I'm a fan of Holling C. Holling's picture books for children, so I borrowed the Paddle-to-the-Sea video from our public library. We had read the book slowly over several months as a geography/science study in our school, so I had hoped the video would enrich our understanding by showing us vivid shots of the places Paddle visited. The photography was good, as far as it went, but overall, I was disappointed. I guess I was expecting a documentary-type film that would give us a sense of visiting the actual settings. However, the scenes that were used didn't give us that sense of being there. Furthermore,the plot was simplified--many scenes were left out, diminishing the value of the story.
Everything about it was so simplified that it seemed aimed for young kids. To top it all off, my students (ages 6-14) were not drawn into the movie at all. They all enjoy a good work of art, but this didn't catch their attention.
Read the book instead for a wonderful story that includes detailed information about the Great Lakes and answers the kind of questions kids ask. Holling C. Holling studied a wide array of subjects to make his books into treasure chests of knowledge and this book, unlike the film, will whet kids' appetites to learn.
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