Real-life Special Needs Families Featured in New Music Video

Real-life Special Needs Families Featured
in New Music Video

SOURCE: Adams Group

Nashville, TN —Top 40 Billboard artist Jennifer Shaw debuted her latest music video from her new album, Someday, this past weekend on Focus on the Family’s “I Am Pro-Life” Facebook page to over half a million followers.  Produced and directed by Jeffrey Kubach whose credits include the hit television shows “Survivor” and “Burn Notice,” the video of the song “Your Child” features real-life photos and videos of special needs families from across the country.  Shaw, whose own son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, invited special needs parents via her website and social networks to send in their photos and stories.  Shaw says the response was overwhelming.

“I was truly astonished at the number of photos we received,” says Shaw.  “We read so many heart-wrenching stories and I wish all of them could have been included in the final edit.  It is our hope that this video will show people that children with special needs are not burdens; they are valued gifts of life that deserve to be treated with respect.  We wrote this song especially for the parents of special needs kids who sacrifice so much to make their children’s lives happy and productive.”

Shaw’s son, Toby, was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder(SPD) at an early age which is chronicled in Shaw’s first book, Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed my Faith and my Song.  SPD is closely aligned with autism in that every autistic child has some form of SPD. In many cases, SPD is misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD. One study estimated that 1 in 20 children in the U.S. are affected by the disorder. Shaw’s book was recently added to the Resource Library of Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. Shaw will be a special guest on the Family Life Today radio show in the coming weeks as well as being featured on Insight for Living Ministries.

Shaw’s new CD, Someday, has already birthed three music videos, including a song entitled “To Be Love” which is being used as a theme song by Remember Nhu, an organization that exists to prevent the exploitation of children in the sex trade industry throughout the world.  Shaw wrote the song after traveling to Thailand to visit young girls rescued by Remember Nhu.  

With degrees in both piano and vocal performance, Shaw completed her graduate work in opera performance at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music.  A former professor at Cedarville University, Shaw has garnered a #3 hit song on the national Inspirational radio charts.  For more information on Jennifer Shaw and to view the “Your Child” video, visit


The direct URL of the “Your Child” video on YouTube is:

DEEP FRIED MANNA Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Create Apps for Christian Kids

Deep Fried Manna


Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Fund New

App for Smartphones and Tablets


Industry Veterans Unite to Create Groundbreaking

Faith-based Apps, Games and Interactive Books for Kids

SOURCE: Frontgate Media

Los Angeles, CA –After experiencing the need firsthand for quality Christian apps directed at inspiring and entertaining kids, Emmy Award Winning Creative Director Jeff Matsuda and technology industry veteran Mike Su have launched a Kickstarter Campaign to fund DEEP FRIED MANNA.  As the name implies, Deep Fried Manna seeks to create innovative and fun apps that teach Biblical values by using games and stories.


Matsuda, who won an Emmy for his work as Producer and Creative Director of The Batman cartoon series, realized the need for products like this right in his own home.  “We as parents realized that when given a choice, our kids were increasingly choosing their iPads over traditional TV,” explains Matsuda, the 42-year-old father of three, “yet there were so few apps out there that taught them about God.”


While taking the idea to Silicon Valley technology investors seemed inviting, the business realized that they needed to reach out to others who share the same values. “Crowd sourced funding seemed to make more sense,” explains Su, who is also a father of three.  “We’re reaching out for funding directly to parents who have been seeking this content since most traditional investors don’t understand the need. This is about making our voices heard, and letting the world know there is a market for quality faith based apps.”


To showcase the level of talent surrounding the project, Deep Fried Manna has already launched one free app for the iPhone and iPad called “Noah’s Weather.”   Based on the Noah’s Ark story, Noah’s Weather, delivers daily and extended forecasts with mini-games, a daily Bible verse and a six page kid-friendly storybook.


