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WITH THE KIDS | KIDS' CORNER

Classical music, tales

Collection introduces Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven and original sagas.

January 25, 2007|Lynne Heffley

The Classical Kids Collection,

Volume 1

Classical Kids Digital/

The Children's Group

4-CD set: $60.49

Ages: 5 to 12

www.childrensgroup.com

Classical Kids began intertwining imagination-stirring composer- and history-based original tales with excerpts from classical masterpieces years ago; the critically acclaimed results, in which children and composers figure at the heart of each story, are just as enthralling today. This gift set features four of the best: "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery," "Mozart's Magic Fantasy," "Mr. Bach Comes to Call" and "Beethoven Lives Upstairs." (Also available separately.)

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Hi-5: Move Your Body

Well Go USA

DVD: $16.99; ages 2 to 8

www.hi-5us.com

The Wiggles aren't Australia's only winning children's entertainment import. The quintet of lively young adults who star in the Americanized version of "Hi-5," the music-and-movement series on Discovery Kids and TLC, combine a pop-cool image with bouncy, age-appropriate edutainment. Here, along with storytelling and puppetry, tuneful songs get kids up on their feet, open a window on the world and encourage get-fit movement and creative thinking. Extras provide sing-along and karaoke options.

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The Money Mammals

Snigglezoo Entertainment

DVD: $19.99; ages 2 to 8

www.themoneymammals.com

(800) 931-5960

The difference between needing and wanting. The persuasive power of advertising and peer pressure. The ABCs of shopping and setting goals. The rewards of giving, and of delayed, not instant gratification. This exceptionally well-thought-out video covers all the bases to help children learn to "Save, Share and Spend Smart." A colorful crew of puppet kids in various money-focused scenarios send each message home. Tips for parents on helping kids become more money-savvy is a terrific extra.

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Diary of a Worm ... and 4

more great animal tales

Scholastic Video Collection

DVD: $14.95; ages 3 to 9

www.scholastic.com

Made for kids, but a delight for adults, too, here's another jewel from Scholastic's Weston Woods Studios treasure chest of children's book-based animations, a sterling mix of narration, music and varied animation styles that stay true to each book's illustrators. The centerpiece: Doreen Cronin's hilarious worm's-eye view of the world as told in a worm kid's diary. Other stories include Eve Titus' story of a French mouse's rise to respected cheese taster ("Anatole"), the live action comic short, "Frog Goes to Dinner," by Mercer Mayer; and Jules Feiffer's "I Lost My Bear." "The Three-Legged Cat" by Margaret Mahy is an extra.

Nursery Tap Hip to Toe

Volume Two

Nursery Tap

DVD with CD: $19.95

Ages 2 to 7

www.nurserytap.com

This follow-up to the Peabody Award-winning first "Nursery Tap" DVD is as imaginative and light-footed as the first. Young dancers, seen only from the waist (and sometimes shoulders) down, act out an internationally flavored mix of nursery rhymes and children's poems through tap, ballet and pop and folk dance steps. Add simple scenic design, a few props and creative costuming, and even without a single face showing, the rhymes -- as familiar as "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and as unexpected as "The Buddha Poem" and "When Great Byron Wants to Dance" -- come to life.

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-- Lynne Heffley

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