Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Fascinating World of Insects

The Fascinating World of Insects

Spring 2012 DVD
Ages: 2 & Up
DVD Price: $14.99

Little lovers of creepy-crawly things will appreciate The Fascinating World of Insects, a 43-minute DVD presented by Brainfood Learning. Videos and extreme close-up photos reveal views not commonly seen of twelve different insects: Grasshoppers, ladybugs, rhino beetles, fireflies, mosquitoes, honey bees, water striders, ants, praying mantes, dragonflies, and butterflies.

A narrator provides facts about the insects in each segment, and while the facts are fascinating, they cover territory that's broad, resulting in a lopsided list that goes from ultra-basic to fairly advanced. The DVD includes a review feature with varying question levels. For instance, in the first level, a child narrates the simple insect name appearing on the screen. In the fourth review level, viewers are asked to recall facts such as which insect is best known for its "brightly colored spotted elytra." Any child who understands what "elytra" is probably didn't need the section of the program that helped her tell an ant from a grasshopper, and vice versa, reducing this program's effectiveness as an educational tool.

Still, the close-up insect footage is compelling enough to keep entomology enthusiasts of all ages entertained and bug-lovin' kids probably will forgive the uneven script content and just enjoy the many cool close-up shots in The Fascinating World of Insects.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is a writer, teacher, and TV producer with 8 Emmy awards and 20 Emmy nominations to her credit. She has worked in the television industry since 1987, producing children's programming, informational features and documentaries. Catanzarite lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and twin sons.

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