Not all invertebrates are mere creepy-crawlies. Bees, starfish, and even fleas can be amazing mini-beasts. Plus, an animal that can live inside its lunch, amazing aphid babies, and much more.
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Grade 1-4. Henry the Lizard and a male narrator explore special qualities of animals through animation and live-action shots. This series has been shown on the Disney Channel. Technical quality is good, especially the live-action segments. The humorous interaction between the narrator and Henry will appeal to young children. Aural quality is good, though adults may find Henry's voice harsh. Animal sounds, like the swarm of locusts, enrich the narration. Each video is loosely organized around the theme. For example, in Animal Senses each sense is featured individually. Henry awards the Golden Gecko Award to three animals that best exemplify the theme, and also makes a silly report in each video that includes misinformation which the narrator takes effort to correct. Hopefully, children will not be so impressed by the presentation of misinformation that they remember it rather than the correct facts. In direct contrast, the information about animals is interesting and accurate. Many unusual animals with special talents are featured from all groups of the animal kingdom. Ecology, environment, habitat, and conservation concepts are covered. Many animal videos are available, such as the National Geographic videos and the See How They Grow series from DK and Sony. These have a different focus and usage, so librarians must decide what is best for their audience. In this series, care should be taken to direct children's attention to the accurate sections and reinforce the concepts.
Ann Elders, Mark Twain Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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