Please visit these websites: Bank Street Bookstore BARNES & NOBLE - 18TH STREET Karol Media - "I'm A" Poems Collection for the Classroom Kit Reed Orenstein Rare Books STORYTIME: Educational Toys, Books and More Teachers College Bookstore Jan Van Der Donk -- Rare Books, Inc.

## Blues Clues Review

#### by Dina Wertheimer

 Blues Clues ABCs and 123s

#### There is no better way to introduce your young pre-schooler to reading and early mathematics concepts than Blues Clues ABCs and 123s. This 50-minute video is divided into two parts. The first half is devoted to recognizing words and word phrases, the second half to learning about groups, sets and sorting.

Blues ABCs opens with Steve reading a book titled “A Really Great Book.” All of the usual and familiar objects in Blue’s house are labeled. Children are encouraged to spell out what they see, thus recognizing letter patterns as words and words as labels for familiar objects.

Later watch out as Blue skidoos into a story book. Steve and Blue read together, but something is not right: they read “the ball threw a girl.” Steve asks the audience to help fix the sentence and asks “who threw the ball?” “A girl threw the ball.” The sentence is now fixed. This continues throughout the reading of the story. Blue skidoos out of the story with a greater understanding for grammar and sentence structure.

Blue’s 123s has Steve helping Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper count apples. With the audience, they count: Mr. Salt has three apples, Mrs. Pepper has five. Then they ask how they can have the same number of apples. By counting they learn that Mrs. Pepper has two more than Mr. Salt. By subtracting one from her collection and adding it to Mr. Salt’s, they have the same number of apples.

Next, Blue skidoos to the grocery store where he and Steve count Blue dollars to see if they have enough to buy a crayon and a hat. Together with the children, they learn the value of money while reinforcing their counting skills. Later, they meet with friends for pizza. How many slices do they need? The children slice the pizza, learning about fractions along the way.

Overall, Blue’s ABCs and 123s video provide a fun way for young children to learn early pre-school skills.

 Blues Big Musical Movie

Blues Big Musical Movie is a beautiful musical review starring all of our friends: Blue, Steve, Magenta and our new friend, Periwinkle the cat. Together they are putting on the “Anything You Want To Be” show. Those familiar with Blues Clues know this is the underlying theme of their shows. This time, the whole neighborhood is invited to watch Blue and her friends in their magical musical review while learning some important life lessons.

First, Side Table Drawer would love to sing in the show but is too shy to say anything. She sees her opportunity and finds her place in the show when Blue is looking for a partner to sing a duet. Tickety Tock also wants to participate in the show but has laryngitis. She finds her place with costume and props and also feels important, even if she is not on stage.

Steve and Blue decide to write a special song for their show. They don’t know where to begin. Blue skidoos into their sheet music and meets G-clef, whose voice is delightfully provided by Ray Charles, who helps them compose their song. This portion is by far the highlight of the video.

G-clef teaches Blue about notes and shows them on the keyboard. He also explains harmony and rhythm and plays a clapping game with Steve while the notes start to dance. Lastly, G-clef says the music needs a soul, “something you can feel.” Steve and Blue put it all together and create their song for their musical review.

The video as a whole is absolutely delightful. Through song, dance and lots of fun, children and adults are left with the empowering message that you really can do anything you want to do. This video is a truly uplifting experience. #