:         Andrea Blain
Andrea Blain Public Relations
                                    9750 Crawford Ave.
                                    Skokie, IL  60076
                                    Phone:  847-933-9884
Fax: 847-673-5836
                                    andrea@andreablainpr.com
 # # #

“Kids Love Spanish” Comes to DVD This September for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted in Press Releases on July 30th, 2007

 

Contact:  Andrea Blain

Andrea Blain Public Relations

andrea@andreablainpr.com

847-933-9884

For Immediate Release

 

¡Bienvenidos al Mundo Maravilloso de Español!

 

(Hey Kids, That Means Welcome to the Wonderful World of Spanish!)

 


 Award-Winning ‘Kids Love SpanishDVD Series

Helps Kids Learn World’s Third Most Spoken Language

 

Arrives in Stores Sept. 4 for National Hispanic Heritage Month

 

Named One of Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Products for Summer 2007

 

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (Aug. 1) – September is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich Hispanic culture.  What better time to introduce your children to the value and benefit of developing a second language, especially one spoken by over 400 million people?  It’s never been easier thanks to the new award-winning Kids Love Spanish™ DVD series arriving in stores Sept. 4 from Brock Sisters Productions.

 

The DVD just was named one of Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Products for 2007

 

Recent studies have shown that learning a second language – especially one as widely used as Spanish – before the age of six helps children read sooner, develop advanced cognitive and problem solving abilities, become more creative, have higher levels of self-confidence and acquire a rewarding skill that will last a lifetime.  What parent wouldn’t want to give their child such a powerful and advantageous gift?  And do so through a fun, festive and easy-to-use tool like Kids Love Spanish?

 

            Developed by Krisse Brock Kelly and Julie Brock Campbell, sisters and moms, Kids Love Spanish teaches the basics of the language involving words and phrases children use everyday.  By using valuable teaching tools such as repetition, colorful graphics and engaging music, not to mention the infectious enthusiasm of its hosts and the recognition of watching kids their own age speak the language, these DVDs – seven in all – provide children with the essential building blocks for Spanish language development.

 

            “Knowing a second language has given my children greater overall confidence and has really boosted their creativity,” said Campbell, who, along with her sister, studied Spanish throughout school and studied abroad in Mexico and Chile.  Added Kelly, “Because we couldn’t find a dynamic Spanish series that engaged the entire family, we created our own!”

 

The Kids Love Spanish DVD series includes:
·         Volume 1:  Basic Words – Focuses on everyday words children can use right away.  Parents will be amazed at how fast their kids will pick up the language.
·         Volume 2:  Alphabet and Numbers – Teaches the ABC’s and 123’s in Spanish.  They’ll enjoy singing right along and joining in the fun of learning.
·         Volume 3:  Family – Teaches children how to say important family names.  Mom, Dad and other family members will be impressed when the young ones address them in Spanish.
·         Volume 4Food – Introduces the different names of foods.  Deliciously fun and educational.
·         Volume 5:  Colors and Shapes – Teaches how to refer to all different shapes and colors. 
·         Volume 6:  Animals – Live footage of animals from the Phoenix Zoo brings this lesson to life!
·         Volume 7:  Basic Phrases – Advanced lessons about key phrases for bilingual communication.

 

 

Kids Love Spanish has received the Dove Foundation’s Family Approved Seal, a Telly Award for outstanding production, Platinum Award from Family Review Center for overall excellence in creation, development, and production (the first video to receive the Platinum Award), and The Parenting Site GOLD Seal Award from American Baby Contest for Kids Love Spanish’s high-quality website, which is family-friendly, easy to navigate, and well designed. 

 

Kids Love Spanish DVDs are 30 minutes each and recommended for ages two and older.  The series, distributed by Big Kids, is available in a special boxed set for $99.99.  Individual titles are $17.99 each.  To order, call 1-800-477-7811 or visit www.bigkidsvideo.com.  For more information about Kids Love Spanish visit www.kidslovespanish.com

 

About Krisse Brock Kelly and Julie Brock Campbell

Sisters Krisse Brock Kelly and Julie Brock Campbell grew up in the border town El Centro, California, where they were exposed to Spanish everyday. Both took Spanish throughout high school and continued their studies while abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Krisse was a foreign exchange student in Santiago, Chile and received her BA in Political Science from UCLA with an emphasis in Education.  She got her Teaching Credential and a Masters in Bilingual Education from UCSB and then taught bilingual education in grades K-4.  Krisse also has a Masters in Administration and Credentials in Administration.  She also served as a bilingual assistant Principal in Southern California.  Julie went to the University of Arizona where she studied media arts and Spanish and then worked in the broadcasting and computer industry where her expertise in Spanish was used frequently. Julie taught her four sons Spanish from the time they were babies.  She and her husband live in Phoenix.

