With Christmas just a matter of weeks away, parents have plenty of options of family friendly products for their children. Among the most anticipated is "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," a high-quality PC game based on the best-selling novels by Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. But there are plenty of other options. Here's a sampling of some items that recently came to our office.
BJ the bear
Forget the annual rite of hibernation, BJ is one bear that is just too active to sleep away the winter. Bearsheba J. Bear, known to his friends as BJ, expands his den beyond life-animated television to home theater with the release of its own DVD.
Described as a stimulating and imaginative program, the first DVD, "BJ's Teddy Bear Club & Bible Stories" is designed to educate and entertain while introducing young children to colors, letters, numbers and special stories right out of the Bible.
BJ is a loveable animated teddy bear that takes children on an unforgettable journey through the Bible. From the story of creation, to the Tower of Babel, from Noah and the Ark to Jonah and the Whale, BJ brings the best known and best loved bible stories to life for the whole family.
BJ's Teddy Bear Club and Bible Stories has a suggested retail price of $14.98.
Soon to follow in this DVD series, distributed by Triumph Marketing, are the biblical stories of: "Adam and Eve," "The Tower of Babel," "Jonah and the Whale," the "Story of Joseph and His Brothers" and "David and Goliath."
The Christian creative team includes creators Amine Bitar and Mark Riddle, along with Gary Zeidenstein and musical director/songwriter, Dennis Scott For more information, visit bearsheba.com.
Boz the Green Bear …
Sharing the animal kingdom is Boz the Green Bear Next Door. Designed for preschoolers, the Exclaim Entertainment's DVD program provides entertainment while also instilling manners and a connection to religion.
Created by Jon Green and Dennis DeShazer, Boz lives in a tree house next door to twin 4-year-olds Drew and Gracie and their parents. Helping to model healthy relationships, Boz uses everyday interactions with the family to show the importance of serving others through active involvement in church and the community.
After debuting as one of the top three children's DVD brands in the Christian retail industry this spring, a new one was released late summer, called "Thank You God for … Bananas, Bubbles and Busy Bodies." A fourth one, "Thank you God for . . . Adventures in Imagination," is set for a Nov. 4 release.
For more information visit bozthebear.com
Gideon: Tuba Warrior
Big Ideas Inc. the creators of the best-selling Veggie Tales line will enter the holiday seasons singing a new tune with "Gideon: Tuba Warrior," a story based Proverbs 3: 5-6. Veggie favorite Larry the Cucumber stars as Gideon, a loyal leader with heart whose faith is tested when God asks him to do the impossibledefend his people against an army of 30,000 excessively hairy pickles!
However, the reluctant, tuba-playing Gideon is better trained at marching in formation than he is at marching into battle. Will he be able to trust the message delivered to him by the angel (Pa Grape) and protect his people? Accompanied by a mere six carrots and six peas, will Gideon be able to stand against an army of thousands?
Other features include a "Silly Song" with hula-dancing turtles, a surprise visit from the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything and loads of family-friendly bonus features.
Retailing for $14.99 the DVD is set to be released Nov. 4 at Christian bookstores and Nov. 7 to the general market.
Produced by Charlotte and Eddie Sax of Sax Media Group, the StoryWatchers Club series brings together a collection of the nation's most talented storytellers to impart to children ages 4 to 10 the importance of developing and using their imaginations, which will in turn help strengthen their listening verbal skills, inspire a yearning for reading and writing and learn a wonderful new way to communicate and share their experiences with others.
The series was launched earliler this year with "Keys to Imagination" and "Good Character," earning awards including iParenting Media Award "Best Products," Dove Family Foundation "Seal of Approval," Family Review Center Award, Telly Award, and the Film Advisory Board "Award of Excellence."
Released Oct. 17, the newest DVD, focusing on Christmas, features the multi-cultural club of puppet friendsCody, Jada, Juan, Jordan, Kelly, Booker the Book and Riley the Bookwormlead viewers from one story to the next. According to a news release, the DVD features storytellers sharing engrossing Yuletide yarns that embrace the season and will have even the youngest of viewers eagerly awaiting.
Two more DVDs will be released in February. The DVDs retail for $19.95. For more information, call toll free 1-877-786-7998.
Teen-agers may appreciate "Jesus No Equal," a book and journal that helps to take teens on a spiritual journeyexamining Jesus' life, death, resurrection and second coming to help them discover who Jesus really is.
The book's accompanying journal is a six-week discipling resource that will challenge teens to intimately know and have a personal relationship with Jesus. As a result of the study, written by Barry St. Clair, teens will be equipped to effectively reach their peers and campuses with the Gospel message.
Throughout the study, St. Clair will address straight-on questions including, "Who is Jesus Christ?" and "Can He Really Affect My Life Today?" Ultimately, the book reveals how a one-on-one relationship with Jesus influences every area of one's life.
ANS writer Ginny McCabe contributed to this compilation.