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Emma and Grandpa
Filmed in rural Sussex in 1982 and re-edited in 2008 with a new sound track, the charm of this period piece does not date. Each month there is a different story about Emma, Grandpa and his dog Cindy, told in rhyming couplets and highlighting changes in the countryside through the year. An interview with Emma twenty-six years on adds a poignant postscript to her adventures as a child
Ages 3 and upwards
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Narrator Samira Ahmed
Emma Emma Helmer
Grandpa Alan Mason
Composer Robert Hartley
Pianist and Arranger John Baird
Written and Produced by Joy Whitby
First shown on ITV and Home Box Office
Review for The School Librarian by Chris Brown, June 2008 Vol 56 No 2:
"Here are 12 episodes of nature walks, natural world sharing, observation, activities and general eye-opening as little Emma and wise Grandpa enjoy the passage of a year. Although the commentary has been updated and re-recorded with the voice of the media journalist Samira Ahmed the films were made for ITV 26 years ago and whilst this could be seen as a drawback in fact it seems to me to have several attractions. Firstly most aspects of the natural world about us do not change that rapidly, as is clearly demonstrated. Less severe winters with reduced prolonged cold weather and earlier spring onsets may bring some things forward and perhaps this aspect may be usefully demonstrated even to the very young, by this one month at a time record. The other positive element is very much from a 'how we used to live' view, there are moments to be noticed, discussed, re-viewed and re-visited which will certainly enliven teaching and inform children's comments. The alacrity with which modern 'common-sense', as well as regulatory, safety aspects are to be seen is revelatory. The final part is an interview with Emma herself, working with books for children, 26 years on: it may seem a short timespan to us oldies but things have moved so rapidly, and in any case it's over five lifetimes for a five year-old!
The main content here is certainly the natural history, the plants, birds and creatures to be seen, questioned and investigated and the month by month approach and narrative context are very finely handled. The selection of the material together with the length of each episode is perfect for Reception and Year 1 children making this DVD a very useful resource indeed."