In the coming months, Deep Fried Manna will be launching the first of several interactive storybooks based on two characters, Rex and Rooty.  The debut story introduces Rex, a bright young boy, who has a floating plant friend named Rooty.  Rooty has the ability to generate seeds.  Some seeds produce giant beanstalks, while others are tiny mustard seeds.  Each adventure takes them to different lands where they encounter new friends, and the occasional scary enemy.  These stories act as parables to teach children about having a personal relationship with God.


The Kickstarter campaign’s goal is to reach $150,000, which includes budgets for art, development, animation, production support, marketing, sound and music and Kickstarter Rewards.  For a $5 Kickstarter commitment, supporters will receive the app, free of charge.  From there, levels of rewards include being in a music video, custom art, iPhone cases, avatars and a signed Jeremy Lin basketball jersey.


With nearly 2 billion Christians around the world, the lack of technology friendly for Christian children indicates a market desperate for quality products.


An incredible lineup of Christian leaders are supporting the campaign, including NBA star Jeremy Lin, pastor Craig Groeschel, author of Crazy Love Francis Chan, NEWSONG Church pastor Dave Gibbons, and nearly a dozen more featured on the campaign’s Kickstarter page.


“The need couldn’t be any more obvious and urgent,” says Dave Gibbons, the pastor of the 2,000-member NEWSONG church in Irvine, CA, who also signed up as a partner at Deep Fried Manna. “We have an entire generation growing up on these new platforms, but we aren’t meeting them there.


“The global nature of the AppStore also means there are opportunities to spread the Gospel around the world in ways that could have never been done before, and we as Christians need to be out on the forefront of that.”


About Deep Fried Manna

Deep Fried Manna is a Los Angeles based mobile app studio focused on creating high quality, biblically grounded content to help kids learn about God in fun, accessible and entertaining ways. Founded by a team of veterans from the tech and entertainment worlds, Deep Fried Manna seeks to always deliver eye-popping art, with engaging stories grounded in God’s word.


Kickstarter Campaign:





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Site for Christian Teens Sees Impressive Growth and Attracts Attention of National Clothing Store Chain

Innovative Site for Christian Teen Girls Sees Impressive Growth, Creates New Interactive Content, and Captures Attention of the National Clothing Store Chain


KOHL’s Stores Offer Special Savings for the Audience

SOURCE: Frontgate Media

Los Angeles, CA – is quickly becoming the fastest growing Internet communities for Christian tween and teen girls.  The site’s incredible reach and one-on-one engagement has now captured the attention of KOHL’s department stores who are now offering the Project Inspired audience special discounts on the website.


Created by model and activist Nicole Weider, the site has been seeing an impressive growth over the past months, with almost 1,000 teens registering as Project Inspired Girls on the site in October.  Project Inspired has a highly engaged audience with a fast-growing membership of almost 10,000 members, 35,000 Facebook friends and 80,000 monthly site visits. Project Inspired Girls participate in Girl Talk chats, video chats and even a Project Inspired Book Club.


This month, the Project Inspired Book Club is featuring the book “God Loves Ugly” by Christa Black.  As a special feature, girls who participate this week in the website’s very popular Me Without Makeup section will automatically be entered to win a copy of “God Loves Ugly” as well as a CD from Christa.  Past books have included “Waiting for Mr. Right,” “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” and “Pilgrim’s Progress.”


One of the qualities truly unique to the site is the extensive content that is created by the girls themselves.  Every Monday and Thursday, there is a live Bible Study hosted by girls who are active on the site.  Daily, girls are able to post photos of themselves into the Me Without Makeup campaign where they encourage each other and share positive statements about each other’s unadorned beauty.  New to the site is The Inspiration Wall, where girls can post photos, designs, quotes and images that capture what inspires the girls to live faith-filled lives.


