Here's our monthly showcase of the latest and greatest new selections in media for youth.
From books and games to educational toys and DVDs, there's never a dull moment for active and eager young minds. And this month, September not only brings new classroom adventures as student return to school, but a mix of old and new favorites.
Running Press, $12.95, Ages 10 and older
"Paper Play" by Lydia Crook
Back to school is a time to get creativity in full gear. This new 112 page activity book offers stencils and tracing diagrams to make a range of fun ideas from windmills and roses to finger puppets and innovative toys and crafts. With nothing more than the inspirations in this book, and some paper, scissors, pens and glue, challenges await. Author Crook is a graduate of Winchester School of Art with a degree in fashion. This book makes an excellent introduction to the art of origami. It's in stores or at runningpress.com.
Zonderkidz, $3.99, Ages 4 to 7
"The Berenstain Bears' Piggy Bank Blessings" by Jan and Mike Berenstain
Beloved author Mike Berenstain continues to carry on the Berenstain Bears legacy with a new title in the brand that provides rich life lessons children can apply to their daily lives. Mama Bear instills the importance of saving money to her cubs with this new tale of fun and learning the value of planning for "a rainy day." With their very own piggy bank, Brother and Sister begin to collect nickels, dimes, pennies and dollars hoping to save for something special. Will the cubs heed Mama's advice and spend their money wisely? Award-winning authors Jan and Mike Berenstain use simple text and familiar illustrations to help teach children the significance of lending a helping hand. The classic Berenstain Bears are now in their 50th year. It's available in stores or at zonderkidz.com.
EntertainmentOne, $9.98, Ages 2 to 5
"Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville"
For anyone sad and feeling lonely, there's always a pet in Pocketville waiting to meet a new friend. This animated series based on the popular "pocket pet" toy line, invites young viewers to the kingdom of Princess Kitty Ava, who has the responsibility of matching children with perfect pets. In this new 80-minute feature, Ava's jealous Siamese cat sister Eva sends her ruling sibling to the "real world," as a "real world" little girl named Kate finds herself transported to the kingdom of wanting pets. With her new canine friend Magic, Kate must find a way to return Princess Kitty to her throne and restore order. It's available in stores and eonefilms.com beginning Sept. 10.
Scholastic StorybookTreasures, $14.95, Ages 2 to 8
"Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late"
This latest installment in the nationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning Mo Willems DVD line from Scholastic Storybook Treasures features three animated adaptations of stories by the New York Times best-selling author: "Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late," "Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion" and "Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct." It's a total of 27-minutes in running time and narrators for these stories include Cher Willems, John Scieszka and Mo Willems himself. Bonus features include a read-along function, an interview with author Mo Willems and a recipe for Edwina's "Dinosaur Chocolate Chip Cookies." It's available in stores or at scholastic.com.
Scholastic StorybookTreasures, $14.95, Ages 4 to 12
"Children Make Terrible Pets and More Stories About Family"
Peter Brown's beloved children's book arrives on the small screen as the featured story on the brand-new Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD, "Children Make Terrible Pets and More Stories About Family." In the animated tale, Lucy, a young bear, meets a charming young boy in the forest and brings him home. Her mother, however, has other ideas and cautions her that, "children make terrible pets." Hilarity ensues as Lucy tries to prove her mother wrong in this modern classic. Other stories on this comedy-filled 41-minute compilation include All the World (by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee, narrated by Joanne Woodward), Crow Call (By Lois Lowry, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, narrated by Julia Fein) and Elizabeti's Doll (By Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, illustrated by Christy Hale, narrated by Lynn Whitfield).