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Moving Picture Books  
Moving Picture Books
Type: Educational, KidTech
From: Moving Picture Books
Usage: DVD, Windows PC
Moving Picture Books
Think no more monkeys jumping on the bed, tots staring at the TV dumbstruck and inspired as one falls off and bumps his head and you have Moving Picture Books.
Posted January 25, 2010
Moving Picture Books offers a new take on the old standby of reading to your kids. Collectively, these videos are pre-school tales and modified nursery rhymes both familiar and obscure, nicely narrated with motherly, fatherly and sometimes siblingly (siblingish?) voices conveying a respectable grasp of good diction in both English and Spanish. Karaoke-style subtitles glimmer along with the story, offering a rudimentary read-along opportunity - in English only, unfortunately - if a kid is up for the task.

Available on DVD in six volumes of seven stories each, Moving Picture Books should not be confused with kiddy cartoons. In fact, at first blush, visuals come off as low-grade tripe that an entry-level animator might pull of on a coffee break... pictures that move a little bit.

However, to watch them for a while - or more importantly, watch a kid under 5 watch them for a while - and you start to realize that Moving Picture Books' banal animations are probably intentional. Turns out, for reasons known only to early childhood psychologists and, well, parents, tots eat up low-grade animation like candy. It's appealing but not overwhelming, simple, colorful and easy for wee minds to digest. Seriously: rapture.

Set any given volume to play and you're also setting it to play continuously, looping the seven stories over and over ad nauseum. Not that a tot will watch a 10 hour marathon of this stuff, but to have it on in the background as he or she goes about playing with blocks or drawing on the walls - where do they find those pens, anyway?! - means there's always a new and genuinely constructive distraction at the ready, another few minutes or maybe a contiguous hour of read-me-a-story rapture.

To a parent, said rapture offers unmitigated, guilt free, heaven-sent silence while they set about finding all the wayward pens hiding under the couch. Pretty cool.

At $12.99 for each seven-tale volume, Moving Picture Books DVDs also contain mobile versions of each tale (in M4V format) that you can toss into your smartphone or media hub for anywhere viewing.

Each story is also available as an individual, 99-cent direct download at Some basic math reveals that it's cheaper to download and burn your own custom DVD. But if you haven't the time nor inclination, $12.99 is a fair price for seven stories in one hard copy volume with mobile versions of each as a bonus.
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4 (out of 5)