New Scholastic Halloween DVD collection is edu-spooooky

Mommy on a Shoestring is excited to welcome our newest guest reviewer Erik Lundeen—some blogs have their “person on the street”—he’s our “Daddy on the couch” reviewing DVDs with his 4 kids. This week he reviews “The Halloween Stories Collection” from Scholastic Storybook Treasures.

81Qnnye7q2L._SL1500_I have a confession to make: if you asked my kids who their parents are, they would likely answer, “Mommy, Daddy, and Netflix – but only when Mommy’s not home.”

So I was excited when I was asked to view and subsequently review these new DVDs from Scholastic. However, because we like to focus more on the princess and policeman type stories and costumes for Halloween and shy away from witches and zombies, I decided to prescreen these before choosing to let the kids see them.

The first disc I watched was “Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman” and contained 5 different animated “not so spooky-ooky stories.” But I’ll be honest when I say I probably won’t show this one to the kids for two main reasons: First, the animation is straight out of the 70’s and doesn’t compete with today’s computer animated characters that kids are used to. I am positive that my older kids (ages 7 and 10) will be bored by it. Second, I feel that the stories would have been too scary for my younger kids (ages 3 and 5). Even I am tempted to double check underneath my bed before going to sleep tonight!

The second disc I watched was “Dem Bones.” This one, full of 5 sing-along stories recommended for ages 2-6, was much more light-hearted and actually entertained even me. The first song-story shared the same name as the disc and used the old spiritual song “Dry Bones” with dancing skeletons as a quick 7-minute anatomy lesson covering the different bones in our bodies and how they are connected. The rest of the song-stories were just as entertaining, and even though the animation style is the same as the first disc, I don’t think my younger kids would mind it at all. I will definitely share this with them.

The third and final disc was “The Day of the Dead” and continuing in the same not so spooky and light-hearted mood as the previous one, has 4 stories recommended for ages 2-8. It started with a story about the historical significance of The Day of the Dead in Latin American culture and I found it to be educational even for me! Does anybody know where I can find some sugar candy skulls? The other stories were more seasonal and less spooky and I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to share them with my younger kids.

Overall, I think Scholastic has done a fine job making these classic stories come to life through imaginative illustrations and entertaining story telling by the various narrators.  You definitely can’t go wrong if you were to add this to your home library. But the one thing I can’t attest to, is how soon will they be on Netflix…


Erik Lundeen is a writer, photographer, and comedian who lives with his wife and four children on Vashon Island, a small island near Seattle in the Puget Sound. When not being pinned to the floor by his kids in a no-holds-barred wrestling match, he can also be found in front of his grill seeking peace and serenity amidst the aromas of wood smoke and charred meat. His photography portfolio can be viewed at and his 140-character-or-less jokes can be followed on Twitter at @elundeen.

Our tiny disclaimer: Mommy on a Shoestring occasionally receives new family multimedia to review—we are never paid for our time, and all opinions are ours alone. 



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