Global Wonders DVD series
What they are: DVDs highlighting different cultures, including India, Mexico, African-American and Around the World.
What they¡¯re about: These fact-filled animated DVDs aim to raise kids¡¯ interests in music, language, customs and more from other cultures. Each disc mixes an animated story with live-action footage. My 5-year-old viewer and I checked out two DVDs in the series: Around the World and Mexico. The first focused on customs, languages and music from Japan, India, Mexico and more. The second focused solely on Mexican traditions and culture.
What the kid thought: The 5-year-old viewer liked the DVDs¡¯ segments on music and the "language jams" the best. He seemed more interested in the Mexico DVD, asking questions about Day of the Dead and quinceañera celebrations. And he laughed after learning that soccer, a sport he plays, is called futbol in Spanish. But by the end of each 30-minute DVD, he was getting bored and ready to move on. (And when he really likes something, he wants to see it over and over.)
What the parent thought: These seem to be a gentle way to get kids to celebrate other cultures. They aren¡¯t especially flashy, but they do impart a lot of knowledge ¡ª maybe even too much for a young child to truly appreciate. One quibble: The "Wonder Vision" special feature on the DVD, which was supposed to unlock fun facts, was hard to work. And we both found the feature¡¯s cartoon kaleidoscope distracting.
Where to get them: Amazon.com, Target or Toys R Us from $17.99 each.
¡ª Julie Sobczyk Mitchell