Reviewing the “Catholic Baby Einstein”
After her great reviews of Abby Johnson's Unplanned and Hallie Lord's Style, Sex, and Substance, my wonderful wife is back with another. Today Kathleen is looking at CDs and DVDs from a new kid-friendly Catholic media company.
ABCatholic is a Catholic media company based in Charlotte, NC whose goal is to “produce professional, quality Catholic media that will inspire and educate.” Some people have christened their work the “Catholic Baby Einstein”, so when they invited me to review some of their products I thought it worth checking out.
My first taste was their Marian Lullaby CD. Our children love listening to music at home throughout the day, so I thought this would be a perfect way to add some Catholic music to the mix. The CD includes ten songs such as “Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue”—a favorite of Archbishop Fulton Sheen—and “Hear Thy Children Gentlest Mother.” All the songs feature beautiful music, and some include vocals. The song choices are diverse and beautifully composed. However, relative to other children's media, I found the the vocals here lacking in quality.
In addition to the CD, ABCatholic offers learning DVDs similar to the Baby Einstein series but for Catholics. Currently they have My Catholic ABC’s and Learn to Count, and you can pre-order Little Latin.
Our three-year-old son recently learned to count though he has a hard time recognizing some of the numbers. So I thought the Learn to Count DVD would be right up his alley. He resisted at first, begging for Veggie Tales or Baby Einstein, but he warmed up after a few minutes of watching it, moving from no-interest-whatsoever to maybe-I’ll-look-up-every-now-and-then-but-only-if-mom’s-not-looking.
The DVD is very repetitive, which is good for young minds (though grating for parents.) It's Catholic symbolism--the children count nuns and rosaries rather than cows and apples--gives it a religious flavor not found in Baby Einstein. Also, the DVDs do contain more advanced concepts for older children such as contrasting different groups of numbers and counting on.
Overall, I really like the idea behind ABCatholic. The uniquely-Catholic CDs and DVDs allow parents to introduce their Catholic faith to children at a young age. Compared to other products on the market for babies and toddlers, the quality here is a little on the low side. But hopefully since they're just getting off the ground that will only improve and future offerings will be up to par.
ABCatholic is currently giving away a whole set of their CDs and DVDs. Check out their Facebook page for more info.