Adorable Kids' DVD: Can I Read to You?

For parents desperate to find an alternative to Thomas and Friends and Dora the Explorer DVDs (because really, after the 179th viewing of your tot's favorite, you could recite the damn thing yourself!) now there's a sweet substitute: Can I Read to You?

The 45-minute DVD is geared toward preschoolers and features 14 stories being read aloud by "regular" kids ages 5 to 8. (Why? According to the DVD's website, "very young children are more apt to pay attention to, and relate to other kids closer to their age.") Each book's illustrations, along with background music and the occasional sound effect, accompany the storytelling.

I'll be honest: At the beginning this DVD didn't capture my 4-year-old's interest. The opening story, a simple book read by a very young girl, failed to entice him to settle down and pay attention. But as the DVD went on, he snuggled in my lap and started tuning in and laughing at each tale. And he was delighted by a book that's now on my to-buy list: Fiona Robinson's The Useful Moose: A Truthful, Moose-full Tale.

Certainly, this DVD will never replace storytime in our house -- and that's not its intent -- but in my mind, any extra story- and snuggle-time I can get with my son is a good thing.

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