LMNO Peas…and More Fun with Letters is another installment in the Scholastic line of “Storybook Treasures,” DVDs noted for their read-along feature, subtitles which highlight words as they’re said to teach young ones how to read.
It’s hard to make a case against LMNO Peas…and More Fun with Letters, it really is. What can be wrong about a disc which attempts to teach viewers about the alphabet through jaunty rhymes and colorful characters? Nothing, aside from a too-short runtime, my most frequent complaint about instructional children’s discs. I just happen to believe the shortened attention span of the average child isn’t helped by shortening things they’re exposed to, especially learning. Heck the one story Reading to Your Bunny admonishes parents who don’t read to their kids and offers 20 minutes a day as an ideal place to start to help their kids be the best thems they can be. 20 minutes! This entire disc containing four stories is barely more than that!
The stories within the disc are related by virtue of teaching kids about letters, whether that is what the letters of the English alphabet actually are to the idea of alliteration. They’re also tied together with music. Though not every story is a music video they each present a song for youngsters to sing along with. Here’s what we’re dealing with:
Discover the various things the LMNO Peas do, from occupations to hobbies!
Alligators All Around
Based on the Maurice Sendak (Little Bear) book, this 70’s classic features the titular alligator demonstrating alliteration.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
The young alphabet letters all want to climb the same tree at the same time with disastrous results.
Reading to Your Bunny
A warning to parents about the dangers of not encouraging your child to read we learn that while some bunnies prefer their Game Bunny to books not reading can have consequences.
My favorite is Alligators All Around as it calls to mind the look of other classic 1970’s shows such as Schoolhouse Rock!. But the “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” song is awfully catchy and I find myself humming it often.
The technical specs differ a bit from the norm in the video department. Depending on the story you choose there will be either a 2.40:1 or a 1.33:1 aspect ratio for the transfer. Palettes and quality vary as much as the different animation styles, from an even but not very bright set of tones in Alligators All Around to the very bright colors in LMNO Peas. The variations help distinguish the stories even more from one another and are sure to prompt a preference from youngsters. The audio is a consistent Dolby 2.0 and sans issues all around. This won’t test your speakers’ limits but it will provide the beats necessary for your little ones to get their hands clapping.
Special features are two-fold and offer the music video from Reading to Your Bunny as well as an interview with the author/illustrator of LMNO Peas, Keith Baker.
Even though LMNO Peas…and More Fun with Letters is short it still earns its recommendation. The read-along feature means you can feel better about depositing your kid in front of the television, knowing they’re actually going to be learning something. Plus the menagerie of animation styles and ways of learning about the alphabet mean there’s going to be something which captures your child’s attention.
With performances by noted Billy Joel backup singer Crystal Taliefero along with legendary singers Carole King and Mary Chapin Carpenter these four stories are packed with music and more importantly, education.
Only guilty of living up to its title by indeed providing fun with letters.