You ALL know how much I LOVE Scholastic Storybook Treasures – I always end up learning as much as my grandkids, and these illustrated DVD’s are so wonderfully narrated and illustrated…not to mention, the follow along words.
This DVD is especially inspiring, as it speaks of unusual people, people who follow their dreams, and who touch the world in an inspiring way. AND all the stories are based on true people and their lives.
I watched this DVD with Chas, my 12 year old grandson, and he actually put down his I Phone apps to watch it with me – and he was as enchanted with it as I was. The last story, Miss Rumphius is narrated in both English and Spanish.
The first story, based on the Caldecott Award Winning children’s book by Mordecai Gerstein, tells of a most amazing man, Philippe Petit. Philippe LOVED to juggle and to tightrope walk – just because he loved the freedom he felt when he performed. One day, Philippe decided to stretch a coil of rope between the Twin Towers in New York City – because he didn’t see the Towers – he saw the SPACE between the Towers – and craved to tightrope the space between them. He knew that the owners and the police would never allow him to do it, so he and some friends dressed as construction workers (this was when the Towers were still being built), disguised the coil in a huge box, and headed up to the 10th floor and above, where construction was still taking place. They waited till night, and then they speared the rope, wrapped by Philippe with tightrope wiring, and struggled until they had it between the towers, and tied off. In the morning as the sun rose and the gulls played in the wind spray currents, Philippe walked back and forth on the wire. As people below saw him, the police came and still Philippe walked, danced, and lay down upon the rope, way above the sky and gulls hovering above him. When he finally walked to the end of one of the Towers he was taken into custody. The judge gave him a wonderful sentence: he was to high wire in Central Park to all the children of the City. Philippe performed his walk in 1974, and as we approach the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, there is no better tribute for children to remember than the man who walked between the towers, and showed everyone the beauty of his dream, his passion and his courage. Stunningly narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal, Chas and I could not take our eyes off the screen!
Crow Boy follows, written and illustrated by Taro Yashima. The tale of a small, quiet mountain boy Chibi (means tiny boy) and his different ways stuns. Chibi attends school, and on the first day he hides under the school building. He is always at the end of the line, always silent, watching and observing. He is afraid of all, and the other children taunt him. He begins to make his eyes cross so that he can’t see what he doesn’t want to see. He finds many marvelous ways to kill time and amuse himself, always alone. He watches the ceiling and the patterns of the wooden desk top and a patch of cloth on another child’s backpack. He stares through the window and sees many things, and listens. He holds insects and grubs and learns to hear them through his silence.
The other children call him stupid and slowpoke, but on his last year of school, 6th grade, Chibi’s teacher is Mr. Osobe. Mr. Osobe realizes that Chibi has an amazing intelligence and talks to him one on one often. At the talent show that year, Chibi appears on the stage, and no one can believe it. He gives the schoolchildren his knowledge of the sounds of crows. Babies, mothers, fathers, enraged crows, sad crows and jubilant crows, and each call is perfect and authentic. Everyone finally sees Chibi’s intelligence, and through Mr. Osobe, Chibi realizes his true gift – happiness and serenity in himself and his observations of nature. I cannot tell you how much Chas and I loved this story.
The DVD goes on the follow the story of The Dinosaurs and Waterhouse Hawkins, by Barbara Kerley. The tale of how Waterhouse designs and builds first a picture, then a small clay model, then a skeleton and then the entirety of many kinds of dinosaurs and builds a museum in New York to house them, stuns the world of his time. His dinosaurs are perfect and authentic and as he fights to teach and educate people on dinosaurs, he finds his strength and brilliance and inspires scientists and paleontologists as well as laymen alike. Thrilling!
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney delights and entertains, while showing children and adults alike that we MUST follow our dreams, for they make our life worthwhile. Not only that, but Sally learns at her grandfather’s knee that we must leave beauty in the world. As she travels and learns and lives by the sea, she plants juniper flowers, and as she tells the tale to her granddaughter, she explains how Maine is full of the flowers as she has seeded the mountains on her journeys through Maine.
I love Scholastic because they teach with such an imaginative hand, with such wonderful stories by award winning authors and introduce children to the imagination and the real, entwining both in books on DVD that cannot help but entrance us all. High Five Scholastic, as always!!
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers and more inspiring tales is available for purchase on Amazon.com and other retailers.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received product for our toy review. All opinions are our own.
Interview with The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, author Barbara Kerley and Illustrator Brian Selznick – You HAVE to watch this to appreciate it. This amazing story comes to life through the author and illustrator. PLEASE PLEASE don’t pass us Scholastic Treasures – for they truly are treasures for your child and yourself!