Best-Selling VeggieTales Christmas Shows Available in a Special DVD Collection for the Very First Time




Six Fan-Favorite Titles Feature Lessons In Giving, Love, Hope and Forgiveness

SOURCE: Hoganson Media

FRANKLIN, TN (September 5, 2012) — Light the fire, make the cocoa and get ready for a VeggieTales Christmas marathon! Big Idea Entertainment, a leading studio and producer of children’s and family programming, characters and brands, announced today they will release all of their VeggieTales® Christmas titles as part of a DVD box set, VeggieTales: The Ultimate Christmas Collection, on September 29 and October 2, 2012 in Christian and general market stores respectively.


For the first time ever, the VeggieTales holiday classics will be packaged together in VeggieTales: The Ultimate Christmas Collection, providing close to four hours of entertainment for families! DVD titles included in this special collection are The Toy That Saved Christmas, The Star of Christmas, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, It’s a Meaningful Life, The Little Drummer Boy and VeggieTales: Sing-along Christmas Songs. As a bonus, VeggieTales: 25 Favorite Christmas Songs! CD will also be part of the three-disc box set.


“We are delighted to bring the entire collection of top-selling VeggieTales Christmas favorites together for the first time in a special collector’s pack,” said Greg Fritz, SVP Sales & Marketing of Big Idea Entertainment. “We think VeggieTales: The Ultimate Christmas Collection will help families celebrate the season and get into the holiday spirit as they watch shows that teach lessons on the true meaning of Christmas, joyful giving, being content, and how to love and forgive.”


VeggieTales: The Ultimate Christmas Collection will be supported by national print, online and radio advertising, as well as through social media promotions on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and YouTube.


About VeggieTales: The Ultimate Christmas Collection

This set contains VeggieTales’ entire Christmas collection. Now your family can enjoy classic holiday shows The Toy That Saved Christmas—a lesson in giving; The Star of Christmas—a lesson in how to love; Saint Nicholas—a story in joyful giving; It’s a Meaningful Life—a lesson in being content; and The Little Drummer Boy—a story about hope, love and forgiveness. Also included in the collection is the VeggieTales: Christmas Sing-along Songs DVD and 25 Favorite Christmas Songs! CD.


Not Rated-Three Hours and 45 Minutes-Color-5.1 Surround Sound-English & Spanish Subtitles Close-Captioned

Full Screen & Widescreen Versions

DVD UPC Codes CBA: 820413126599 $19.99 and GM: $19.99 037117043835


About Big Idea Entertainment

Big Idea Entertainment is celebrating 20 years as a leading studio and producer of children’s and family programming, characters and brands. Big Idea’s best-selling series VeggieTales® is a one of the most recognized brands in the US with moms of pre-schoolers*.  Since 1993, VeggieTales® has sold 60+ million videos, 13 million books and more than 7 million CDs.  VeggieTales® and Big Idea’s property, 3-2-1 Penguins!®, enjoyed four seasons as top-rated series on NBC Saturday mornings, Telemundo and ION TV.  The studio’s two theatrical releases, Lionsgate’s Jonah-A VeggieTales Movie® (2002), and Universal Pictures’ The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything®-A VeggieTales Movie® (2008), are distinguished among the most successful faith-based films of all time. Big Idea also maintains an extensive presence in publishing, licensing and live entertainment arenas. For more information on Big Idea, visit:

*Spring 2012 Q-Score

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National Youth Director of Constituting America Unveils debut release today, Aug. 28, 2012, through Zonderkidz


“Our Constitution Rocks is a fun, informative, and relevant book that will empower the youth in our country with the knowledge they need to succeed. Juliette Turner may be only 14 years old,

but she highlights the importance of the Constitution for her generation and many to follow.”

—Barbara Bush, Former First Lady of the United States

SOURCE: Rogers & Cowan

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Aug. 28, 2012) Imagine a world without Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, or television…Little did the Framers of the United States Constitution know that their work would change the course of history, but that’s exactly what it did. Fourteen-year-old Juliette Turner, the National Youth Director of Constituting America and daughter of actress and Conservative Talk Radio Host Janine Turner, is encouraging her peers to understand the importance of the Constitution and gain a deeper understanding of the document that makes America the greatest nation on earth in her debut release Our Constitution Rocks!.


