If you are looking for award-winning books, you might choose those that have won the Caldecott medal. The Caldecott is awarded to outstanding books illustrated by authors from the United States that exhibit original artwork and are published in English. The Caldecott has been awarded since 1938. Most likely, some of your favorites are on the list.
Scholastic has taken the list of Caldecott winners and turned many of those terrific books into read-along stories using the illustrations from the books and making them come to life. Fancy camera work or careful animation, done without taking anything away from the original book illustrations, make these stories fun to watch. Terrific narrations make them fun to hear. My children enjoy hearing a new voice tell them these oh-so-familiar stories. What a treat!
This collection of stories includes three different disks and a total of 20 stories. They include:
- THE SNOWY DAY (Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, narrated by Jane Harvey) One winter morning Peter wakes up to see that show is covering everything in the city. What exciting adventures will he have on this snowy day? (Also in Spanish!)
- WHISTLE FOR WILLIE (Written and illustrated by Ezra jack Keats, narrated by Jane Harvey) Wouldn’t it be great if Peter could whistle for his dog, Willie? He tries hard, but he can’t make a sound. (Also in Spanish!)
- PETER’S CHAIR (Written and illustrated by Ezra jack Keats, narrated by Loretta Long) A little sister means big trouble for Peter – his parents paint his cradle pink, and then they paint his crib! But they won’t paint Peter’s chair!
- PET SHOW (Written and Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, narrated by Terry Alexander) Archie wants to enter his cat in the neighborhood pet show, but the cat has vanished! What will he do?
- A LETTER TO AMY (Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, narrated by Loretta Long) Peter is having a birthday party and he sends a special invitation to a special friend. Will Amy show up?
- THE TRIP (Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, narrated by Charles Turner) Louie moves to a new neighborhood and he is lonely without his friends. He enters a magical world of imagination and flies back to his old home.
- APT. 3 (Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, narrated by Charles Turner) One rainy day, Sam hears the sad sounds of a harmonica. He searches the building to find the source and meets a new friend.
“The Snowy Day” was already a familiar story for our family. We have read it repeatedly while using the Five in a Row curriculum. Scholastic took the story and added some additional flavor. We loved it!
Make Way for Ducklings… and more delightful duck stories
- MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS (Written and Illustrated by Robert McCloskey) In this beloved children’s classic, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard look for the perfect spot to raise their young, and find it in the most unlikely place. (Also in Spanish!)
- THE STORY ABOUT PING (By Marjorie Flack, Illustrated by Kurt Wiese) A young duck gets separated from his family, and meets a new friend. The two search for Ping’s family and they set off on a series of exciting adventures together.
- THE UGLY DUCKLING (By Hans Christian Andersen, Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, Narrated by Lynn Whitfield) Only a mother could love this ugliest of ducklings who is teased for his awkward appearance. But seasons change – and so does he – into a graceful swan.
- ANGUS AND THE DUCKS (Live Action – based on the book by Marjorie Flack) What’s making all of that noise on the other side of the hedge? When the door to Angus’s house is left open, this curious pup gets his chance to find out.
- CAT AND CANARY (Written and Illustrated by Michael Foreman) While his owner is away at work, Cat’s unlikely friend Canary shows him a great time.
- WINGS: A TALE OF TWO CHICKENS (Written and Illustrated by James Marshall) Winnie unknowingly goes on a balloon ride with a sly fox. Can sensible Harriet rescue her?
On this disk, our favorite was difficult to choose. We have read “Make Way for Ducklings”, “The Story About Ping”, and the “Ugly Duckling” so many times, the children could probably tell you the stories themselves. However, it was “Angus and the Ducks” that caught their attention. This story is filmed live action and features a live Scottie dog and real ducks. The music and the narration made the story even more exciting and fun. My children loved it!
Antarctic Antics… and more hilarious animal stories
- ANTARCTIC ANTICS (By Judy Sierra, Illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey, Narrated by Diana Canova and Raul Malo) Sing along with a chick as she grows up and learns about life on a penguin colony in Antarctica.
- IN THE SMALL, SMALL POND (Written and Illustrated by Denise Fleming, Narrated by Laura Dern) The natural beauty of animal life in a pond is depicted through striking illustrations and bewitching blends of words and sounds.
- BEAR SNORES ON (Written and Narrated by Karma Wilson, Illustrated by Jane Chapman) Some animals stop by a cave to warm up from the snow. They drink tea and eat popcorn, but Bear just snores on. What will Bear do when he wakes up to a lair of noisy guests?
- BARK, GEORGE (Written and Illustrated by Jules Feiffer, Narrated by John Lithgow) When George, a dog, is told to bark he says “meow” and “quack-quack” and “oink” and “moo.” Can the vet help George get his bark back?
- CAPS FOR SALE (Written and Illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina, Narrated by Owen Jordan) A peddler falls asleep under a tree and awakens to find that all of his colorful caps are gone. How can he get them back from the mischievous monkeys?
- THE HAT (Written and Illustrated by Tomi Ungerer) A magical hat with a mind of its own goes on daring rescues and changes the life of a penniless man.
- THE LITTLE RED LIGHTHOUSE AND THE GREAT GRAY BRIDGE (Written by Hildegarde H. Swift, Illustrated by Lynd Ward, Narrated by David de Vries) A lighthouse that learns that you can still be important even if you are small.
Our family was already familiar with several of these stories. However, we loved the way Scholastic brought “Bark, George” to life. The sound effects, animations and funny music made this story a delight!
Scholastic Storybook Treasures has repeatedly created terrific stories, brought to life by clever camera work or animation, talented narrators, added sound effects and background or accompaniment music. There is no substitute for reading to your children. Scholastic offers an addition to your story time by bringing in familiar stories with a new narrator and some added zing. My children love to have me read to them and will return to that tradition endlessly. But there is something new and different that excites them when someone else reads to them. Scholastic has done a terrific job!
The Read Along feature is available on each of the three disks in this collection. Read Along can be turned on or off, but I recommend you leave it on, especially if you have early readers. The words appear on the screen and are highlighted as the narrator reads them. Hearing the words and seeing them in print helps kids make the connection between the sight of the word and the sound of the word, facilitating early reading skills. Wonderful!
BUY IT! This collection of Caldecott Favorites is available at many book or video retailers or from Scholastic’s web shop. It retails for $24.95. Each disk is also available individually for $14.95 each.
If you love these books, check out some of the other timely resources from Scholastic.
You won’t regret adding these to your video collection!
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