After the apparent success of the first collection, Scholastic Storybook Treasures presents Treasury Of 100 Storybook Classics #2, a massive 17-disc set of DVDs presenting over 19 hours of children’s stories, some of which are classics and award winners, adapted into 100 short films.
The stories are told in different ways. Most make use of the illustrators’ great artwork. For example, during Virginia Lee Burton’s Caldecott Medal-winning Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (1939), the camera pans and zooms through the pages of the book. While others animate the artwork and bring the characters to life such as seen in Peggy Rathmann’s Good Night, Gorilla (1994). Corduroy (1968) was given the live-action treatment in 1984 and is included here. The final disc in the set uses stop-motion animation for three films, including Beverly Cleary’s Ralph S. Mouse (1982), which began the 12th season of ABC Weekend Specials in 1991. An eclectic mix of actors and singers narrators the stories, including Kathy Bates, Ossie Davis, Mia Farrow, Cyndi Lauper, Mako, Rob Reiner, Randy Travis, Lynn Whitfield, and Billy Dee Williams.
Each disc covers a particular subject, like sleepytime, caring, sing-alongs, animals, the environment, school adventures, and American history. There are also musical stories, holiday stories, and even ones that are slightly scary. Some DVDs are devoted to a single author, such as Doreen Cronin, Hans Christian Anderson, and James Marshall. They are broken down into featured stories and bonus stories. The former have an option for open captions so children can read along, which is a great feature that helps teach children how to read, so the experience isn’t completely passive.
A few of the discs offer bonus material. There are Spanish versions of some stories, questions about the featured stories to see if the child comprehended what they saw, and interviews with some of the author and illustrators, which will appeal to older children and parents.
While parents are right to be concerned about children watching too much television, Treasury Of 100 Storybook Classics #2 is a very good use of the medium because it engages imaginations and educates at the same time.