In November, the readers will continue to take the reigns on content as well, as the site will be hosting a contest where girls are able to share their own relationship wisdom in articles meant to encourage, inspire and support each other.  Each week, a different user-created article will be chosen to post, and the writer will be awarded a $25 gift card to


This community based, user-generated model has certainly met a much-desired need for this demographic. Teens are meeting the needs of each other, encouraging and inspiring their community to lead faith-filled lives of purpose.


“This is just what we were hoping would become, a community of young women who support and encourage each other to live Godly lives of purpose,” explains Nicole. “Hearing directly from the girls has been inspirational to me as well.  We’re becoming a big family, and I’m honored and humbled to have so many sisters to share life with!”


Past articles written by Project Inspired girls:

What Does Your Name Mean?

You Don’t Have to Prove Your Love

8 Ways to Deal with Stress

You Don’t Have to be Perfect to Set the World on Fire for God was created with Mind Over Media, L.L.C., a full-service, cross-platform content development and media packaging company.


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New Children's Album Records a "First"

New Children’s Album Records a “First”

SOURCE: Adams Group

Nashville, TN -Cedarmont Kids® has announced the release of the 46th album in their multi-million-selling series.   The new CD, Gospel Sunday School Songs, features 15 Gospel classics and spirituals, including Free At Last , a song made famous in the iconic Martin Luther King, Jr. speech in 1963.  According to the label, this album marks the first time Free At Last has been featured on any children’s recording project.  Since its founding nearly 20 years ago, Cedarmont Kids has sold over 21 million albums and garnered numerous Platinum and Gold certifications for both its audio and video titles.  Mike and Sue Gay, owners of the Cedarmont label, say this new project was of special significance.

“We spent several years researching songs for this new release, looking for special ‘jewels’ from the African-American church,” says Sue. “We fell in love with songs like My Soul Is a Witness For My Lord, Guide My Feet, and The Welcome Table.  Then one day, we came across Free At Last and were so moved.  Immediately, we knew that it needed to be on the CD so that kids could learn this wonderful song.”

Gospel Sunday School Songs was recorded in Cedarmont’s state-of-the-art studio, using some of the most sought-after musicians in Nashville. “I think this is the best CD we’ve ever done,” says Mike. “The players were fantastic, and Sue directed the kids in the choir to sing with authenticity and energy. To top it off, we were blessed to work with some talented young soloists like MaKenzie McGuire and Quintavious Johnson.” Johnson, age 10 (pictured above), is a frequent soloist in his hometown of Franklin, Tennessee and recently won first place in the Fourth Annual Demi Lobo national talent contest held in Chicago. Johnson won first place in the Most Talented Under 12 competition, beating out 25 other finalists from nine states. “He blew us away with his talent and spirit,” Mike adds.

Cedarmont has built a broad customer base by focusing on well-known classic songs and selling their products at affordable prices. Their diversified catalog now features 46 CDs on five labels:
Cedamont Kids® Classics
Cedarmont Kids Gospel®
Cedarmont Niños®
Cedarmont Baby®
Cedarmont Worship for Kids®

Fifteen of these titles were Spanish releases. They have also developed a series of eleven DVDs, which are live-action, sing-along versions of the audio recordings.

During the production of Gospel Sunday School Songs, Mike shared a story his grandfather told him about growing up in rural southern Georgia where the family traveled to church in a horse-drawn wagon. During bad weather, they would often worship at an African-American church that was much closer to their home. They were always made to feel welcome, even during the tense years of segregation.

“It was not uncommon back then,” explains Mike, “for white families to visit African-American churches, even though it was a segregated society.  As a result of their fellowship, many wonderful spirituals were transplanted and became well-known in churches of all denominations.  We hope this new CD will enable people to share these special songs with today’s children so that there will be a renewed spirit of sharing and fellowship to a whole new generation.”


VeggieTales "League of Incredible Vegetables" Out Oct. 13!


