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Don't Miss May 2012

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

Donald McDermott

Avengers Assemble

The world’s mightiest heroes band together for the big-screen ride of a lifetime in The Avengers. Marvel Studios brings Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America and a few others together to combat a hostile force that is out to destroy the world. One of the most highly anticipated films of the year, The Avengers opens on May 4.

Move to the Beat

Dance party games reach a whole new level in Let’s Dance. Featuring four exciting modes, the new release from Maximum Family Games invites players of all ages to shake what they’ve got to 28 hit songs from Rihanna, Pussycat Dolls, Fergie, Lady Gaga and others. Let’s Dance is available for Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Original Playtime

CLIF Kid, the maker of organic snacks for active kids, presents the second Annual CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year contest. Designed to encourage kids ages 6-12 to use their imaginations and spend more time playing outside, the contest asks participants to send in ideas for an original backyard game. Prizes include a $10,000 scholarship, a Marin bicycle and Bell helmet, and a trip to San Francisco, California. Enter until June 17 at www.clifkidbackyardgame.com.

Live and Learn

Little ones have hours of merriment while strengthening their learning skills in Kids Learn 2 Think: A+ Edition (Talking Stick Games). Developed exclusively for the Nintendo DS, the entertaining new release uses a variety of puzzles, riddles and brain teasers to help develop critical thinking and logic skills. Pick up a copy in stores or online today.

Hanging with SpongeBob

SpongeBob, Patrick and the rest of the Bikini Bottom bunch return in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Seventh Season. The DVD set comes complete with 50 hilarious episodes from season seven. Additionally, the four discs offer plenty of animated shorts and special features. Available wherever DVDs are sold.

Back in Black

The super secret government agents who protect our planet are back in Men In Black 3. Presented in 3D, the movie follows Agent J back during the 1960s as he stops an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history. Opening in theaters on May 25, Men In Black 3 stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin.

Chipmunk Mania

Everyone’s favorite chipmunk trio, Alvin, Simon and Theodore, and their female companions, The Chipettes, are back for an all new adventure in Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. Available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download from Twentieth Century Fox, the live-action comedy finds the six furry friends and their caretaker Dave Seville shipwrecked on a deserted island. Pick up the Island Adventure edition filled with sing-along songs, games and other features.

Big Time Fun

Invite Elmo, Abby and all of their friends into your home with Sesame Street: Big Elmo Fun. Sesame Workshop and Warner Home Video present the DVD release, which offers three full-length stories starring everyone’s favorite furry red monster. Viewers enjoy engaging new songs, animated book extras and bonus content.

Program Perks

Parents and parents-to-be are excited as Babies “R” Us launches its Very Important Baby (V.I.B.) Program. The complimentary card offers great year-round savings on everything from diapers and wipes to formula and baby food. Enroll when you visit the store to create your registry. Find out more at www.babiesrus.com/vib.

Using Imagination

Disney’s Imagination Movers present the CD/DVD combo Rock-O-Matic. The title offers an array of hand-clapping, toe-tapping hits in a variety of music styles. Features include live action and animated music videos, as well as family-friendly skits. To order and learn about the summer tour, visit www.imaginationmovers.com.

This column appeared in the May 2012 issue.