Kid Picks

Kid Picks with Philip Potempa

2013-03-12T00:00:00Z 2013-03-12T13:52:03Z Kid Picks with Philip PotempaBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

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, March brings a mix of old and new favorites.

Books

Sterling, $14.95, Ages Up to 3

"Fluff and Billy" by Nicola Killen

This heartwarming story of friendship and forgiveness details two penguin pals. Told with the colorful and fun illustrated 32-pages of this hardcover, the author includes a lesson about the importance of not holding a grudge against others and knowing why an apology is a basic tool of politeness. It's available in stores or at sterlingpublishing.com.

Splinter, $17.95, Ages 12 and up

"Tiger's Destiny" by Colleen Houck

This latest installment of the fantasy-filled "Tiger's Curse" series has the three central returning characters Kelsey, Kishan and Ren facing their final challenge to find the goddess Durga's "Rope of Fire." Danger, excitement and vivid description fill the 452 pages of this hardcover as the band of adventurers try to out-wit the Sorcerer Lokesh. It's in stores or at tigerscurse.com.

Sterling, $3.95, Ages 4 to 8

"Silver Penny Stories: The Elves and the Shoemaker" told by Deanna McFadden

Marcos Calo provides whimsical illustrations for this re-telling of the classic tale of helping others to succeed. Money doesn't mean happiness, as a poor cobbler discovers when his shop is about to be closed since he can't afford shoe leather to any new pairs of shoes. Fortunately, a pair of crafty elves come to the rescue to save the day. It's in stores now or at sterlingbooks.com.

Sterling, $3.95, Ages 4 to 8

"Silver Penny Stories: Jack and the Beanstalk" told by Diane Namm

The new feature film "Jack the Giant Slayer" has inspired a new generation to embrace this tale of obedience and taking chances. (We won't address the stealing theme.) Maurizio Quarello inks exciting illustrations as Jack climbs to the clouds to face his fears to redeem himself in his mother's eyes. It's in stores now or at sterlingbooks.com.

Scholastic StorybookTreasures, $14.95, Ages 5 and older

"The Red Hen and more Cooking Stories"

Scholastic Storybook Treasures offers four stories for this 56-minute read-along DVD with narration by Lily Tomlin and Michael McKean. In addition to the Red Hen baking her loaf of bread, there's a great segment about how bread gets it's start long before it's sliced and served at the table. The other segments are "How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? and "Arnie the Doughnut." It's available in stores or scholastic.com.

ZAZOO KiDS, $89, all ages

"ZAZOO Photo Clock" by mom-turned-inventor Michele Berman

Driven by a personal mission to find a new way for kids to embrace better sleep habits, local mom-turned-inventor Michele Berman of Chicago founded ZAZOO KiDS in 2010. Frustrated by the available techniques and solutions for improving sleep habits of her three kids, Michele created her own "wake-up photo clock," known today as the ZAZOO Photo Clock. Her clever and inviting invention is now helping millions of other parents because this digital clock displays images of daytime and nighttime to show kids visually what time of day it is and there's even a nap-time setting. Best of all, the clock can be personalized with pictures of kids and family, and even plays music and videos. It's at Chicago stores like The Right Start and Galt Baby or zazookids.com.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

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