2-year-old Pierre seems to be chief tester here at The Madhouse this week. After all the Thomas & Friends reviews that I posted on Wednesday, he has just been watching another boy-friendly DVD because I showed him the Tractor Ted DVD that we received to review. The fact that I called it boy-friendly doesn't mean that it doesn't appeal to girls too though. I was amazed to see that both 6-year-old Juliette and 10-year-old Sophie were also glued to the screen all the way through !
The official blurb says : "Currently at the top of our dvd charts - The Mighty Maize Machine is captivating. The amazing forage harvester is hard at work, singalong as he collects the grass silage and harvests the maize. So many machines packed into this brilliant dvd including feed wagons, rakes, mowers, JCB and more. Ted visits two dairies one with cows and one with sheep! Poor Les forgets something rather important, just as well the children are there!"
Well, I have to admit that I thought that the word "captivating" was a bit OTT when I read the blurb but when we sat down to watch it, it really was. It reminds me of the "real life" segments on the Teletubbies' tummies or, going further back, when Playschool used to go through the round window, taking you into a real life world that you never normally see. How many of us, even grown-ups, have really seen the different farm machines at work ? Even I found it fascinating.
Pierre kept getting all excited, pointing at the screen and screeching "Regarde !" ("Look !") or "tractor" and "big digger" (you can tell I haven't been giving him the right technical words up to now !!) when the farm machinery was shown. He also loved seeing the cartoony Tractor Ted appearing on screen.
As well as showing you footage from real working farms, the DVD is educational linguistically because there are captions on screen allowing little learners to see how the different key words are spelt. It's a fascinating glimpse into the real world of farming that kids (and grown-ups !) of all ages will enjoy watching.
There are 16 DVDs available in total, as well as toys, books and clothes, so I'll definitely be looking at the rest of the range as it's such a great way of learning about the countryside.
star rating : 4.5/5
running time : 40 minutes (plus 5 minutes of clips)
RRP : £9.99
for more information : http://www.tractorland.co.uk/
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