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Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship DVD Review by Tony Silva

557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship is an adaptation of the book written by Nikki Giovanni and illustrated by Bryan Collier. Actor Danny Glover narrates this delightful story of a meeting between the president and the abolitionist leader. There are four read-along storybooks on the DVD as well as an interview with Nikki Giovanni. Read-along captions help early readers relate the narrated words to the written word. There are discussion questions for each story. The DVD retails for $14.95.

Lincoln and Douglass chronicles the early life of both men and ends with the meeting. Giovanni artfully presents historical facts and insights about the events that dominated the Lincoln and Douglass story.

The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence tells the story of the Declaration with a lot of interesting insights. The story also corrects some of the misconceptions people have about the history and amazing travels of the Declaration.

John, Paul, George & Ben introduces four boys who would one day become founders of our nation. More fun than history, this story is a great way to start conversations about the founders as part of your history curriculum.

The Pilgrims of Plimoth is narrated from the perspective of a passenger on the Mayflower. It gives a good picture of the harsh life of the settlers and doesn't shrink from representing them as a people of religious conviction. However, the Pilgrims are not represented specifically as Christians. The thanksgiving celebration follows a bountiful harvest after Indians teach the Pilgrims how to fish and plant.

Scholastic recommends this DVD for early readers between the ages of 4 and 9. The books themselves are also available on the Scholastic website.

Product review by Tony Silva, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2011