Fingerplays! Hands That Tell a StorySpring 2012 DVD
Parents who yearn to play something other than "Paddy Cake" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" will appreciate Fingerplays! Hands That Tell a Story, a cheerful collection of thirty-two rhymes and songs performed with accompanying fingerplay that pantomimes parts of the story. The performances are filled with bubbly fun and gentle humor, although note that they're much more likely to appeal to parents with children on the very young end of the suggested three-to-eight age range.
This 44-minute DVD features veteran children's musician Kathy Reid-Naiman who performs the fingerplays as sings or recites each selection, sometimes to musical accompaniment. Reid-Naiman's voice exudes a kind of lilting delight in language and she makes as much of an impact with her wordplay as she does with her exuberant movements. The disk also offers lyrics that can be accessed on a computer using Adobe Reader, a helpful feature for pre-school teachers looking for new activities for Circle Time.
As skilled and filled with life as the performances are, the production value does not do it justice. The dark background has the effect of swallowing the host rather than spotlighting her. Even with the disappointing set and lighting, Fingerplays! Hands That Tell a Story offers an interesting and sophisticated way to play, delivering and interpreting stories using creative movement as well as words.