Releasing nationwide today, Aug. 28, 2012, through Zonderkidz, Our Constitution Rocks! takes a unique look at America’s founding document and makes it relevant to kids today.


“’We the People’ includes kids,” says Juliette.


In Our Constitution Rocks!, readers are invited on a unique journey through the Constitution and discover the historical document in a whole new way. Through fun facts, quotes, cartoons, actual debates, great graphics, and so much more, Juliette breaks down the Constitution, clause by clause, and makes it real and relevant for a new generation.


“It’s not just an old document written by a bunch of men in powdered wigs and tights,” admits Juliette. “It is of utmost importance for kids, the future generation of America, to understand the relevancy of our Constitution, the law of the land. It is America’s road map and guide and without reverence and a working knowledge of it, we will lose our country.”


Great for all ages, including parents and teachers, Our Constitution Rocks! is an easy and fun read that simplifies an age-old historical document by translating it into a current and relevant language. Juliette takes the reader on a historical journey as she breaks down the Constitution into cool categories such as:

  • What has it done for me lately?
  • Why should I care?
  • How can I make a difference?
  • Breaking it down
  • The Bottom Line
  • What were they thinking?


Ever since her mother read the Constitution to her on a hammock during spring break, Juliette has been interested in the Constitution and how it affects the future of America. The idea and concept for the book began as a homeschooling assignment where Juliette interpreted ninety essays that had been written by scholars from Constituting America, making them kid-friendly for a younger audience.


Written for kids by a kid, Juliette’s passion and excitement breathes new life into an old document and reminds readers why it remains one of the most important documents in world history.


The informative and fun book is also supported by a number of reputable political figures such as Barbara and Laura Bush, Jack Quinn, the Former White House Counsel under President Bill Clinton and more.


In support of her new release, Juliette will be featured in a number of political events this fall including a keynote speaker at the this year’s Constitution Day in Philadelphia (Sept. 16-17) commemorating the 225th anniversary and the first teen speaker to take the platform at Symposium at Mt. Vernon (November 2012).


Our Constitution Rocks!

ISBN-10: 0310734215

ISBN-13: 978-0310734215


Paperback: 224 pages

Ages 8 and up


About the author

Fourteen-year-old Juliette Turner is the National Youth Director for Constituting America (, Founder & President of PoliKids! Politics for Kids (, author, activist and student. She is the daughter of actress and Conservative Talk Radio Host Janine Turner. When she isn’t in school, writing, or speaking at political conventions, Juliette can be found at home on her Texas ranch, caring for their eight dogs and twenty-five heads of longhorn cattle.



About Zonderkidz

Zonderkidz, a division of Zondervan, and Harper Collins, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation. As the leader in Christian children’s communications, it produces bestselling and award-winning Bibles, books, board books, graphic novels, audio, video, and digital products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids 18 and under and the people who love them, from family members to educators. Zonderkidz is the publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader’s Version) Bible translation, the 3rd-grade reading level edition of the NIV that is ideal for children and those who speak English as a second language. Visit Zonderkidz on the Internet at

To Infirmary… and Beyond!


With every week — and sometimes every day — offering new experiences in the parental role, one unexpected encounter came when I went in to have my blood taken earlier this week on Monday.

The unimportant detail to this story is it was a routine check-up on the levels of my thyroid (fun times!), but it’s something I thankfully only have to endure once or twice a year. And one simple fact remains…

I hate needles.

This time, with Will being 22.5 months old, it was a much different experience than the last time we brought him along. With his recent obsession with Toy Story and Buzz Lightyear, Will had his Buzz figure in-hand (well, it was mine, but I digress) — a 5 or 6-inch plastic figure that is perfect for a little guy like him to run around with.

When it came time for me to be ushered into a little room, curtain drawn, with my blood also about to be drawn, I sat down in the chair nervously, put my right arm out there on display and turned my head in the opposite direction. Amy sat in a chair positioned in a way where she could hold the curtain closed and block Will from darting out at any moment. So with us all trapped in there — nurse armed with a needle included — Will restlessly, but quietly, was bouncing around the room. At one point, he noticed how uncomfortable I was and he noticed his momma was trying to console me. I was quiet, but my mind was not. Needles. *shudder*

With my left arm laying across the little table on the other side of the chair, and with Amy’s hand resting on my forearm, Will came to a realization. Something was wrong. It was then the toddler decided that it was more important for me to have Buzz than him. He walked over, pushed Buzz into my open left hand, and turned around. It was as if he was saying “I have no idea what in the heck is going on, but I have a feeling you need ‘Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!’ more than I do.”

