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Friday, April 11, 2014

TOS Review: Curiosity Quest DVD's

Curiosity Quest Review
Do penguins have feathers or fur? Why are the guys in the cranberry juice commercial standing in a lot of water and cranberries? Are mushrooms a fruit or a vegetable? Just a few of the questions Adam (12), Kaden (11), River (5), and I know the answers to after reviewing two wonderful DVD combo packs from Curiosity Quest - Produce and Swimmers of the Sea.  

*(very thick feathers, cranberries float and floating them in water makes them easier to harvest, neither - mushrooms are a fungus)*

We first watched the Curiosity Quest DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea.

Curiosity Quest Review
The DVD began with a 30 minute video on penguins. Joel, the host throughout the episodes, went behind the scenes at a California aquarium to learn about penguins and to prepare their food and feed them. I must say that penguins are adorable. The viewer is told about how penguins swim, what they eat and how often, a bit about different types of penguins, and the whole feathers/fur thing.

The second segment on the DVD visited a sea turtle hospital in Marathon, FL to learn all about sea turtles and their care while at the sanctuary. I've been to this sanctuary, years ago, and it was fun to see something familiar, even though we'd been there a while ago and don't remember that much about the visit.

The series ended with a trip to Alaska to watch salmon swim upstream, which they do before laying their eggs. We learned about the different types of salmon in Alaska and that they always return to the same stream - the one they themselves came from. I've been to Alaska and have seen this firsthand, it really is an amazing sight.

Curiosity Quest DVD Combo Pack - Produce was equally engaging and entertaining, and gave a good idea of the massive quantities of produce our country consumes.

Curiosity Quest Review
Joel took the viewers to a mushroom facility to learn how and where mushrooms grow and how they are distributed around the world. I had no idea mushroom development was as interesting as it is!

The second segment focused on orange packing in California (really, not Florida? :) ). Even though we're very familiar with orange groves and packing plants we'd never really had a tour of the workings of all the machines and sorters. Very exciting to watch.

Cranberries in Wisconsin was the last segment. Yes, they really do harvest the cranberries by first soaking the fields so the berries float and then using large machines to gather them up off the plant.

Joel, the host, is very energetic and enthusiastic. My first impression was that he'd drive me nuts in seconds. I was mistaken, while he is full of energy he also holds the attention of the viewer and is very personable. I found his style to be very engaging.

Each segment lasts about 30 minutes. The segments are very well done, very professional. Each contains time with Joel, whomever is hosting/giving him a tour at the facility being visited, and "fun facts" (little bits of information tossed in, often with a "man on the street" type interview.

Every one of us watching the DVD's learned something from each segment. River has watched each of them multiple times, the other kids (including Ian and Mia) were content to watch them just once or twice.

Curiosity Quest DVD's are geared toward kids ages 7-14 but, like I said, River loved them too and he's only five. He had no problem following the subject matter. I think he liked the DVD's a little more than the older boys did. River's review: "They were awesome. I learned how penguins eat and what they eat. I learned what types of mushrooms there are and where mushrooms come from. The movies are fun to watch."

Curiosity Quest DVD Combo Pack - Produce is available for $24.95 and  Curiosity Quest DVD Combo Pack -Swimmers of the Sea is also available for $24.95.

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