Reviews: What's New This Week
Here is a look at what's new this week in family entertainment as adapted from reviews and ratings by Common Sense Media. Click on the links to read the reviews in full.
In Theaters Now: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Jeffy Kinney's hugely popular book series, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," comes to the big screen in a silly and often crude take on life in the sixth grade. The film is funny, but also surprisingly touching and authentic, as Greg and his best friend Rowley navigate the anxieties, hopes and hazards of middle school. Ultimately a lesson about friendship, it's a film the entire family can enjoy together. Rated PG, OK for kids 9+
DVD: Fantastic Mr. Fox
A bored newspaper columnist attempts to spice up his life in "Fantastic Mr. Fox," a quirky adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's story. Mr. Fox lies, steals and endangers his friends and family, but in the end he sees the light and makes amends. The language is clean, but the cartoon violence and nasty bad guys might frighten very young kids. Rated PG, OK for kids 7+
TV: Pretty Wild!
A former Playboy model mom and her two rebellious teen daughters have the spotlight in "Pretty Wild!," a new reality series on E!. While both daughters pursue modeling careers, Mom struggles with setting boundaries and reigning in her out-of-control girls. The show is pointless voyeurism with no redeeming value whatsoever. Rated TV-14, Not Appropriate for kids Under 14
Books: We Planted a Tree
A picture book about the wonders of trees, "We Planted a Tree" follows the lives of two families and the trees they've planted as they all grow and change through the years. Educational and inspirational, Diane Muldrow's book is environmental poetry for young children. OK for kids 5+
Music: Telephone (Lady Gaga)
The latest single from Lady Gaga's "The Fame Monster," "Telephone" has gotten lots of attention for its raunchy video. But the song itself, about a girl who'd rather dance than let a boy ruin her good time with telephone talk, is fairly tame. Pop's reigning bad girl teams with Beyonce on this tune which, because of the video, is probably better suited for older teens. Iffy for kids 14-15
Kids can write and illustrate their own stories on "Story Jumper," an online creative writing workshop. Users can designate their work as public or private and, for a fee, have their stories printed in hardback. In addition, parents can set up an account on the site giving them access to their child's work. OK for kids 7+
Games: The Daring Game for Girls
For Nintendo DS, DSi and Wii, "The Daring Game for Girls" is a role playing game in which players try to make friends, have fun and earn money. Challenges include answering trivia questions, winning playground games and gathering supplies to build things. Wholesome and fun, the game has enough variety to keep girls interested and is challenging enough to keep them coming back for more. Rated E, OK for kids 8+
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.