Friday, November 12, 2010
A Daily Cartoon: Again and Again!
Pettersson und Findus: Alle Abenteuer auf einer DVD. (Peterson and Findus: All Adventures on one DVD), 2001, 170 minutes
We were very fortunate to find this DVD 3 years ago when we were looking for ways to expose our children to German as spoken by Germans, not just Mama. In general, we decided that 10-20 minutes of video per day would be acceptable if this goal was met, so we added a DVD to our collection of books, CDs, and audiostories!
I had only this cover to look at and a few reviews. The artwork appeared natural and beautiful, a good sign. This DVD has 12 approximately 10 minute-long stories about an old man (Peterson) and his cat (Findus) and the adventures they both experience on Peterson's farm. By adventures, I mean camping in the backyard, fishing at the pond, hosting relatives, and other normal occurances. My children love this DVD and watch it again and again. This is no exaggeration! We watch one episode most days of the week, and we have been doing this for about three years now. They each have their favorites and can now repeat phrases verbatim. Since the adventures are indeed ordinary events, they are able to take much of the vocabulary they learn from the cartoons and apply it to our daily conversation.
One Caveat: Yes, studies have shown and are showing that exposure to imagery (this includes picture books) when children are 4 and younger can block their own imagination's natural development. In other words, instead of children developing their own pictures of things they imagine, they are given the pictures first and then base their play around what they've seen. While I acknowledge that this is very likely, I do not as yet believe this to be an absolute. If this were indeed the case, it would seem to say that we are incapable of imagining beyond what we see or have seen once we have seen it. Many a child has invented the most outlandisch fantasies with no apparant relation to anything they have seen or heard and vice versa. Our response concerning this DVD: since the artwork is so natural and beautiful and the episodes are of everyday life, we decided this film would be no great impediment to the children's imaginations. Besides, we still keep our picture books!
TIP: If you are planning to watch this on a computer, be sure to have a computer set to Region 2 or a universal converter to watch films specified for non-American regions.