Picks and Pans Review: Hey, What About Me?
Designed to help 2-to 6-year-olds cope with younger siblings, this brief (25 minutes) and lively tape raises the relevant questions. Three Boston-area children, Heather Richland Shea, 4, Cara Garber, 7, and Robbie Kalin, 7, discuss and dramatize their experiences with baby brothers and sisters. Those experiences range from the fun and joy of realizing that the infant is a kind of batteries-never-required toy to the frustration and anger of realizing that Dad's and Mom's attention no longer seems placed exactly where it should be 100 percent of the time. Producers Karen Tucker and Jane Murphy let the kids do all the talking—no adult voice is heard. (A psychologist from Boston's Children's Hospital, Dr. Kathy Weingarten, served as script consultant.) They didn't, however, invest the time that would have been needed to hang around the Garber, Kalin and Shea families waiting for scenes of real conflict or revelation to develop, so the dramatized sequences are stiff and stagy. The children are game little actors, though when Robbie is supposed to be feeling ignored and tells a friend, "I can get so angry I want to kick and punch everything in my room," he's obviously reciting a line. It also may limit the tape's range that all three child stars seem like white, upper-middle-class suburbanites. The babies—especially 8-month-old Laura Kalin—are cute enough to be alluring, though, and those parents who can sit the little one down and go through this tape with her or him should find it a decent starting point for dealing with sibling rivalry. (Kidvidz, $24.95, 617-243-7611)
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