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DVD Review: Where’s Spot and Other Stories

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Adorable puppy Spot is missing and it’s dinner time. His mom, Sally, searches the house for him, looking in cupboards, under rugs, and in the piano. She finds lots of surprising animals, but Where’s Spot? The Spot series of books and videos delight very young children because of their simplicity and the opportunity to play along. As Sally goes about her search for Spot, children can participate by identifying the various animals that she comes across in the most unlikely places.

There’s lots of Spot in Where’s Spot? and Other Stories, and each episode makes great entertainment for the very young. One thing I always weigh is the irritability factor in kids’ videos—how irritating they might be after the third, tenth, and twentieth viewings. Where’s Spot? and Other Stories rates low in the irritability scale, allowing little ones to view it over and over without actually driving their parents to the liquor cabinet.

Like all of us, young and old, Spot doesn’t always know where he leaves things. In “Spot’s Lost Bone,” he is worried because he’s lost his favorite bone. Mom Sally suggests he look in his toy box, but no bone. His dad doesn’t know where the bone is either, but suggests looking in the drawers. Sybil the cat suggests he look in the garden. The story ends with Spot’s ingenuous plan to keep from losing his bone “ever again.”

All the stories include a bit of introductory music, an uncomplicated problem, and its solution. Spot is both clever and well behaved, two outstanding qualities in a dog. He listens to his parents, takes turns, shares his toys, and says “please” and “thank you.” Spot is also industrious, a problem-solver with a can-do attitude. Other featured stories are:

  • “Spot at the Playground” has Spot playing with Steve the Monkey and a hippo. How can Spot play on the see-saw with Helen the Hippo?
  • “Spot Goes to the Park.” While Helen and Spot play in the park, they see Tom the Alligator and play monkey-in-the-middle. When Spot’s ball ends up in the pond, how will they get it back?
  • “Spot Finds a Key.” Playing in the garden, Spot sees something shiny on the path and discovers a key. There are lots of places to try it around Spot’s home. Where will the key fit?
  • “Spot Goes Splash.” On a rainy day, Spot has to stay indoors. When the rain stops he goes outside and is joined by Steve and Helen, where he gets nice and muddy. Sally isn’t happy, and it’s off to the bath for Spot.

Special features include: “Spot’s Bath”  (Spot plays outside, takes a bath, and falls asleep while Sally reads him a bedtime story); “Spot’s Umbrella” (On a rainy day, Spot digs out his umbrella and goes to Tom’s house. On the way, he finds a place that’s dry and animals that like the rain.); “Spot’s Treehouse” (Spot’s dad builds a treehouse and Spot helps.); Spot’s “Creator Eric Hill Reading: Where’s Spot” (the genial author reads a lift-the-flap version of Where’s Spot? assisted by his little stuffed Spot toy); and "Spot’s Shapes and Colors Game." There are English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

The Spot series is geared to pre-school children, and respects their shorter attention span by keeping the stories short. They are easy to understand, and they offer discussion opportunities for parents and caregivers to share with children. My only complaint is that Spot is now 30 years old—where has the time gone?

Bottom Line: Would I buy Where’s Spot? Yes, it wouldn’t be the first Spot video to find a place on my shelf.

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