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NAPPA 2003: Videos and DVDs for Ages 5 and Up
By Mary C. Turck
Gold Award Winners
Beethoven Lives Upstairs, The Children's Group, 2003; $19.99 DVD, $13.99 VHS; 55 mins.; www.childrensgroup.com. After Christoph's father dies, Ludwig van Beethoven rents the upstairs apartment. Viewers see the great composer's pride and pain through Christoph's young eyes. His moving music fills the streets of Vienna. This is a real movie with a real plot - and an incredible musical feast. As a bonus, the DVD offers English, French or Spanish tracks - once your kids know the stories by heart they can start over with a new language!
Harriet Tubman (Great Americans for Children video series), Schlessinger Media, 2002; $29.95 DVD; 30 mins.; www.libraryvideo.com. Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman escapes to freedom and returns to lead others out. During the Civil War, she works for the Union Army. She lives until 1911, and is buried as the hero she was, with full military honors. In this retelling, the video moves smoothly between Tubman's biography to a group of students and their teacher. The device allows the teacher to explain needed historical background as children ask questions. A gripping story, very well told!
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Dreamworks Home Entertainment, 2002; $26.95 DVD, $24.99 VHS; 83 mins.; www.dreamworks.com/spirit/. Spirit is a horse who refuses to be domesticated, remaining wild and free at the end of the movie. In between, he is captured and forced into near-submission by a villainous army, and befriended and freed by a young Indian, who is also oppressed by the army. Spirit offers inspiring examples of loyalty, bravery, friendship and freedom.
Honors Award Winners