Cricket embark on a project to bring their print library into the multimedia arena wi"/>
 

NOODLEBUG: Animal Friends

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Author NOODLEBUG: Animal FriendsCa Carus Publishing/Noodlebug Productions $19.95 (800-821-0115) ISBN 0-8126-3350-4 ISBN 0-8126-3359-8
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The publishers of the respected children's magazine group that includes Cricket embark on a project to bring their print library into the multimedia arena with this debut video. As the theme song goes, the production's buggy title mascot has a noble mission to encourage young viewers: "Noodlebug helps me give my brain a hug/.... Use your noodle!" Stories and illustrations from Babybug and Ladybug magazines (publications for the toddler set) are at the heart of this title, brought to life via simple animations, music, and, at its most basic, the camera panning the printed page. These visuals are interspersed with some live-action shots of children participating in various learning games and activities (counting, matching up items, trying to imitate animal movements) and some footage of real animals. Such chipper tunes in full sing-along mode (lyrics appear onscreen with a follow-the-bouncing-ball graphic) as "Choo Choo at the Zoo" and "Shake, Shake, Shake" will no doubt encourage little ones to move and groove. Several narrators read brief stories here, but one woman's affected, overly didactic voice detracts from the overall program. Random placement of Spanish instruction ("Vaca means cow in Spanish") throughout is obviously informative but sometimes seems tacked on. In all, however, a promising start for a new series. Noodlebug: On the Move is due out later this month. Ages 18 mos.-3 yrs. (Mar.)

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