Mixed media: Apps, video, books and TV for your kids

Interesting diversions
for your kids.

FILM: REVOLUTION

Environmental movements often hang on the sad-eyed face of an endangered animal. But Toronto’s Rob Stewart, environmentalist-turned-director, has a different idea. In Revolution, the sequel to his box office smash Sharkwater, the endangered species is us. Sharkwater shone a harsh light on the devastating environmental effects of hunting sharks for their fins. Not only was it a financial success (it made $5 million), but it was an environmental success, raising awareness on the issue and triggering many people – especially youth – to pressure their governments to ban the import of shark fins. Revolution aims to tap into and engage that same youth audience. The film features stories and footage of inspiring young environmentalists. Though Rob is committed and passionate about the cause, he admits he doesn’t have all the answers. “We have to come together and decide how many people we want on this planet and what our levels of consumption are. The greatest thing I can do is help educate the public.” To kids wanting to make a difference to the earth, Rob encourages them to get active and join environmental groups. “Become conscious of your own environmental impact, avoid mass consumption and write the government.” – Elizabeth Kiy In theatres across Canada April 12 Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, April 2013.

APP: PULL-UPS BIG KID APP

Toddlers’ favourite Disney characters come to life to help motivate them in this new potty training app. Each flush unlocks games, fun photo frames and special messages from characters. A collection of Pull-Ups music and a countdown timer can help remind your child when it’s time for a potty break. Scan special markers available inside packages of Pull-Ups Training Pants to experience an interactive 3D celebration with Rapunzel and Mickey Mouse. – Elizabeth Kiy Free app available for iPhone or iPad in iTunes store, and on Google Play for Android. Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, April 2013.

FILM: A MONSTER IN PARIS

Journey to turn-of-the-century Paris in this fresh animated spin on the beauty and the beast story from Shark Tale director Bibo Bergeron. The film, a critical succe s in France, is now available in English and features the voices of Vanessa Paradis, Catherine O’Hara, Sean Lennon and Adam Goldberg. It tells the story of an inventor, a projectionist and their monkey friend who accidentally create ‘Franc’, who they think is a monster but is actually a giant flea with a sweet singing voice and a good heart. – Elizabeth Kiy Available April 16 on DVD ($15), and two-disc Blu-ray 3D combo pack ($25) at Amazon.com. Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, April 2013.

BOOK: WHEN I GET OLDER: THE STORY BEHIND “WAVIN’ FLAG”, BY K’NAAN, ILLUSTRATED BY RUDY GUTIERREZ, TUNDRA BOOKS

Somali-Canadian musician K’naan’s first children’s book tells the inspirational story of his immigration to Canada to escape the Somali War. K’naan uses accessible yet poetic language to draw in young readers, exploring his adjustment to Canada and how music kept him connected to his family. Gutierrez’s artwork powerfully conveys a new immigrant’s sense of alienation. – Elizabeth Kiy Includes sheet music to “Wavin’ Flag”. $19.99. At booksellers everywhere. Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, April 2013.

TV: ROCKET MONKEYS

Monkey brothers Gus and Mark embark on cosmic missions, but cause more intergalactic calamity than they prevent. This new animated comedy is voiced by some of Canada’s leading funnymen – Mark McKinney as Lord Peel, Seán Cullen as Gus and newcomer Mark Edwards as Wally. This off-the-wall cartoon is aimed at kids six to 11 years old. Thursdays at 6:30 :: Teletoon Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2013.

APP: CHUGGINGTON - TRAINTASTIC ADVENTURE

This is the ideal app f or tiny train lovers. Kids can collect train set pieces to create their own Chuggington world. There are four exciting adventures to complete and each includes tasks such as loading, discovery, rescue and speedy delivery. $5.99, for iPhone and iPad at the iTunes store Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2013.

BOOK: SOUNDS OF THE WILD: DESERT, BY MAURICE PEDGER, SILVER DOLPHIN

Kids are introduced to desert wildlife through this wonderfully illustrated book. Each page opens up to an elaborate popup scene, accompanied by the sounds of the animals and environment. Instead of just reading about a mountain lion, listen to him roar. It’s like a trip to the desert! The book also includes detailed descriptions of each creature. $21.95, Indigo.ca and Amazon.ca Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2013.

THE NEXT STEP

Fans of dancing, rejoice! This scripted show has a reality TV style, following a group of elite dancers as they train for their regional competition. Be prepared for plenty of choreographed scenes as the characters challenge each other and face the ups and downs of life as competitive dancers. Look for character interviews and behind-the-scenes footage on family.ca. Premieres in March Family Channel Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2013

BOOK: COZY CLASSICS: JANE AUSTEN’S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, BY JACK AND HOLMAN WANG

Introduce your little one to classic literature with this board book series aimed at babies. Each book contains just 12 baby-friendly words, summing up the entire story. Each word is accompanied by adorable needle-felt illustrations, created by the authors (twin brothers from Vancouver). Other titles available include Moby Dick, War and Peace and Les Misérables. $9.95 – Elizabeth Kiy Available at Chapters/Indigo, independent booksellers, Indigo.ca and Amazon.ca. Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, April 2013.
FILM: REVOLUTION
APP: PULL-UPS BIG KID APP
FILM: A MONSTER IN PARIS
BOOK: WHEN I GET OLDER: THE STORY BEHIND “WAVIN’ FLAG”, BY K’NAAN, ILLUSTRATED BY RUDY GUTIERREZ, TUNDRA BOOKS
TV: ROCKET MONKEYS
APP: CHUGGINGTON - TRAINTASTIC ADVENTURE
BOOK: SOUNDS OF THE WILD: DESERT, BY MAURICE PEDGER, SILVER DOLPHIN
THE NEXT STEP
BOOK: COZY CLASSICS: JANE AUSTEN’S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, BY JACK AND HOLMAN WANG

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