Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: Lots and Lots of Penguins!

Terrific T LOVES all things penguins so when Marshall publishing offered TOS Reviewers the choice of several educational DVDs to review, I jumped on the Lots and Lots of Penguins DVD set. When it arrived, T grabbed his penguins and we sat right down to watch.

Marshal Publishing provides "lots and lots of media fun for everyone through award-winning DVDs, Books, CDs, CD-roms, and broadcast and internet programming that will amaze, amuse, entertain, and educate." We don't watch very much TV (and don't have cable) so I had never seen there As Seen On TV "Lots and Lots" series but there really are "lots and lots" of them on topics like firetrucks, jets and planes, dolphins, rockets, and more. They also have some historical documentaries and even a couple on game shows and comedians. I liked that there was nothing questionable on their site. It is hard to find a good wholesome company anymore that doesn't cross the line with things that aren't appropriate.

So now for what we received: The Lots and Lots of Penguins DVD set, included 2 DVDs: Lots and Lots of Playful Penguins and Their Toe Tapping Happy Feet and Lots and Lots of Penguins in the Wild. There was also a bonus DVD included with the set with a catchy music video called Party Like a Penguin. The set is $19.95 and you can use the code TOS27 to get FREE shipping. It is recommended for younger kiddos but "guaranteed family fun for ages 3-93!"

T selected the  Lots and Lots of Playful Penguins and Their Toe Tapping Happy Feet one first as he loves the movie Happy Feet (clever title to grab attention!). It is 75 minutes long and was so fun to watch. It is very well made and the video is so pretty that they all three sat right down to watch. It was packed full of information about all the kinds of penguins and how they live. A cute little cartoony penguin popped up from time to time to teach us about what we were seeing or tell us what we were going to see next. I had no idea there were 17 kinds of penguins and T didn't either. I was so thankful that their website has a study guide so we could go back and look up more info on the penguins we had never heard of. Hearing about the Galapagos Penguins led us to research on the Galapagos Islands, which T had been asking me about since he read about them in a book earlier this year. I love when one study branches off into another. If I was nit-picking, I'd say that the study guide could use some serious formatting help - lol. There is SO much information there that it is hard to read on the website and with so many caps. But it wasn't hard to copy and paste it into a Word document and format it myself. There is enough information in here and on the video for a great unit study on penguins. I let T pick a couple of the penguins that were his favorite and we researched them more. It fit right in with our CC where we were learning about the classification of living things so we found how the penguins could be classified the same and different than other penguins.

Then we watched the second DVD:  Lots and Lots of Penguins in the Wild. This one is 30 minutes long and full of breathtaking video of penguins in their natural habitat. There is no talking or teaching in this video, you just get to be a silent observer into the penguin world. There is no music so you can hear natural noises. In a world where media is constantly entertaining our kids and doesn't give them 5 quiet minutes to think, this was a refreshing change for a film. How cool to let kids observe and draw their own conclusions about what it is like to be a penguin. It left them with questions we could talk about, like "Why did the penguins all get around a seal when seals eat penguins?" C is 12 and didn't love this one - but he has been so ingrained with the fast paced media that I think he couldn't just sit and watch. T liked the jumping and climbing penguins best on this video and he and P would both giggle periodically when the penguins did something silly. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the bonus Party Like a Penguin DVD. {This is also included on the first DVD.}At first, the kids looked at me funny, because it is clearly geared for younger kiddos. But then, they jumped up and started dancing WITH the penguins. It turned into a nice little workout time with a song that won't quit running through my head! According to T, "It is an animated music video where a ton of penguins come together and PARTY!" He has the whole song memorized and he and P like to do it together. It was a fun surprise ending to our afternoon of penguin time.

I also found that you can download the songs from the penguin DVD. I guess they didn't need to sell "Party Like a Penguin" as a download because everyone automatically downloads that into their BRAIN. I swear that song starts playing in my head every time I see or hear the word penguin! haha!

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Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.

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