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King Otis and the Kingdom of Goode: A Tale of Difference DVD Review by Dr. Anne Margaret Wright

So Smart! Productions
320 N. High Street, 3rd Floor
West Chester, PA 19380

Scott and Alex Tornek started So Smart! Productions because of their frustration with the lack of developmentally appropriate, educational and interesting movies for young children. The King Otis and the Kingdom of Goode series is designed to teach children ages 3 to 6 important life lessons including sharing, patience and understanding differences. I reviewed A Tale of Difference DVD ($14.95) which is a delightful 30-minute movie about a cute elephant named Lollybird who is different from the other elephants because she has the body of an elephant, but has legs like those of a bird. The other elephants don't want to play with her because she is different, but in the end, her unique legs help her solve a problem and win the friendship of the elephants.

There are many things about this video that make it worthy of your consideration if you have children in this age-range. First, the graphics are colorful, engaging, and at a slower pace than many movies, which allows young children more time to process the information. The music is engaging and fun, without being silly. The lesson is well presented throughout the story with songs to reinforce the learning. There are some nice special features including Draw the Character lessons, an Animation Gallery, coloring pages, and music videos of two songs from the movie. My children enjoyed watching the movie and asked for more, which tells me that it was effective at engaging their interest. The boys jumped up and danced during the catchy songs, which was great!

All of us are different in so many ways, but we are also much more alike than different. Helping children understand the differences in others, and the unique value that can come from those differences, is not an easy lesson. As the adoptive family of three beautiful children with Down syndrome, we have seen firsthand some of the challenges children, and unfortunately adults, often have when confronted with someone who is "different." I think A Tale of Difference does a great job of helping children see that everyone is special, even if they are "different" from us!

-Product review by: Dr. Anne Margaret Wright, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC