Judge Dawn Hunt recommends the Walter White book Lemonade in Winter…and More Fun with Meth.

Another offering from the Scholastic “Read-Along” series of DVDs, Lemonade in Winter…and more fun with math offers a collection of four stories tied together by virtue of dealing with some form of math.

“Lemonade in Winter” — Pauline wants to run a lemonade stand. The only problem? It’s the middle of winter! Figuring it’s an underserved season she and her little brother Jon-Jon persevere, while taking the opportunity to teach Jon-Jon about money.

“Math Curse” — When a teacher says almost everything can be viewed as a math problem one student didn’t expect it to become a curse. But suddenly everywhere she looks there are math problems to be solved!

“Over in the Meadow” — Sweet song about mamma animals and their babies who all live in a meadow.

“Seven Blind Mice” — Based on an Indian tale this story teaches kids not only about counting but the days of the week and the colors of the rainbow as well.

The levels of learning are a bit disparate; the recommended age range of 3-9 may be too wide if you consider one story teaches kids to count to seven while another introduces both fractions and the idea of a Fibonacci sequence. But as stories they each offer their own style and fun so as long as you remember they are stories first and math lessons second you shouldn’t get any anxiety.

In terms of the technical specs there’s also no need for anxiety. The video is a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with no issues. A clean and clear picture is present throughout each of the four stories and again Scholastic brings together different styles of animation to provide more visual interest for the younger viewers. The audio is a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 track which carries its load well, not being asked to carry much in the first place. But all the singing, music and narration can be heard clearly and everything is timed to the Scholastic signature read along subtitles.

Special features include a deleted scene and a couple of interviews.

THE VERDICT

Lemonade in Winter…and more fun with math works better for me as a series of stories rather than a tool for math. Given the diverse concepts presented it’s better to approach this collection as one you want to see your child have fun with. Not guilty.

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