Once the nurse prepped my arm and gave me the warning of the needle’s forthcoming – and unwelcomed – intrusion, Will paused his frenetic wall-bouncing to stop and watch my blood being drawn. That in itself was a little awkward, but he seemed entirely unfazed by…and all too curious (uh-oh) about what was happening. When all was said and done (and I had finished using Buzz Lightyear as a stress ball), I handed the toy back to my son with my heart a little warmer. The little guy is awfully protective of his favorite toys, so I knew that gesture was a big one for him.

Parenthood definitely continues to deliver surprises when you least expect them.

Will with Buzz from a different day, on July 14 2012 (He would do this motion if you said “To infinity… and beyond!”)

"VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess" Review

VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess

Company: Big Idea Entertainment
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Running Time: 50 minutes
Buy It:
Official Site

Plot Summary

VeggieTalesSweet Sara Crewe has everything a little could want – a loving family, lots of friends and a closet full of frilly dresses! But when life takes a turn and Sara goes from riches to rags, will she realize that her true worth lies not in what she has, but what she has in her heart? Find out in this inspiring new story from VeggieTales that reminds kids who they are in God’s eyes. (from

Film Review

The most recent DVD release from Big Idea entitled, The Penniless Princess has definitely left me thinking about the important value of being content in life at all times, and has successfully illustrated the crucial importance of loving others because of how God is always faithful in His love for us no matter what the circumstances may be. Taking place in a familiar setting that fondly made me think of Mary Poppins, the scenery becomes a significant character in the newest VeggieTales story for little girls. This adds to the unique development of another fresh DVD from Big Idea, introducing a new adorable veggie character named Sara. A small asparagus, similar to the well-know and familiar Junior character (and another minor character named Ermingard), the character of Sara is illustrated as a delightful young daughter who is forced to embrace the difficult challenge of remembering that she is a child of God and deeply loved by her father in Heaven, even when events in her life test her ability to believe the promise that God is still there for her no matter what happens.

Borrowing from the Biblical tale of Job, the story shows Sara’s current situation as an innocent child who seems to have everything in life that could possibly make her happy. She is very thankful to have her loving father, played by Larry the Cucumber, sending her to a French finishing school in London. The wishes of her father to enable Sara to pursue an education while he has to fulfill his responsibility as a soldier at war, seems to be the driving motivation behind why Sara has to relocate to this new environment. The song that Sara shares with her father during this time of transitioning to a new home (where she will live with other students learning how to be educated young ladies) is the perfect introduction to one of the main themes that will be seen throughout the story of Sara’s experience at the school. With a new and charming song, Larry tries to illustrate to Sara how she is a true princess, because she is a daughter of Christ, who is the king of Heaven. The duet between father and daughter also discusses the commandment of loving others even when it does not seem like it is the popular thing to do. Sara will soon find out that it is very difficult to be the unfortunate center of attention when others try to ridicule her. Thankfully, she displays kindness to all of the girls who she meets at the school, with a very loving and selfless demeanor. Sara is even successful at being patient with one girl in particular, Lavinia, when Sara is embarrassed by her in front of the entire classroom. It is a scene too many young children today can most likely relate to, when the struggle to be accepted by your peers is often such an emotional rollercoaster that every child faces in a new environment. Sara must realize how important it is for her to show love to others even when they are not nice to her. This part of the story is such a wonderful example of how these lovable little veggies continue to successfully bring home powerful messages to children of all ages in a simple language with catchy songs that are memorable and easy to understand.

