Monday, September 17, 2012

Penguins, Penguins, and More Penguins - A New TOS Review

Did you know that there are 17 different kinds of penguins? I sure didn't.  We all know about the Emperor and Macaroni penguins, but have you ever heard of the Yellow-Eyed or the Snares?  Well then you and any penguin loving person will want to get their hands on Marshall Publishing's Lots and Lots of Penguins and their Happy Feet 2 disk DVD set (with a bonus DVD that has an animated dance called 'Party Like a Penguin').
The Product:
Marshall Publishing and Promotions, Inc. has 3 decades worth of experience in the creation and publication of media publishing both for television and home video production.  They have a trademarked series of DVD's and books called AS SEEN ON TV "Lots and Lots of ..." which you may have already heard of or seen for yourself.

I had only heard of them last year when the Crew was able to review two of that series - one on firetrucks and another on George Washington Carver. You can check out those reviews here  I wasn't on that review so when I saw that they were offering 4 different reviews this year, I signed up for either the Penguins or the one for the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express.

Penguins are a loved animal in our house and we have done several unit studies on them and we have studied Antarctica where a lot of penguins live.  They have also watched several movies that feature penguins so when I heard we were chosen for this review and we'd be reviewing penguins I knew it would be well loved.  And I was right.

We received 2 full length DVD's each featuring a slew of different types of penguins as well as a short bonus DVD that has an animated penguin dance video.  Well, in actuality I was inadvertently sent two of the same video "Lots and Lots of Playful Penguins and Their Toe-Tappin' Feet" which was a mistake.  I was able to contact the company and they sent out the second DVD and bonus DVD right away.  In the meantime, my children scrambled to the couch to watch the first of these new penguin DVD's.
Before I go any further into how we used the videos, I do want to tell you that you can purchase the 2- DVD with bonus set for just $19.95 (it's regularly priced at $39.90).  And if you are one of my readers you can enter this code TOS27 and get FREE First Class shipping! This is a fantastic savings and these DVD's are well worth the price.  Your children (and even yourself) will be transported to areas all over the world including Antarctica and Australia as you get up close and personal with penguins in their natural habitats.  It was amazing!

Our Experience:
As I stated before I originally only had one of the "Lots and Lots of ..." videos - Playful Penguins and Their Toe-Tappin' Feet.  This DVD (which is 75 minutes of penguin paradise) takes you on a journey viewing Emperor, Rockhopper, Adalie, Gentoo, and more in the natural or even captive habitats. We heard their natural cries and how they speak to one another and learned interesting facts and tidbits of each of the 17 different species of penguins.  I didn't even know there were that many types of penguins!

This DVD has both narration and music done by the award-winning James Coffey and it includes the animated music video (which we also got as a separate bonus DVD) "Party Like A Penguin".  The DVD is separated into 'chapters' you can choose which types of penguins you would like to learn about. There are two animated penguin characters - PJ, who introduces each chapter and Artie, who narrates and tells the facts.  There's even a penguin cartoon in the bonus footage area called Peeping Penguins.  In the picture below you can see the girls moving along with one of the bonus features - the animated music video. They were in the process of getting down on the ground in their penguin slide position. ;)

The second DVD - "Lots and Lots of Penguins in the Wild!" was completely different.  This time there was no narration, but instead you were right there with the penguins in their homes.  The cameras got so close you felt as if you were sitting next to a penguin and could even touch them at times.  From their squawking to grunting to playing and building nests we experienced life as a penguin.

This video was my son's favorite.  He sat their enthralled by what the penguins were doing and each clip would be a different type of penguin.  Since we had watched the Playful Penguin video first and it had described the different penguins by their marking and size I had my children try to distinguish which penguin they were seeing 'in the wild' since there was no narration.  Another thing we did (my husband and I) while watching the non-narrated DVD was provide commentary (or narration) in a funny style.  The kids were rolling in laughter from our made up commentary. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for you, I was not able to capture that on video, but I'm sure you can imagine the scene.

Both my girls loved all the videos.  We even shared them with other children (that I babysit on occasion) and they loved the videos just as much.  One thing I was able to do was find some worksheets and coloring pages for my children to work on either during or after watching the videos.  They were able to tell me the different types of penguins, label parts of a penguin, and even color their penguin to match a particular species they had learned about.  We also went to the library and got books on the top 2-3 types of penguins that they each wanted to learn more about.  This was an easy way to extend the video's learning potential and creating a mini-unit study out of them.

The videos also feature different geographical areas and other animals such as polar bears, seals, and arctic birds.  We discussed how these animals are able to live with penguins and whether they were friends of the penguins or enemies. There is also a study guide that you can download.  The study guide gives you facts and details on each of the 17 penguins they feature in their DVD as well as some generic information about penguins and their habitats.  We have used that to make flash cards with a picture of the particular type of penguin on the front and some of the facts on the back.  We plan on laminating those so that we can keep them for future learning or even turning it into a game (like memory) since we will have 2 sets. ;)

My children have loved these videos and I have loved knowing that they are 'watching a video' yet still learning.  These videos are packed full of information whether it's audible or visual information.  And we all know we sometimes need time to sit back and chill.  These are the perfect videos for doing just that.

My Thoughts:
I plan on checking out Marshall Publishing's whole selection of "Lots and Lots of ..." DVD's, CD's, and books and seeing what others I can add to our collection. I think these DVD's are great as a stand alone entertainment feature or as an addition to a unit study or an enhancement to your own curriculum or particular subject you are studying. 

Here's a short video clip so you can see what you are missing by not having these lovable penguins in your DVD collection.

I encourage you to take some time and read what other Crew members thought of this DVD set or the other 3 choices of DVD's by Marshall Publishing just by clicking on the banner below.  You can check out more clips on their YouTube channelFacebookTwitter, and even on their own blog.


*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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