Non Fiction Video Thursday--Eyewitness

Today I'm falling back on a tried and true series of non fiction videos -- DK's Eyewitness series.

These are very, very good. They are short and snappy, they present facts coupled with brilliant images, and there are lots of them so it is pretty easy to find one about a subject that interests your child. They combine real images with computer graphic to excellent effect. We started with Ocean, and it remains one of our favorites; Planets is another good one that both boys like. It's my impression that the less obvious the subject (titles like Sight, Survival, Human Machine as opposed to Cat, Bear, Amphibian) the less engaging the episode--they are more like pastiche than purposeful progress. I don't include Flight in this category, however--it's a good one. The introduction (soaring through the Eyewitness Museum) is worth watching for its own sake. Often there is a Making--an informative behind the scenes look at how they did it which I think is a wonderful thing for children to see--because then they have a basis of understanding videos as things that are created and manipulated rather than straight reality (at least that's what I hope they are getting out of it).

These are available as videos and dvds. Here's a link to the DK site where they are listed; if you click on the "more" part of each problem, it will indeed tell you more about that episode.

Potential problem--Inappropriate regurgitation of knowledge:

Like many other parents of non-fiction video watching children, I can quote "The distinct style of the Eyewitness books forms the basis..." "clarity and super-realism" "bringing the world into sharper focus." The quotes my older son remembers are mostly facts. For instance, a few years ago he said, "Mama, let me tell you about the mating habits of the vampire salamander." It is an ugly, ugly story, but one he wanted to tell. To everyone he met. I guess his day care teacher already knew him well enough to take it in stride, but still.

DK is currently having a couple of contests; here's one where you can win some sticker books and an encyclopedia; here's another, via Fuse #8, for a set of 100 books...

If you have a favorite Eyewitness video, let me know!

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