The characters that appeared throughout this enchanting story of Sara’s life as a “Penniless Princess” varied from some of the more familiar VeggieTales faces, along with developing a few more unique veggies who have only had very minor roles in prior veggies DVDs. I was so excited to see one of my favorite supporting veggies, non other than Madame Blueberry, playing the role of the assistant to the head mistress of the finishing school for young little ladies. Her main responsibility was established as helping to teach the students French. The scene when Sara revealed to the head mistress that she already had an exquisite development of the French language, along with the distinct accent, began the conflict that would lead to Sara’s confrontation with the head mistress. This was perhaps the fuel for the fire that started making Sara an envied student from the perspective of one of the other girls, Lavinia. Fortunately, the conflict between Lavinia and Sara allowed for Sara to show her love for others, even when these other individuals may seem undeserving of such love and understanding. Other important personality traits, such as patience, mercy, and forgiveness, were shown very clearly to viewers, when Sara chose to treat Lavinia the way God would want her to be treated.

Many young viewers may be able to relate to the choices Sara was faced with in this story. Having to decide how we are going to act towards others who need our love and patience more than anything, even if they are unkind or may try to put us down in front of others, is not an easy task. Sara’s encouragement from the Bible story of Joseph, which she shares with her fellow student, Ermingard, actually incorporates a discussion about making these important decisions. Sara explained how Joseph chose to treat his brothers with kindness and forgiveness, even though they were guilty of badly mistreating him. I am so thankful, that Big Idea continues to hold true to its devotion to teach its viewers how the Bible can apply to the challenging situations that the characters are experiencing in the story. It was a heartfelt moment for sure to see how Sara tried to illustrate the Biblical lesson to her friend, “Ermie,” while the girls were sharing some time together up in the attic of the school house.

The most controversial character to mention that fulfilled the role of the villain in the story was the head mistress of the school, seen as a tall scallion, who I could recognize from some other minor roles in earlier veggies DVDs. Her name, “Miss Minchin,” was comically delivered with such a scary tone when she first introduced herself to Sara’s father, and then was immediately followed by the shrieking sound of a horse in the background of the scene. This would become a pattern that continued consistently throughout the rest of the episode, whenever the head mistress’s name was mentioned. Although I truly found this to be humorous and innocent, parents may want to proceed with caution when showing the DVD to younger viewers. Speaking from experience that I had with my son, who was around 20 months old when we first watched the DVD together, the ominous deliverance of the villain in the story was so successful, that it actually caused my son to be very afraid of the character whenever she appeared on screen. I came to the realization that the frightening nature of how Miss Minchin’s personality was so serious and rather stern towards other characters in the story, unfortunately made it rather difficult for my son to enjoy most of the rest of the DVD. However, for children who are a bit older and able to grasp the wider meaning from the story and who can relate to the challenges of dealing with unkind individuals, I think that the somewhat scary character of Miss Minchin could also appear comical to this school-age population of viewers. She is clearly not meant to be evil or purposefully determined to mistreat Sara in the story. Instead, she appears to be an individual who has become hardened by her years of duty as such a prominent individual responsible for shaping the lives of young little ladies in London.

The Penniless Princess DVD really did a wonderful job with the bonus features, from the standpoint of continuing to develop and discuss many of the themes and values highlighted throughout Sara’s story. My favorite feature shows five different points to remember when learning more about becoming a true princess. All of the selections work in Bible verses to support the rationale behind how Sara chose to act towards others, as she tried her very best to love others no matter what. In addition to the five points that are sure to provide excellent avenues for discussion among young viewers with their parents, I also thought that the “Tour of London” from the perspective of the French peas was a priceless addition to this DVD. Once again reminding me of the beloved story of Mary Poppins, Jean Claude and Philippe try to take the viewers through key moments of the story when they can further explain some of the cultural significance behind the development of Sara’s experiences in London. This also includes a segment about the teddy bear, Mortimer, which Sara’s father gives to her as his last gift before he goes off to war. These adorable features from the French peas allow them to take the stage more prominently, since they only have minor roles in the actual DVD. Even Bob the tomato, although normally a leading role in many veggies DVDs, also is only seen briefly as a minor character in the story. Not to be a spoiler, but it might be worth mentioning the possibility that some viewers might come away from the story thinking, “was Bob really only the baker in the story?” Fortunately, I think viewers of all ages will thoroughly enjoy this new installment from Big Idea, when they are given the chance to see just how effectively some of the other new VeggieTales characters are able to eloquently deliver the very special message about the importance of loving others at all times.

