Tuesday, October 27, 2009

lions and elephants?! oh my!


we don't have cable so we don't often have opportunity to take advantage of all the learning opportunities offered by animal planet.  all of us were pretty excited to receive two dvds from animal planet, one on elephants and one on lions.

we took advantage of a night when bill was off studying to eat our dinner in front of the television (a VERY rare occurrence around our house) and watch "a lion called christian."  this video tells the story of two boys who had a lion for a pet and who eventually released him into the wild and then, as you may have witnessed on youtube, were eventually reunited with him.  i was actually a little bit surprised how much the kids got into the story.  they are still informing me of different facts and bits of information they learned about lions as a result of watching this episode.    there is also "the lion's share" taking you right into the lion's existence in the serengeti.  "white lions" tells about the special white lions.  this one is interesting but i wish it was tied a little bit less to religion.  i thought this one wasn't as good to view with the kids because it has been hard to explain to them that other religions may worship lions but we will not.  there is also an episode on "rogue lions" that i found interesting but, again, not really something i want to worry the kids with.  overall, i was pleased with the learning opportunities provided by lions and am glad the kids had an opportunity to learn something with their video time.  lions is now available in stores (suggested retail price: $14.95) and also on amazon for $8.99.


we also received elephants.  in "africa's elephant kingdom" we had a chance to learn about elephants and their family structure while following them across the african plains.  it is amazing how they survive as they struggle to find food, water and a place for their family.  in "queen of the elephants" we learned more about the elephant's plight from conservationist mark shand and the only female elephant handler in india, parbarti barua.  again, it is hard for me to know how i feel about letting the kids watch this.  i want them to know that animals are struggling because of human actions that lead to global warming and resource depletion.  but i also don't want them to feel deeply affected by the needs out there while feeling powerless to do anything about it.  i am glad for myself to learn about the struggles that animals have as well as the actions that are being taken to protect and provide for animals like the elephants.  i am always glad for the learning opportunities that shows like animal planet provide and this video is no exception.   elephants is available in stores now (suggested retail price: $14.95) and is also available from amazon for $13.49.

again, while i hesitate to have my kids watch all the episodes on these two dvds, i learned a lot about each animal and am glad to give my kids the learning opportunity that the other episodes provide.

i received a copy of each dvd but have in no other way been compensated for this review.  if you use the links i've provided to buy either of these dvds, i might get a dollar or so from amazon.  i promise to use it wisely...

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