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The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! . . . and More Animal Adventures DVD Review by April Elstrom

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New York, NY 10012

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka, is one of my children's favorite picture books. So, of course, we were looking forward to viewing the Scholastic Storybook Treasures Read-Along version of the book. We didn't expect to enjoy the other four stories almost as much as the wolf's version of the three little pigs story, but we did. This DVD actually introduced us to three new stories, with Wallace's Lists being my second favorite.

This Storybook Treasures DVD from Scholastic includes five children's stories that are geared for ages 3 through 8. The actual illustrations from the books have been animated in a simple fashion that helps bring the story to life. Each story also has a musical soundtrack behind the narration.

The five stories included on this DVD are:

•  The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! -- by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith, narrated by Paul Giamatti

•  The Pigs' Wedding -- written and illustrated by Elme Heine

•  Henry Builds a Cabin -- written and illustrated by D. B. Johnson, narrated by James Naughton

•  Wallace's Lists -- by Barbara Bottner and Gerald Kruglik, illustrated by Olof Landstrom, narrated by Zach Braff

•  This Is the House that Jack Built -- written and illustrated by Simms Taback, narrated by Mandy Patinkin

Scholastic has added a new feature that allows you to activate (or deactivate) the read-along feature. When the read-along is turned on, words appear at the bottom of the page and are highlighted as they are spoken. Children can use this to read along with the narrator, or they could turn down the sound and read the story themselves. The story portion of this DVD is 62 minutes long, but the DVD also includes a fun interview with Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, the author and illustrator of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! Discussion questions are provided on the DVD for parents to use with their children.

As soon as this DVD arrived, my 7-year-old and 9-year-old sons clamored to watch it. Since then, my 2-year-old and 5-year-old have watched it several times. It is a calm movie that I can play during our school day to keep the younger children's attention without distracting the older children.

This Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD is definitely a keeper, though my children can't agree on which stories are the best. Each child has his own favorite story as well as a least favorite. It's a good thing there are five stories to choose from on the DVD!

Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2011