– Review date: 8/18/12; Written by Amy DiBiase

Boy Story


Twenty one (and almost a half) months!

While it’s been a few months since my last blog, these weeks in between posts have been anything but dull. Watching Will develop has been quite the site, as he’s a walking, running, toddling babbler. He doesn’t really speak much yet, although he’s starting to mimic certain sounds (“Up” and “Bob” — as in the Tomato — are his most common ones. But it sounds like I might be “Gah-gah” to him :) ). It’s funny to watch him conduct his learning in a manner that’s … very much on his own terms. It’s almost as though he knows how to say certain words… he just doesn’t feellike it!

And that personality development has certainly been an interesting one to experience. Little tantrums are “fun” to endure and try to learn how to subdue. But we know the importance of getting the little booger to calm down and learn that smacking anything within his proximity (from people to objects) is unacceptable.

At an acoustic concert 6.4.12

Almost everyday reveals something new with him. Today, it was watching him grab a Buzz Lightyear figure (which is… *ahem* mine….) and pretend that Buzz was flying! I’d yet to see him play like that. He loves watching the Toy Story trilogy, so it’s great to see him gravitate toward the characters. When he got his mitts on both Buzz and Woody figures, he carried them around for quite a while — like little trophies! Sometimes he still gets into these fits of throwing things — even things he really likes — so he’s still learning what it means to take care of peoples’ things. I know this stuff takes time.

But it’s also just AMAZING how fast he’s growing! It doesn’t seem long ago that he couldn’t roll over… then couldn’t crawl… then couldn’t walk… I’m sure, once he starts really talking, I’ll feel the same way about this season when he couldn’t!

So until the next adventure…

7.12.12 – running around the kitchen with a Firehouse Subs hat on

Dr. James Dobson Concludes 'Building A Family Legacy' Event With Call for Involved Parents

Patriarch of the American Family Concludes Live Event;
Challenges Parents to Be There and Beware

SOURCE: Lovell/Fairchild Comm.

SAN DIEGO – July 9, 2012 – Dr. James Dobson capped his four-night, two-weekend, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY event with a ringing call to parents to be active, involved and, most of all, present in the lives of their children.

“Culture flows like a powerful river, and it is extremely difficult to prevent your kids from being swept downstream into unknown waters,” said Dr. Dobson, the author of 30 best sellers including The Strong-Willed Child and Bringing Up Girls. “You must not become distracted from your ultimate priority, which is to raise healthy children and introduce them to Jesus Christ.”

This series drew more than 5,000 parents to Skyline Church near San Diego to hear the renowned psychologist, author and radio host along with his son, Ryan.  He is also a broadcaster and an important voice on family issues.

BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY is the updated and expanded version of Dr. Dobson’s legendary parenting series from 1978, which was filmed and eventually seen by a third of the U.S. population. When Ryan, as a brand new dad, saw the decades-old series four years ago, he urged his father to record a new DVD series and to communicate principles of marriage and parenthood to a younger generation.

“Growing up Dobson, I openly challenged my parents like almost every other kid,” Ryan said.  “But I’m so grateful that they loved me enough to hold the line. Dad’s teaching is still just as practical and relevant for parents today.”

Dr. Dobson said:  “I am most concerned about the children of parents who are overworked, distracted, exhausted and uninvolved. Without their care and direction, the culture will take them to hell. I have witnessed it a thousand times. Even with proper parental supervision, many of our kids are on the bubble.”

Dr. Dobson traced the legacy of his great grandfather, who influenced four generations of his family even long after his death.

The BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY series will be available on DVD in 2013.  Information is available at

Dr. Dobson currently heads Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, a nonprofit organization and radio program. For 14 years, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and was on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He earned his Ph.D. in child development from USC. He founded and is chairman emeritus of Focus on the Family.

New Book Added to Resource Library of Leading Autism Organization

New Book Added to Resource Library of Leading Autism Organization

SOURCE: The Adams Group

Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, has added the book Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song (Carpenter’s Son Publishing) to their Resource Library. The book was written by top 40 Billboard recording artist and speaker, Jennifer Shaw, who shares her son Toby’s struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).   SPD is closely aligned with autism in that every autistic child has some form of SPD. To date, the medical community is unclear of the exact connection. SPD is also often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD. One study estimated that 1 in 20 children in the U.S. are affected by the disorder.

