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Video Review:    Sesame Street: Bert & Ernie's Word Play

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Top Pick. Even if children cannot yet read the sign that Elmo holds on the cover of this video, they're bound to understand the meaning behind it after viewing Bert & Ernie's Word Play. Reading is fun with this cleverly educational video that features a parade of Sesame Street skits focusing on words. 

Bert and Ernie host a play all about words, and their shenanigans bookend the carefully selected Sesame Street vignettes. Our favorite is one starring Kermit the Frog who is trying to pick up the "Kermit the Frog" T-shirt he's ordered. Kermit quickly becomes frustrated as the store owner holds up one t-shirt after another, reading "Kermit the Gorf", "Kermit the Grof", and so forth. This skit is not only hilarious, it demonstrates how words take on new meanings when their letters are rearranged. Other standouts include a skit in which Grover misreads a telegram and a muppet vignette that features the "at" word family. 

There are Sesame Street videos that focus on letters and numbers, but this one is special because its skits and vignettes revolve around whole words. The result is a video that is enormously fun and an excellent pre-reading primer. Most preschoolers won't be able to read the words, but they will get the idea that written words are meaningful indeed. 

The DVD edition features a chaptering option.

For more information, user reviews, or to buy, follow these links:

Sesame Street - Bert & Ernie's Word Play (VHS) or Sesame Street - Bert & Ernie's Word Play (DVD) 


  • Imaginative and creative presentations of words.
  • High entertainment value.
  • Focuses on "words" rather than "letters".


  • As is the case with most Sesame Street videos, some parents might find the video manipulates children's attention spans with its frequent scene changes.


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VHS/DVD   Ages 2-5  



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Buy Sesame Street - Bert & Ernie's Word Play (VHS) or Sesame Street - Bert & Ernie's Word Play (DVD)  at

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Reviewed September 2002   Comments? Email us.



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