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Don't Miss April 2012

Family-friendly movies and games everyone's talking about.

Donald McDermott

No Monkey Business

Filmmakers Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield join the World Chimpanzee Foundation head, Christophe Boesch, to present Chimpanzee. Opening in theaters on April 20, the documentary offers an intimate look into the world of chimps living in the tropical jungles of Uganda and the Ivory Coast. Check your local listings.

Fantastic Foursome

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents four epic movies on Blu-ray for the first time. The diverse list of family films includes FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Aquamarine, Thumbleina and Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas in The Man from Snowy River. All titles are available now.

Easter Egg-citement

Children are invited to help Dora and Boots in her latest DVD release Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Easter Adventure (Nickelodeon Home Entertainment). The perfect addition to your child’s holiday basket, the title includes all-new stories, karaoke music videos, an interactive game and more. Buy a copy in your local entertainment store.

Play Ball!

Kick off another Major League Baseball season with Pro Files: Baseball (Sports Illustrated Kids). The incredible book offers statistics, biographies and color photos of top players in baseball today. Gain an in-depth perspective from stars and coaches. Profiles include Justin Verlander, Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols. Pick up a copy online or at retailers nationwide.

Hop to It

Just in time for the month’s big holiday, families can bring the hit film Hop (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) home on Blu-ray and DVD. Blending state-of-the-art animation with live action, the movie tells the comic tale of Fred, an out-of-work slacker, who accidentally injures the Easter Bunny and must take him in as he recovers.

Rockabye with Dave

Rockabye Baby! continues to transform timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies. The latest offering trades guitars and drums for soothing vibraphones and bells in Lullaby Renditions of the Dave Matthews Band. Available now in stores or for download, the CD lets parents and children alike enjoy classic hits such as “Crash Into Me,” “The Space Between” and “Crush.” Visit www.rockabyebabymusic.com for details.

Party Time

One of Nintendo’s most popular characters of all time is back for a new party-style adventure! Available for the Nintendo Wii game system, Mario Party 9 invites up to four players to collect coins and stars as they travel through a variety of daring lands. Rated E for Everyone, the game is available online and in stores.

Ready, Set, Squiggle

Lazoo releases the new iPad app Squiggles. The entertaining and fully interactive drawing application is based on the company’s best selling coloring and activity book. Download Squiggles for free today.

Top of the World

Melting ice, immense glaciers and spectacular waterfalls set the stage for the ultimate tale of survival in To The Arctic. The breathtaking documentary follows the amazing journey of a mother polar bear and her twin 7-month-old cubs as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home. Narrated by Meryl Streep, the movie opens in IMAX theaters on April 20.

Recapture the Rainbow

Reading Rainbow, the PBS series dedicated to inspiring kids to read, makes a highly anticipated comeback exclusively for the iPad! RRKidz and Reading Rainbow’s host LeVar Burton have revamped many of the original episodes, offering additional voice-overs, animations, games and videos. The new iPad app is available April 1.

This column appeared in the April 2012 issue.