Touted as the first book of any genre to detail Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) from the parent’s perspective, Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song, describes the Shaw family’s journey with their son, describing moments of frightening behavior.  “He could not touch anything or be touched by anyone other than my husband or me,” says Shaw.  “He would hardly eat anything and made no sounds except for crying all the time.  He would scream in terror if water touched him unexpectedly.  SPD is just unrelenting.  It was extremely intense,and he could never stay with anyone else, so there was no respite, even at night.  There was the fear of not knowing what would happen to him, not knowing if he would ever be ‘okay’ or if he would be able to live a normal life. You have to rethink what dreams you have from your child.  We went from’maybe he’ll be a great this or that’ to ‘maybe he’ll be able to walk on grass someday.’ When you work for eight months, every day, just to get him to eat apiece of bread, it changes your definition of success for your child.”

Shaw includes five informative appendices in her book, including an in-depth Signs and Symptoms section on SPD as well as original interviews that Shaw conducted with a Certified Early Childhood Intervention Specialist, a Speech and Language Pathologist and an Occupational Therapist who were all instrumental in helping her own son.

“We were told that therapeutic methods used before age three would actually be ‘re-wiring’ his brain,” says Shaw. “After age three, the brain is not pliable enough, and the therapy shifts to coping techniques.  Our friend’s son is in that situation, and it is hard.  It is also very common since SPD is not usually diagnosed at a young age.  In hindsight, we consider it a blessing hat Toby’s behavior was so severe at an early age that it was obvious something was really wrong.  A year after his diagnosis, when he was retested, they described his progress as miraculous, and told us repeatedly that they’d never seen anything like it.  One therapist told us that given his intake profile, it ‘should not have been possible.’  When I share my story at concerts or women’s events,I have people come up to me and tell me I am describing their child, but they have never heard of SPD.  I want this book to be a quality resource for parents who are facing similar circumstances as well as give them hope that there is help available.”

Shaw is currently working on a new recording project entitled Someday with Lifeway Christian Resources’ Producer of the Year, Paul Marino.  Shaw and Marino co-wrote the song “Life Not Typical” which became a music video directed by Jeffrey Kubach whose credits include the hit television show “Survivor” as well as a Best Pop Music Video nomination from Gospel Music Channel.


With degrees in both piano performance and vocal performance, Shaw completed her graduate work in opera performance at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. A former professor of voice at Cedarville University, Shaw is a top 40 Billboard artist and has garnered a #3 hit song on the national Inspirational radio charts. Her CD, Love Broke Through , also introduced the song “God Loved the World” which was used in Lifeway’s Christmas musical last year and was recently the #1 best-selling Easter choral anthem for Lifeway Christian Resources. Jennifer and her husband, Nathan, live with their three children in central Ohio. Visitwww.JenniferShaw.comfor more information.

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed over $180 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 95 cities across North America. To learn more, visit

Author Mike McCormick Releases MAN QUEST


Elk Lake Publishing Title Gives Fathers Guidelines For Raising Sons

Source: McCain & Co. PR

Nashville, Tenn. (May 14, 2012) - Elk Lake Publishing has announced the release of Mike McCormick’s Man Quest: Leading Teenage Boys Into Manhood, a step-by-step approach for fathers and male mentors guiding boys as they transform into men of courage, honor and integrity. The book is being distributed exclusively to the CBA market through New Day Christian Distributors.

In Man Quest, McCormick has captured six essential guideposts designed to bring fathers and sons together on a life-changing spiritual quest. Dads (or mentors) work through interactive questions, movie nights, and creative activities with boys. Man Quest concludes with a chapter titled “Rugged Truths Every Man Must Know,” a dose of tough love that pulls no punches. The workbook-style publication offers hands-on help, teaching tips, and complete agendas for celebration weekends to make the journey to manhood fulfilling and fun.

“Just about every culture on the planet actively teaches their teenage boys what it means to be a man, with Western society being the most notable exception,” McCormick says. “Most men have an innate hunger to teach boys the true essence of manhood but just don’t know where to start or what to say. Man Quest provides a perfect starting point for an adult man to engage a son (or mentee) in the most pivotal discussion of his life — what it truly means to be a man.”

