When I received The Wheels on the Bus: Mango's Big Dog Parade DVD for review, courtesy of the Parent Bloggers Network, I wasn't sure what to expect. Seeing that one of the characters was voiced by Roger Daltrey intrigued me, but seeing a mix of computer animation, puppets and real people made me wonder if this would be too chaotic.
I couldn't be more wrong, however. This DVD was surprisingly entertaining, while also providing a lot of educational value. The Wheels on the Bus series is designed to teach kids basic socialization skills through music and song. In this particular DVD, concepts such as taking turns and getting along with others are covered. More than one pair have trouble sharing toys, requiring a discussion about how to take turns so both can enjoy the toy.
Beyond socialization skills, the video explores nature, counting, dance, and even a little Spanish. Cordy loved the Jungle Bug Adventure, thrilled with seeing several types of insects up close. As they named each bug, she repeated the name and studied the image carefully. She also loved counting the chicks on the bus, too.
The music is catchy and upbeat. Of course, The Wheels on the Bus is repeated over and over, but it's not the only song. I particularly liked the song about how procrastination makes you late, making sure Cordy was listening at that point. Oh how we could use that lesson!
I don't know if the social skills education sunk in for Cordy, even after several viewings, but she loved the music and the kids. By the second viewing she could already sing The Wheels on the Bus, and wanted to dance along with the kids.
What surprised me the most was that Mira was entranced by this DVD. My seven month old, who has yet to show any serious interest in TV, did not fuss once during the entire 33 minutes. She smiled at the puppets, bounced up and down to the music, and enjoyed seeing the other kids.
All in all, I'd recommend The Wheels on the Bus: Mango's Big Dog Parade. It doesn't have the ultra-high production values of many TV shows, but in many ways I'm glad it doesn't. Instead, it is charming in it's simple yet colorful sets, choreographed dance sequences performed by children who aren't perfect dancers, and real families enjoying their time together while singing and teaching others.
Win a copy! You can win your own copy of this DVD by leaving a comment on the post at Parent Bloggers. You have until 1/21/08 to enter!
PS - Congrats to Sunnyday - according to Random.org, you were the winner of The Ultimate Tea Diet book!