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Storywatchers Club: Christmas (DVD)

StoryWatchers Club

6902 Hawthorn Park Dr
Indianapolis, In 46220

This DVD is for ages 5-12. It contains four stories (told by four different storytellers) and breaks between stories featuring puppet characters. It can be viewed in one sitting or one story at a time.

While storytelling itself is a timeless tradition that should be passed on to each generation, it does not work well in this medium. It works best in a live setting. The children in this video seem captivated by the storytellers. The children at my house watching the DVD were less than excited. The storytellers featured are engaging and lively and the stories amusing. But they just do not have the impact on a home viewing audience.

Between stories, the makers of this DVD have added puppet characters with an unrelated story line. This is apparently the "club." The characters here will be easier for small children to identify with--they are similar to other puppet shows. But older children will find this part of the series more of a distraction.

The production quality of Storywatchers Club is similar to what you would see on local church-produced programs. While not on a level with most PBS type programs, it is adequate for the content. The setting for the storytelling appears to be a small studio with bleacher-style audience seating.

The stories on this edition all have a Christmas theme and are filled with elves, reindeer, and, of course, Santa Claus. Each story lasts 10-15 minutes. You could use this DVD to motivate your students to make up their own stories and tell them to an audience. That is the best part of Storywatchers Club--it reminds us of a practice that unfortunately takes a back seat to other forms of entertainment today.

Product review by Bill Niceley, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, January 2008

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