Picks and Pans Main: Video

updated 05/25/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/25/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT



Part of Scholastic's Animal Friends Video Series, these half-hour tapes each include a few short tales and original songs, illustrated with footage of goats, bears, tigers, puppies and ponies. (Not many humans show up; three who do are horse thieves in Raindance, the Shy Little Pony) The songs, such as Monkey See and Kittens' Admittins (no, it doesn't make much sense on the tape either), are by Dennis Scott, Mark Saltzman and Elizabeth Swados. They're sweet and unexceptional, which can be said of the rest of the material, too. For adults who have become used to enjoying the wit of Sesame Street or The Electric Company at the same time they're entertaining the little ones, these stories will seem on the listless side. After all, when you name a rabbit Hortense Fuzzwuffle, you've obviously got to come up with something to redeem yourself, and the writer of both of these tapes, Nancy LeBrun, seems to have turned them out in less time than it takes to run them. As for teaching value, there may be a lesson or two buried in here somewhere, but if there is, it's along the lines of "Wipe your paws before you enter the house" or "If your antlers are small it doesn't mean you won't grow up into a big deer." (Scholastic Lorimar, $14.95 apiece) —Ralph Novak (Thaddeus Novak, 7, dissents: "I love these tapes. I like the little stories. Calhoun the Raccoon is my favorite.")

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