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Kid Picks with Philip Potempa for Aug. 7, 2014
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Kid Picks

Kid Picks with Philip Potempa for Aug. 7, 2014

Our monthly round-up of new children's media.

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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. August signals the turning point of summer, as back to school checklists return.

BOOKS

Kohl's Cares, $5, Ages 3 and up

"Little Critters Collection" books and plush toys

Until supplies are gone, Kohl's Department Stores is offering the latest line in the Kohl's Cares program. This time, the theme is a spotlight on the popular storybooks from Mercer Mayer "Little Critter." For just $5, kids and parents can pick from adorable plush characters from the book series and there's even an option of a Zoo Animals Matching Card game. Visit any Kohl's store or kohls.com/cares for details.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99, Ages 4 to 8

"Bats in the Band" by Brian Lies

Everyone needs a little night music, especially bats. As the sun sets, the fun begins for the story in this 32-page hardcover that is created as a rhyming read-along. The book explains a variety of instruments and musical genres. It also works as a great bedtime story about a group of groovy bats who form their own band. It's available in stores or at hmhco.com.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $21.99, Ages 4 to 8

"Big Bear's Big Boat" by Eve Bunting

It's been 10 years since the beloved "Little Bear's Little Boat" by author Eve Bunting first sailed as a favorite storybook. A decade later, Big Bear is back and with a bigger boat in a new story once again told with Nancy Carpenter's illustrations. It's a story about friends, while also learning that not all advice is good, especially if it doesn't stay true to one's own heart and vision. It's in stores or at hmhbooks.com.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $21.99, Ages 6 to 10

"The Animal Book" by Steve Jenkins

A sturdy 208-page hardcover with all of the most fascinating facts about animals comes alive on the pages inside. From animal senses and animal predators to defenses and helpful infographics, it features vivid "torn-paper" artwork, which is the trademark of author Jenkins. There is an animal index, glossary and bibliography. Some of the amazing info shared include that more than three-quarters of the creatures on earth are insects; the earthworm's entire body is covered in taste receptors; and the common housefly "tastes" with its feet, which are more sensitive than the human tongue. It's in stores or at hmhbooks.com.

DVDs

EntertainmentOne, $9.98, Ages 1 to 5

"The Wheels on the Bus: Animal Adventure"

In this 45-minute family adventure, all of the favorite puppet characters, like Argon the Dragon (voiced by singer Roger Daltrey of The Who) and Mango Monkey with Papaya the Toucan, explore new places, meet new friends and discover many interesting animals along their journey, including reptiles, insects, sharks, turtles and dolphins. It's available in stores or at entertainmentone.com.

EntertainmentOne, $12.98, Ages 1 to 5

"Babar and the Adventures of Badou: Gone Wild"

After 80 great years of education and entertainment, author Jean de Brunhoff's iconic tales get a CGI update to introduce Babar the Elephant to a new generation of young fans. Based on the popular series that airs on cable's Disney Jr. network, this 88-minute DVD has eight episodes, centered around Babar's 8-year-old grandson, Badou. It's available in stores or at entertainmentone.com.

EntertainmentOne, $14.98, Ages 1 to 5

"Peppa Pig: The Balloon Ride"

Peppa Pig, the hit preschool series from Nick Jr., is ready to debut a new DVD on Tuesday with 60-minutes featuring 12 episodes with the charming piggy and his habit of spreading the importance of learning new lessons through new experiences. From birthday parties and a hot air balloon ride to ice skating and painting, the theme of "learning by doing" is highlighted in each episode. It's available in stores or at entertainmentone.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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