just a kid who's four, each day I grow some more, I like
exploring, I'm Caillou."
is a 4-year-old boy who is learning about life, one step at a
time. This animated character, first introduced to the world in
storybook format, is believable and fun. Caillou's
adventures involve rather simple stories about growing
up--learning exactly what his limits are, developing patience and
understanding, and solving problems that many real children his
video features a number of Caillou stories. In the first episode, Caillou looks
forward to receiving the Saturday morning newspaper for his
favorite comic strips. But not only has the wind blown the paper
all over the lawn, Gilbert the cat chooses that very moment to
play with the page of comics! A little tape fixes the page, but
Gilbert knocks a cup of milk onto the page. Caillou is (perhaps
uncharacteristically) patient with the little problems he faces,
and everything works out just fine in the end. In the next
episode, Caillou goes to the library and borrows books. When it
comes time to return them, he worries about the crayon marks he
has left on the books' covers! Another story explores wordless
communication. Caillou makes a friend, named Robbie, who is deaf.
Once again, communication is the theme in a story about keeping a
secret--a surprise present for Mommy!
between Caillou stories, children watch vignettes starring
live-action puppets. These puppets are meant to be Caillou's pet
cat, Gilbert, and his toy stuffed animals, although it is hard for many children to make that
connection, simply because this puppet world is very different
than the animated world of Caillou. In these interludes, the
puppets learn new words (such as "plethora") from the
dictionary, Gilbert tries to compose an "ode" but
struggles with writer's block, and Teddy is sad but he can't find
words to express himself. Other vignettes feature live-action
song-videos all about books and wordless communication.
are not quite as smitten with the puppet vignettes as we are with
the Caillou stories, the video is worthwhile for its social
lessons and simple stories. Even though the video's title might
suggest that kids will learn some reading basics, the video is
actually an exploration of communication in general.
video is also available. along with Caillou: It's a Party!,
on DVD in Caillou: Family Collection #2. A chaptering
option is featured as well as the option to play the DVD in
English or French. Interactive games are also available on the
- Life's little lessons
are explored in believable animated stories.
- The video demonstrates
that with a little patience and understanding, problems
can be solved.
- The puppet vignettes
included in the video are less engaging than the
animated Caillou stories.
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