The movie Bolt was a surprise. Unlike The Tale of Desperaux, which was an unpleasant surprise, Bolt was actually a pleasant surprise!
Here’s the thing to know about Bolt – the opening scene appears to be violent – ‘bad’ people chasing a little girl and her dog, then the dog turns and unleashes his super bark on the bad people, and they get bowled over.
But you very quickly realize that this is a scene being filmed for the television series in which the girl and the dog star, and the scene is over in moments. In fact, if you were concerned about it, you could simply miss the first two or three minutes of the film, and explain to your child that the dog thinks he has super powers because in the television show he does.
The rest of the movie was not only unobjectionable, but quite enjoyable. Again, we were pleasantly surprised.
There is some very mild potty humour, and there are a couple of sad moments (but they quickly resolve, they are only temporarily sad) and at the end there is an intense scene where the girl really is trapped in a fire – that could be scary for younger children, although you can, again, let them know that everything will be fine.
And it really will be.
This delightful picture book is based on a true story, which took place in India when an entire village stood firm against the Maharaja’s men, who had come to cut down many trees in the village to use the wood for building elsewhere. The villagers, who respected and relied on the trees for so many things such as fruit, shade, fuel, and homes for local animals, actually hugged the trees and protected them with their bodies. In the story, nobody is harmed, the trees are saved, and eventually the men leave without cutting down any trees.
In reality, many villagers were first killed before the trees were finally spared, however this is not alluded to at all in the story itself.
There was nothing objectionable in this book at all, and I would have no problem reading or giving it to a child of any age.
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The book “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” has been a perennial favourite of ours for many years. It is the very silly story of a town, Chewandswallow, that gets all of their food from their weather – clouds of mashed potatoes, rain of grape jelly. But one day something starts going wrong, and the food coming out of the sky becomes more menacing – both larger and more voluminous. Eventually the good citizens of Chewandswallow have to abandon the town, and set sail on rafts of oversized slices of bread for shores unknown. They end up in a more normal place, and have to adjust to life where food comes from the store and has to be refrigerated.
This book doesn’t have anything at all inappropriate, however the oversized food pelting down from the skies does become hazardous. Nobody gets hurt, however, and even with our very strident rules about what is acceptable, we found this book entirely appropriate even when our son was very young.
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