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OF, BY AND FOR THE CHILDREN : Musical numbers amount to valuable math lessons in 'Square One Video'

December 23, 1990|LAUREN LIPTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Add this in your head: If you take one hip MTV veejay and eight great music videos from three award-winning seasons of "Square One TV," how much fun do you have? If all those numbers make you dizzy, you might want to tune into Square One Video Jukebox, a new special that combines music, merriment, mirth and . . . math.

That's right, according to the good folks at Children's Television Workshop (of "Sesame Street" fame): Math doesn't have to be dreadful. Just ask MTV's "Downtown" Julie Brown, who introduces numerically oriented videos from such artists as the Jets, who perform a choreographed song called "Infinity," and Bobby McFerrin, whose catchy "Wanna Be" tells youngsters that whether they want to be an airplane pilot or a football player they "gotta know math."

Other videos include a country-Western tune glorifying the number 9, a Blues Brothers-type song about square numbers and "One Billion is Big" by the Fat Boys--who rap about large numbers while eating cheeseburgers.

"Square One Video Jukebox," Friday at 5 p.m. KCET. For 8- to 12-year-olds and math-phobic parents

MORE KIDS' SHOWS

The Regard of Flight (Sunday at 5 p.m. Bravo) stars performance artist Bill Irwin as a pajama-clad actor who awakens to a performer's nightmare--he's being pursued by an angry critic. The piece is actually a critique of modernist theater, but Irwin's pratfalls and rubbery dance moves endear him to the whole family. For all ages.

The Muppets and other special guests celebrate Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (Monday at 8 a.m. KCET). For 2- to 5-year-olds and their families.

In the animated Dot and Santa Claus (Monday at 10 a.m. KCOP), a young Australian girl meets the big guy himself, who teaches her about Christmas traditions. Dot returns in Dot and the Kangaroo (Tuesday at 10 a.m. KCOP) and Dot and the Bunny (Thursday at 10 a.m. KCOP). For 2- to 11-year-olds.

The miniseries The Chronicles of Narnia is based on C.S. Lewis' series of fantasy books about a mythical kingdom and the clash between good and evil. "Prince Caspian and the Dawn Treader" (Monday at 4 p.m. KOCE) is based on books two and three; "The Silver Chair" (Tuesday at noon KCET) is based on the fourth book of the series, and "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (Wednesday-Friday at noon KCET) goes back to the first book. For ages 7 and up.

Strike up the band! The Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade (Tuesday at 7 a.m. ABC) promises to be very, well, merry. For all ages.

Henry Winkler went from playing the Fonz to portraying Scrooge in An American Christmas Carol (Tuesday at 4 p.m. KCBS), an updated version of the Dickens classic, set during the Great Depression. For ages 9 and up.

Black Beauty (Tuesday at noon the Family Channel) is the 1946 film version of Anna Sewell's book about a little girl and her magnificent horse. For ages 7 and up.

After the presents are opened and Christmas is officially over, younger children might find solace in a Storybook Classics Marathon (Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Showtime), a lineup of animated fairy-tales and fables. Meanwhile, a week's worth of Afternoon Specials (Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. Nickelodeon) feature two-hour blocks of animated tales such as "The Frog Prince," "Mowgli's Brothers" and "The Brave Little Tailor." For 2- to 11-year-olds.

You're never too young to start learning to be a smart shopper, say producers of the KIDS-TV series, in a fun and educational episode called "Consumers" (Wednesday at 8 a.m. Showtime) For 2- to 5-year-olds.

In Freeze Frame (Friday at 7 p.m. Disney Channel), a high-school student defies her father by deciding to pursue a career in journalism instead of medicine--and finds herself investigating a local political scandal. For 13- to 17-year-olds.

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