The idea for Man Quest stemmed from an incident that occurred one afternoon when McCormick’s 12-year old son came home and asked if he could see a new movie his friends recommended. The film, titled The Hangover, was a popular R-rated movie about a group of four buddies who go to Las Vegas for a bachelor party and a weekend of boozing, gambling, strippers and drugs. McCormick realized that regardless of his efforts to teach his son what it means to be a man, the culture was having a strong influence as well.

When the author sat down to write a clear and compelling definition of what it means to be a man, he found he didn’t really have one himself. After some reading and research, McCormick came up with six guideposts toward manhood to share with his son: accept responsibility, lead courageously, pretend about nothing, journey with God, protect your heart, and engage in deep and meaningful relationships. He searched for a resource book that would help dads communicate the essence of manhood to their teenage sons and couldn’t find one, which inspired him to create a workbook to help fathers articulate what it truly means to be a man. After McCormick shared his workbook during a “Man Quest” journey with 12 father/son pairs, including himself and his own son, he felt compelled to share it with others.

“Dads can’t afford to be complacent in our society. If you’re not actively talking to your teenage son about what it truly means to be a man, then his concept of masculinity is being warped by the cultural definition of money, sex and power,” McCormick says. “Your window of influence with your son is smaller than you think and his masculine mindset is being adversely shaped right now. It’s not the responsibility of your church, school or youth group to teach your son the essence of manhood — it’s the father’s role to pass it on. Heck, if you don’t have a teenage son yourself, there are plenty of young boys out there without a father who need a mentor to show them the way. Our boys are dying for a real and true definition of what it really means to be a man!”



The guiding Scripture for Man Quest, McCormick says, is I Corinthians 13:11-12: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”

“Elk Lake Publishing, dedicated to ‘publishing the positive,’ is excited to release the book Man Quest: Leading Teenage Boys Into Manhood, authored by Mike McCormick,” says Karl Nilsson, managing editor of Elk Lake. “Diverse cultures throughout the world have specific rituals and ceremonies designed for young boys to grow into men. In the media-dominated U.S., we too often leave it up to the internet or television to teach our boys the way to manhood. Man Quest changes all that in a positive, inspirational book that will benefit fathers and sons for generations to come.”

For more information about Man Quest, visit Man Quest is available at or

For more books from Elk Lake Publishing, visit or

Photo caption, top: Book cover of Man Quest, released by Elk Lake Publishing.

Photo caption, bottom: Mike McCormick, right, with son, Chase, left, wrote Man Quest as a guide for fathers as they help their sons become men. (Elk Lake Publishing photo)

About Mike McCormick:
McCormick is the chief executive of a large retirement community in Michigan. When he’s not busy serving more than 1,000 older adults and leading 700 employees each day, he’s a passionate community leader. McCormick is a former Division I college basketball player and runs a program teaching basketball to more than 300 area kids each weekend. He also is a church planter, men’s ministry champion and youth group leader. McCormick is married with two sons and a daughter. Man Quest emerged when McCormick was struggling to figure out how to teach his teenage son the true essence of manhood. This book is a love letter to his two sons, Xavier 14, and Chase, 11.

Digital VeggieTales Storybooks Coming Soon To Your Phone!


Big Idea Entertainment Continues to Expand in the Digital Game Play Space
with Engaging Apps and Games for Young Kids

NEWS SOURCE: Hoganson Media
May 10, 2012

FRANKLIN, TN (May 10, 2012) — Big Idea Entertainment, a leading studio and producer of children’s and family programming, and Ruckus Media Group, the global children’s digital media company, announce a digital partnership under which Ruckus has been granted worldwide rights to develop interactive storybook applications – iReaders — based on VeggieTales, the most successful faith-based brand in the world. With witty humor and lively animation, VeggieTales teaches timeless values and meaningful lessons to children through hilarious storytelling, silly songs and lovable characters with brand sales of more than 60 million videos, 13 million books, 7 million CDs, and licensees with over 400 very Veggie fantastic products. Designed for children ages 4-8, these new Ruckus mobile applications for iOS devices give families the opportunity to interact with their favorite characters at home or on the go and, at the same time, empower parents with a digital report card providing direct, actionable feedback on their child’s reading, the cornerstone of the Ruckus Reader program.