NEWS SOURCE: Hoganson Media
October 12, 2012

Available in Christian stores Saturday, October 13 and everywhere Tuesday, October 16, VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables is the fourth title in a series of DVD releases that stars the popular “LarryBoy” character while introducing four new superheroes played by beloved VeggieTales characters Bob the Tomato, Petunia Rhubarb, Junior Asparagus and Mr. Lunt, all with hilarious superhero abilities!

Based on Psalm 56:3 (ESV) which says, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You,” this all-new episode helps teach a lifelong lesson in handling fear, one of the most requested subject topics by VeggieTales fans and families, and features a brand-new League theme song and music video by GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award-winning group, Newsboys!

Reviewers are Raving ==> exclaims, “Big Idea has absolutely ‘hit it out of the park,’ with The League of Incredible Vegetables . . . children will not only love the story, but they will ‘get it’, too! This powerful message about being able to defeat fear by trusting in God when we are afraid is one children – and adults – need to hear.” and say, “Since its inception, Big Idea has set a high standard in quality animation, story-telling and all around entertainment while teaching important lessons…With a super blend of hilarious Veggie humor, pop culture references and lessons on facing fears, VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables is a video that Veggie-fans of all ages will enjoy.” notes, “Finally, parents won’t have to worry about rough content for their kids who just want a cool superhero to love or look up to…After all these years, the VeggieTales team is still producing great entertainment and The League of Incredible Vegetables is easily one of their best yet.” says, “The League of Incredible of Vegetables is faith-based as always, and has a great message of combating your fears with the Word of God. Add to that the fascination of the unconquerable League of Incredible Vegetables and you have another fantastic film from VeggieTales! Who knows what they will come up with next? Hopefully a sequel to this film will be in the works soon!” adds, “We all feel afraid sometimes, but the Veggies show us that fear doesn’t have to take us down.”

Jaci Velazquez, Dove Award-winning, Grammy-nominated Pop & Latin Superstar and co-host of Salem Radio Network’s national “Family-Friendly Mornings with Doug & Jaci Velasquez” notes, “My kids LOVE this movie!!! We watch it 10 times a day!”


Next week, VeggieTales Co-creator and voice of “LarryBoy,” Mike Nawrocki, and Newsboys Front man Michael Tait and Drummer Duncan Phillips, will team up for a national radio tour in support of The League of Incredible Vegetables. Nawrocki, Tait and Phillips will discuss the brand-new new DVD title and the Newsboys’ involvement as the first humans in history to appear in an animated VeggieTales video.

Fans will have the opportunity to hear about the new episode and the music video with the Newsboys on numerous national radio networks and top market stations including The Rick & Bubba Show, American Family Radio, Salem Broadcasting’s The FISH, Family Life Network, IRN/USA Radio Network, The Moody Broadcasting Network and many more. There will also be a special radio feature to air later on the nationally broadcast radio show, Keep the Faith.

Why We Do What We Do…
“League” Special Guest Appearance this Saturday! ==>
Big Idea Entertainment had a special opportunity to work with Kristina Barrett, a little girl stricken with a life-threatening illness, whose wish to be the voice of a VeggieTales character, was granted in conjunction with release of The League of Incredible Vegetables. Kristina visited Big Idea’s headquarters last year in Franklin, TN with her family to meet VeggieTales Co-creator Mike Nawrocki and staff and to voice a character (girl pea) for the all-new multi-superhero DVD! Kristina will attend the VeggieTales movie premiere to celebrate the release of this brand-new episode at Kingwood Bible Church in Kingwood, TX (Houston) on Saturday, October 13 and to be part of the Kristina Barrett Benefit to raise funds to help with her existing medical expenses from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm CDT!

Watch “The League of Incredible Vegetables” Music Video Featuring the Newsboys!

To view the “League” music video, please click on the image or here

This fall, as part of the VeggieTales Live! God Made You Special Tour, audiences nationwide will have the opportunity to watch the League movie trailer and the Newsboys music video in support of the new DVD. Information on the tour, including the latest itinerary, may be found at

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