 
# # #

 

Distributed by:               Big Kids, www.bigkidsvideo.com, 1-800-477-7811

 

Press Information:         Andrea Blain
Andrea Blain Public Relations
                                    9750 Crawford Ave.
                                    Skokie, IL  60076
                                    Phone:  847-933-9884
Fax: 847-673-5836
                                    andrea@andreablainpr.com

 

# # #

“Wilbur” TV Show ‘Moooves’ Children to Read During Sept.’s National Literacy Month

Posted in Press Releases on July 24th, 2007

Contact:  Andrea Blain

Andrea Blain Public Relations

andrea@andreablainpr.com

847-933-9884

For Immediate Release

 

‘Wilbur’ ‘Moooves’ Children to Read

During September’s National Literacy Month

with Debut of New Episodes on Discovery Kids’ READY SET LEARN! Block of Preschool Programming

 

Also in September READY SET LEARN! Airs New Episodes of 

‘Peep and the Big Wide World’ with an Episode Voiced by Holly Hunter,’

‘Bigfoot Presents: Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks,’ ‘Hip Hop Harry’ and ‘Toddworld’

 

New York – (July 24, 2007) — Old MacDonald never had a farm like this!  During September’s National Literacy Month, preschoolers are in for a “moovelous” time when Discovery Kids welcomes five all-new episodes of WILBUR, the popular TV series inspired by three moms and designed to inspire a love of reading and books.  With a nostalgic red barn as a backdrop, a loveable crew of barnyard animals, and cutting-edge puppetry techniques, Discovery Kids gets a jump-start on teaching early literacy skills to preschoolers as WILBUR, an enthusiastic calf, and helps show young viewers that reading and books are fun.

 

WILBUR debuted in April as part of Discovery Kids Channel’s READY SET LEARN!, a multi- award-winning, commercial-free programming block for preschoolers.  New episodes of WILBUR will air the week of September 10 in conjunction with National Literacy Month. WILBUR is seen at 11:00 AM (ET) on Discovery Kids and 7:30 AM (ET/PT) on TLC.

 

 Also during the week of September 10, READY SET LEARN! will feature all-new episodes of PEEP AND THE BIG WIDE WORLD (with an episode voiced by Academy Award® Winner Holly Hunter),  BIGFOOT PRESENTS: METEOR AND THE MIGHTY MONSTER TRUCKS, HIP HOP HARRY and TODDWORLD. READY SET LEARN! airs weekdays from 9 AM – 2 PM (ET) on Discovery Kids and from 6 – 9 AM (ET/PT) on TLC.

 

The entire week of premieres is geared toward helping children learn about teamwork, listening, and problem-solving, among other important topics, by promoting optimism, persistence and resilience.  

 

WILBUR was conceived by Jill Luedtke, Kim Anton and Tracey Hornbuckle, three moms who saw a need to enhance early literacy skills among young children. The moms were inspired by a visit to a Utah farm where they met an adorable little calf named “Wilbur.” They wanted to help lay a foundation for reading and felt that a barnyard with charming animal characters was the perfect setting.

 

 “WILBUR’ s simple story lines and subtle messages that reading books is fun and that books are filled with lots of exciting information, encourages children to develop a lifelong love of learning,” say mom creators Jill Luedtke, Kim Anton and Tracey Hornbuckle. “We want children to associate reading with pleasure, which we know is a powerful motivating factor as they learn to read.”

 

In each episode, Wilbur and his barnyard buddies Dasha, an inquisitive duck; Ray, a flashy and opinionated rooster; and Libby, a sweet two-year-old lamb, find themselves in a new situation or dilemma. Wilbur knows that books are full of ideas and that they can help the barnyard buddies solve the problem. Wilbur then takes kids through the process of reading an actual storybook.

 

 From the moment his hoof scans the words, “Once upon a time…,” the story literally comes to life, transporting viewers into an animated world. As Wilbur continues to narrate and turn each page, kids follow along as the storybook characters face a dilemma similar to the one back in the barnyard. For example, Wilbur and Ray want to play the Great Shapes Game with Libby but she doesn’t know how to match shapes.  Oh no!  Thankfully, help is on the way.  The Zoo Keeper’s daughter in Wilbur’s book demonstrates how to match shapes while working to plug the hole of her thirsty giraffe’s water bucket.  Now, Libby is ready to match and play!

 

WILBUR was created in consultation with early childhood experts with the goals of helping young children increase their print recognition, oral vocabulary and listening comprehension. The series helps children develop the patterns, flow and nature of written language. The technique of seeing actual storybook text helps kids learn that the print on a page symbolizes words, that the words tell a story and that the pictures help represent what the words are saying. Kids will learn that books are read from left to right, top to bottom, and that if they want to find out what comes next, all they have to do is turn the page. 