The VeggieTales Ruckus iReaders will present wholesome values and lessons like honesty, forgiveness, patience and thankfulness, lessons that are easy for children to understand and that help guide them in their day-to-day lives. Designed for children ages 4-8, Ruckus will launch three iReaders in varying reading levels, worldwide with English language distribution via the App store in June 2012. The iReaders will be based on Big Idea’s bestselling DVD’s “Pistachio” (level 1), “Sweetpea Beauty” (level 2), and “Big River Rescue” (level 2). A fourth title is already in production to tie-in to Big Idea’s major Fall 2012 release “The League of Incredible Vegetables” (level 3).

Powered by the Ruckus Reader, iReaders are designed to match age-appropriate standards determined by the Common Core State Standards and reinforce national educational standards for preschool through second grade. As children enjoy VeggieTales® original stories and content, parents receive weekly Reader Meter reports that assess their child’s in-app reading skills, such as phonics and word recognition, print and phonological awareness, fluency, alphabetic knowledge, sequencing and story comprehension in real time. Story-driven activities such as word builders, letter and word hunts, hidden pictures, mazes, find-the-difference games and make-your-own-sticker or diary pages help teach phonics, letter and word recognition, rhyming, syllables, reading comprehension and more.

“We are delighted to continue to provide fresh new content to VeggieTales fans with these new digital storybooks from Ruckus,” said Brian Mitchell, Vice President of Licensing, Big Idea Entertainment. “The emphasis on learning to read and develop motor skills promoted through each story delivers great value to families with young children, and creates a new and engaging VeggieTales experience.”

“We are pleased to offer VeggieTales to the Ruckus family of iReaders,” says Rick Richter, Ruckus CEO, “a truly inspirational brand that that has already found an audience among millions of Americans.”

About Ruckus Media Group
Ruckus Media Group creates interactive applications for mobile devices designed to entertain and educate children ages 3-8. Launched in September 2010, the company’s centerpiece is the Ruckus Reader (released April 2012), a breakthrough learning program for the iPad featuring digital storybooks that delight children with interactive content from the most popular names in entertainment (Hasbro, Crayola, SeaWorld, The Wiggles, Cyberchase, Dino Dan and Veggie Tales). It also provides parents with an innovative reading assessment tool and personalized feedback on their child’s reading experience. Within days of its launch, four of the initial Ruckus Reader bookshelves hit the iTunes Top 10 Chart (Books category, free iPad apps).

Previously released award-winning digital storybooks include the #1 iTunes best-selling and Mom’s Choice Gold Award winner “My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day,” based on the ever-popular Hasbro toy characters; Parents’ Choice and Mom’s Choice Award winners “Spot the Dot,” by pop-up legend David A. Carter, and “Chuck & Friends: Friends for the Long Haul”; Readers’ Choice Award winner and Best App Award finalist “A Present for Milo,” written and illustrated by Mike Austin; “The Velveteen Rabbit: Told by Meryl Streep” and other read-play-and-record-along classic animated storybook apps.

For a full listing of titles and additional information, see the Ruckus Reader website and the Ruckus Media Group iTunes page and follow Ruckus on Facebook and Twitter.

About Big Idea Entertainment
Big Idea Entertainment is a leading studio and producer of children’s and family programming, characters and brands. Big Idea’s best-selling series VeggieTales® is a leading animated home video series in the US with moms of pre-schoolers*. Since 1993, VeggieTales® has sold 60+ million videos, 13 million books and more than 7 million CDs. VeggieTales® and Big Idea’s property, 3-2-1 Penguins!®, enjoyed four seasons as top-rated series on NBC Saturday mornings, Telemundo and ION TV via the qubo® children’s programming block. The studio’s two theatrical releases, Jonah-A VeggieTales Movie® (2002), and Universal Pictures’ and Big Idea’s The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything®-A VeggieTales Movie® (2008), are distinguished among the most successful faith-based films of all time. Big Idea also maintains an extensive presence in publishing, licensing and live entertainment arenas. For more information on Big Idea, visit:
*Spring 2011 Q-Score