Inside Pulse 12

DVD Review: Me…Jane and More Stories About Girl Power (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)

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As a father, one of my favorite things to do is sit down as night falls and read a few books to my daughter. The short illustrated books are a fun sharing experience at bedtime. The best books make her want to take over reading the words and allow her to want to do more. It gets her asking questions about the book and how the story can relate to her life. Me…Jane and More Stories About Girl Power brings together four books that are aimed to inspire young girls. Even though they have animated the pages and provided narrators, the emphasis is still on the reading. The words appear on the screen. The word being spoken is highlighted to let your child know what they’re reading sounds like.

Me…Jane leads off the books with a biography about Jane Goodall. We learn about how her relationship with a stuffed chimp led to her desire to study the real versions. This reminds an adult that it is the little things we introduce into our child’s life that can lead to their lifelong ambition. Who Says Woman Can’t Be Doctors? is the equally empowering story about a woman who wanted to be more than a nurse. After an exhaustive search, she found a school who would allow her to study and train to be a doctor. She had to overcome a lot of prejudice to live her dream. This is the kind of story that allows your kid to know that sometimes it is not just good enough to pursue a dream. You have to overcome those who want to stomp your ambition out with their gatekeeper attitude. I Could Do That: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote shines the light on a woman who wasn’t happy that she wasn’t allowed to vote in a democracy. Why? Because she was a woman. Sometimes people on major news channels forget that women couldn’t vote until 1920. Joan Allen (Manhunter) reads the words to your kids. Players In Pigtails covers the all girl baseball league during World War II. This reminds kids that you don’t have to be forced to give up a sport because the society rules that they can play a different sport that’s almost the same. Zooey Deschanel (The New Girl) narrates the ballpark action.

Me…Jane and More Stories About Girl Power is the perfect DVD for a drive when it’s getting dark outside and you need to put something on the DVD player. You want to get youf kid to think about reading without sounding like it’s an educational moment. Each story is about 10 minutes long so it’s great for short trips. Even if they’ve seen the animated version a few times, they’ll still want you to read it to them at bedtime. The only difference is they’ll want you to sound like Zooey.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers look fine. Each story is given a different animation technique. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. The books are read cleanly so kids can follow along easily. The books are subtitled for reading-along.

A Conversation with Patrick McDonnell and Dr. Jane Goodall (14:14) allows author and subject expand upon the tale. McDonnell talks about how he found the story of Jane and her childhood stuffed chimp. Jane admits her fascination with Tarzan. They talk about how books inspired them to the lives they now live.

Cinedigm and Scholastic presents Me…Jane and More Stories About Girl Power. Starring: Joan Allen and Zooey Deschanel. Boxset Contents: 4 books on 1 DVD. Released: April 12, 2016.

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