 

In each story, Wilbur’s book is retold by real kids in order to help the barnyard pals find the answers to their problems.  Retelling each story also helps develop the early literacy skills of sequencing, story structure, identifying concepts and making inferences. And, finally, WILBUR helps reinforce that books are loaded with information that can help solve problems and shed new light on everyday situations.

 

WILBUR is a production of Mercury Filmworks, in association with Chilco Productions, EKA Distribution, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Discovery Kids. For Discovery Kids, Amy Sprecher, who brought WILBUR into the network, and Erin Wanner are executive producers. Marjorie Kaplan is the executive in charge of production.

READY SET LEARN! is an award-winning, commercial-free programming block with a curriculum that acknowledges preschoolers’ innate curiosity and is designed to foster optimism and resilience in their expanding exploration of the world.  It airs on both TLC and the Discovery Kids Channel.  Discovery Kids Channel lets kids of all ages (from preschoolers to tweens and teens) explore their world from their point of view.  This 24-hour digital cable channel provides entertaining, engaging, and high-quality real-world programming that kids enjoy and parents trust.  Every day, kids can learn about science, adventure, exploration and natural history through documentaries, reality shows, scripted dramas and animated stories.  Garnering multiple Emmys as well as awards for quality children’s television, Discovery Kids is committed to satisfying kids’ natural curiosity about… well… everything.

 

 

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“Kids Love Spanish” DVD Series Named One of Dr. Toy’s Best Products Summer 2007

Posted in Press Releases on July 7th, 2007

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (July 9, 2007) – The delightful new Kids Love Spanish™ DVD series was just named one of Dr. Toy’s Best Products for Summer 2007.  It was announced today by Krisse Brock Kelly and Julie Brock Campbell, producers of the series, which teaches the basics of the language involving words and phrases children use everyday.

 

Recent studies have shown that learning a second language – especially one as widely used as Spanish – before the age of six helps children read sooner, develop advanced cognitive and problem solving abilities, become more creative, have higher levels of self-confidence and acquire a rewarding skill that will last a lifetime.  What parent wouldn’t want to give their child such a powerful and advantageous gift?  And do so through a fun, festive and easy-to-use tool like Kids Love Spanish?

 

Kids Love Spanish uses valuable teaching tools such as repetition, colorful graphics, engaging music, the recognition of kids their own age speaking the language, and the infectious enthusiasm of its hosts.  These DVDs – seven in all – provide children with the essential building blocks for Spanish language development. Individual titles are “Volume 1:  Basic Words,” “Volume 2:  Alphabet and Numbers,” “Volume 3:  Family,” “Volume 4:  Food,” “Volume 5:  Colors and Shapes,” “Volume 6:  Animals,” and “Volume 7:  Basic Phrases.”

 

The titles will be in stores Sept. 4, just in time for September’s National Hispanic Heritage Month.

 

Dr. Toy’s Vest Products Summer 2007 was developed by noted child development authority, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (aka “Dr. Toy”) as a service to consumers who desire to purchase educationally-oriented, safe, affordable, and stimulating toys and products for children.

 

Kids Love Spanish has also received the Dove Foundation’s Family Approved Seal, a Telly Award for outstanding production, Platinum Award from Family Review Center for overall excellence in creation, development, and production (the first video to receive the Platinum Award), and The Parenting Site GOLD Seal Award from American Baby Contest for Kids Love Spanish’s high-quality website, which is family-friendly, easy to navigate, and well designed. 

 

Kids Love Spanish DVDs are approximately 30 minutes each and recommended for ages two and older.  The series, distributed by Big Kids, is available in a special boxed set for $99.99.  Individual titles are $17.99 each.  To order call 1-800-477-7811 or visit www.bigkidsvideo.com.  For more information about Kids Love Spanish visit www.kidslovespanish.com

 

About Krisse Brock Kelly and Julie Brock Campbell

Sisters Krisse Brock Kelly and Julie Brock Campbell grew up in the border town El Centro, California, where they were exposed to Spanish everyday. Both took Spanish throughout high school and continued their studies while abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico.  Krisse was a foreign exchange student in Santiago, Chile and received her BA in Political Science from UCLA with an emphasis in Education.  She got her Teaching Credential and a Masters in Bilingual Education from UCSB and then taught bilingual education in grades K-4.  Krisse also has a Masters in Administration and Credentials in Administration.  She also served as a bilingual assistant Principal in Southern California.  She and her husband live in Phoenix with their son.  Julie went to the University of Arizona where she studied media arts and Spanish and then worked in the broadcasting and computer industry where her expertise in Spanish was used frequently. Julie taught her four sons Spanish from the time they were babies.  She lives in Phoenix with her husband and four boys.

 

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Contact:  Andrea Blain

Andrea Blain Public Relations

andrea@andreablainpr.com

847-933-9884