When we were first told that Marshall Publishing's Lots and Lots of Firetrucks was going to be coming up for review, I was skeptical. It looked like something that would be most appropriate for pre-school and early elementary.
But I looked at the information, and it said it was for 4th - 8th graders, so I signed up as being interested. After all, my son likes fire engines, and he is in 6th grade.
I was selected for the review, and when the materials arrived I popped the DVD into my computer with great anticipation to view it once on my own (with earphones) before showing it to my son. Well, the DVD, called Lots & Lots of Fire Songs and Safety Tips definitely was lots and lots of fire songs. I kept looking and looking to see if there was something more, something I was missing, but I saw it all. It was just lots and lots of songs. And I was fairly certain it would bore my so to tears, but I said nothing because I didn't want to influence him.
So I told my son that we had this firetrucks DVD to watch, I plugged it in and sat to watch his reaction. Well, he reacted the way I had anticipated he would and did and did not tolerate to watch the entire DVD. Within the DVD there seemed to be too much repetition, and the songs seemed of a nature for younger children. Some of the children in the DVD actually were younger children, telling safety tips (which said to me that their audience should have been younger children). There was even one place in the DVD where the child giving advice said that if there is a fire, go to a pay phone and dial 9-1-1, and you don't have to pay. Well, the last time I checked AT&T had done away with all pay phones, and so the section in the DVD about using a pay phone is moot. But this DVD would have a lot of appeal to kids just a wee bit younger than my son, who is almost 12...
So, having cemented my opinion that Marshall Publishing Company should be marketing the DVD to younger kids, I then turned my attention to the book, Fire Trucks & Fire Fighters. This beautiful, soft-cover, bright colored book has 124 glossy pages full of beautiful color photographs. I was writing up a description, but it got cumbersome, so I'll list the contents so you can get a flavor of what it contains:
- Meet Firefighter Joe
- Firefighter's Tools & Equipment
- Rescue Vehicles: Pumper Trucks; Ladder Trucks; Specialty Vehicles
- Fire Fighting Facts;
- Fire Science Basics
- Fire Prevention Week
- Fire Prevention & Safety Tips
- What is a Firefighter?
- Firefighters in Action
- Words of the Firefighter: Fireman's Prayer and others
- Old Time Firefighter's Alphabet
- Classic Fire House Traditions;
- History of Fire Trucks and Fire Fighting
- Antique Fire Trucks;
- Greatest Fires in History;
- Firefighting Timeline;
- Fire House Museums;
- Cool Fire Related Websites;
- Lots and Lots of Fire Trucks Sing-a-long Lyrics
However, if you have a whole passel of kids, and your oldest is 4th-8th grade, by all means go ahead and invest in this. The language in the book is advanced for younger kids to read it to themselves, but it would be a wonderful book to snuggle together on the couch and the older person read aloud to the younger ones. It really is a beautiful book! I will definitely be recommending this entire set to my friends with young kids with an interest in fire trucks!
So far, I watched the DVD with my son as a test, because I was fairly convinced he would not like it, and I was right. I have, since, reviewed the book on my own, and I have come to the conclusion that he is going to enjoy looking it over, but he won't choose to spend much time on it on his own. I plan to schedule parts of it to include in our homeschooling, which we will label as "Health - Fire Safety" (since in my state I am required to document that I teach "Health", and I believe Fire Safety easily falls into that category). Many of the fires mentioned in the chapter on great fires in history are ones we have studied in the past, and others are ones we will cover in the future. So we will take a look at the timeline and plug some of the historic fires into our Book of Centuries, which is our timeline that we are building on this year in our homeschool.
My opinion is that this DVD and book set should be marketed, in general, as a book for reading aloud to/with kids preschool through 4th grade.
There is currently a great deal on Lots and Lots of Fire Trucks and Firefighters Book and Safety Songs DVD Set -- it is being offered on the Marshall website. This set normally sells for $49.90, but Marshal Publishing is currently offering it at a web sale price of $29.95. But wait! There's more! If you want this set, right now there is a promotional code!
- Promotional Code: TOSF1 will get you this set for $19.95 (plus Shipping & Handling)
- Order by calling 888-300-3455 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time (I think that's 11 a. to 9 p. EST)
- Or order on their website: www.marshallpub.com or www.firesafetysongs.com
So check out their extensive offerings, and tell your friends about all their great products. Christmas is coming, and if you have a passel of kidlets who just love planes, or trucks, or trains, or certainly fire engines, consider buying them one of these packages since they are such a great deal now!
This has been a TOS Homeschool Crew Review.
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