TOS Crew Review: Lots and Lots of Penguins (Marshall Publishing)

How about a little science education? This review may be of interest to any parent, especially those with younger kids.

Company Information: Marshall Publishing and Promotions is a media-publishing company that desires to provide CDs, DVDs, books, and other media "that will amaze, amuse, entertain, and educate." Their "Lots and Lots of" series is the most recent addition to their line of products. There are titles on jets and planes, trucks, toy trains, fire trucks, and more! There are also historic DVDs, such as programs on Lincoln at Gettysburg, Lewis and Clark, and the Oregon Trail. If you are looking for high quality and informative videos, you may wish to consider these!

Product Reviewed: Lots and Lots of Penguins set, which included Lots and Lots of Playful Penguins and Their Toe-Tappin' Feet (75 min.), Lots and Lots of Penguins in the Wild (30 min.), and a Bonus DVD of Party Like a Penguin.

Price: $19.95 for all 3 DVDs. They can also be purchased individually: Lots and Lots of Playful Penguins and Their Toe-Tappin' Feet retails for $12.95 and Lots and Lots of Penguins in the Wild retails for $9.95.

Age Range: kids as young as preschoolers will enjoy watching the videos, while older children can use them as educational videos. In my opinion, grade-school kids may be the best target. It may be a little too young for high schoolers.

Parental Preparation: None. Just insert into your DVD player!

How We Used It: We pretty much just opened the package once it arrived and popped it right into our DVD. We all enjoyed learning about the many different types of penguins--17 in all. (I didn't realize there were that many kinds!) Besides the quintessential Emperor penguin, we learned about the Adelie, Chinstrap, and my personal favorite, the Macaroni penguin.

Although we didn't have time to do this, this could be a great way for grade schoolers to learn how to take notes. Play the video once through and then on the second time around, have them write down the key facts about each penguin as they listen. Use the material to create lapbooks or notebook pages.

What We Liked:

  • The footage is excellent. There are many up-close shots--close enough to hear the penguins' sounds.
  • The informational segments were very detailed and thorough.
  • There were many varieties that we have not learned about before so there was a lot of new material for the boys. This was great for Matthew who really loves odd facts and details.

What We Didn't Like:

  • After awhile, the theme song got a little annoying for us. I know some kids may enjoy it, but not mine. We didn't quite appreciate the cartoonish "Party Like a Penguin" song. (Sorry!)
  • The penguins in the wild video doesn't have any talking (which makes sense, as they are in the wild). However, it also did not hold the attention of my kids for too long either. I think both of them liked the commentary of the other video,  so they didn't find this one as interesting.
  • My youngest son usually loves to watch his favorite videos over and over, but didn't really want to watch it more than once.

Overall Summary:

In general, these would make a great addition to a homeschool co-op library so that several families can enjoy them. Another idea may be to split the cost among several families to share. For us, it would be a big investment only to watch once or twice. Content-wise however, they are excellent and well done. Where else can you get that up-close to a penguin? But somehow my kids don't like to watch educational videos over and over. Maybe a unit study on penguins are in order!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the Lots and Lots of Penguins DVD set at no charge in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are my own. If you'd like to read other thoughts on this product, click the banner below.