Reviews: What's New This Week

Filed under: Books for Kids, Music, Movies, Video Games, New In Pop Culture

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.

DVD: "Yes, Virginia"
Based on a true story, "Yes, Virginia" is the heartwarming tale of a little girl's quest to prove the existence of Santa Claus and the kindness her mission evokes in those around her. A refreshing holiday tale absent the commercialism that's become so common, the film captures the true spirit of the holiday and shows how one person really can make a difference in the world. Not rated, OK for kids 4+

TV: "Scared Shrekless"
A Halloween special starring everyone's favorite ogre, "Scared Shrekless" features all the familiar movie characters trying to outdo each other telling scary stories while camped out at an abandoned and apparently haunted castle. As you might expect, it's more silly than scary and loaded with potty humor. Rated TV-PG, OK for kids 6+

Books: "Violet in Bloom: A Flower Power Book"
The second in a series by author Lauren Myracle, "Violet in Bloom: A Flower Power Book," features a diverse group of friends on a mission to rid their school of an unhealthy snack. Along the way, the pals deal with typical tween issues including crushes, friendships and mean girls. OK for kids 9+

Music: "Mean" by Taylor Swift
A timely song about being bullied, Taylor Swift's "Mean" is a single release from her third album, "Speak Now." Though not graphic, the lyrics clearly relate an abusive situation and Swift's determination to rise above the pain inflicted by her tormentor. OK for kids 12+

Games: Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush"
For Nintendo DS, DSi, Wii and Xbox 360, "Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush" is a multi-player game that includes the same characters from last year's "Sandlot Sluggers." In addition to quick football matches and multi-player tournaments, the game offers a fun storyline and lots of laughs along the way to football glory. Rated E, OK for kids 8+

Web: "Disney Create"
Free online apps let registered users paint, sketch, draw and animate at "Disney Create," a safe destination for budding artists who want to share their work. A language filter and pre-selected chat messages keep the site clean, and the easy-to-use tools encourage even the artistically-challenged to express themselves creatively. OK for kids 8+

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