Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mom Select Review: Superbook

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about Superbook showing on ABC.  I hope you were able to watch the shows!!  If not, you may be interested to know that the entire series is not available on DVD.  Over the last few weeks, we have had the opportunity to review the DVD's in our home.

Superbook is a 16 DVD series of episodes created by CBN to tell the stories of the Bible to children.  They feature Chris Quantum, his friend and neighbor Joy Popper, and his robot Gizmo.  Well, Gizmo actually belongs to Chris's dad (an inventor), but he ends up with Chris on all the journeys.

In the first episode they have this little mechanical thing that all of a sudden comes alive and Chris, Joy and Gizmo are sucked in.  Before they know it, they are transported back in time where they run into a man and woman who are-ahem-under dressed (they don't show anything, but Gizmo has issue with it and has to 'fix' the problem).  They have no idea at first that they are actually talking to Adam and Eve!  As the episodes progress, they begin to get used to the idea that they are going back in time, and have an idea of what will be next as they go in Biblical order.

When they are in each story, they watch a very accurate Biblical account unfold.  They also interact with the characters, trying to help in anyway that they can.  For example, they try to warn Daniel to stop praying, and he explains why he can't.  On one episode, He is Risen, Chris' mom ends up along for the ride, and she comforts Mary as she is losing her son.  It really brings the stories to life for Chris, Joy, Gizmo, and the children watching.

There are 16 episodes, of which we were sent 14 to review.  The episodes available are:

In the Beginning
The Test
Jacob and Esau
Let My People Go!
The Ten Commandments
A Giant Adventure
The First Christmas
Miracles of Jesus
The Last Supper
He Is Risen
The Road to Damascus
and the two we did not review:
Fiery Furnace
and Revelation

The Episodes are just under 30 minutes in length and feature awesome animated graphics, catchy songs, and-most importantly-the Word of God in a way that children can understand.

You can watch the trailer here:

So what did we think?

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!!  Seriously!  My dad is a pastor, which means that I have seen just about every kids Bible story movie out there.  Believe me when I say, this one is pretty much, if not THE, best one.  The graphics are UNBELIEVABLE.  They really draw an audience in and hold their attention for the whole time.  The story lines are ACCURATE.  They don't dumb down the story or turn it into something it's not just to 'retell' the story for a young child.

For example, in the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den (Roar!), Darius says he is going to throw the other guys into the lion's den at the end of the, it isn't left out.  They do, however, move on at that point and not show them being thrown in ;).  There are a few scenes that the writers warn may be a bit graphic for young, sensitive children, so you may want to preview them before letting kids watch.  However, my quite sensitive 3 year old had no problems with any of the scenes, so I think overall they are pretty safe.

The stories also include the spiritual warfare that is going on in the stories.  They don't go overboard, so it's not a constant thing.  But, for example, when Satan goes into Judas as he betrays Jesus, the movie shows Satan overshadowing Judas.  You also see an angel comforting Jesus as he prays in the garden before his death.  At first, I was taken aback by this choice, but after a bit I was very glad it was there.  I love that when my children read the stories, they will notice the spiritual warfare written in the Bible because they were introduced to it at a young age.

A little more on the spiritual warfare, I almost forgot that in the first episode, In The Beginning, they actually show the story of Lucifer and his followers fighting with angels in Heaven, and then being cast down to earth.  This sets the stage for the story of Adam and Eve, but is certainly a story that is often left out of kid's shows.  But the story is true and portrayed in a way that kids can understand and also helps the story to make sense.  Normally, we just show Adam and Eve and then this guy Satan-who is bad-comes out of nowhere.  Showing the fall of Lucifer helps piece this story together.

As soon as the Superbook DVD's arrived at our door, there were lots of requests to watch them.  We were packing for a trip, so I was happy to have a distraction for them.  So, I let them watch the first one.  About 40 minutes later, they were back begging for the next.  It went on like that for 2 hours, before I finally had to tell them they had watched enough TV for the day.  From then on, anytime they had a TV time, their first request was Superbook.  They have seen all the episodes, so they don't every single time, but they still do often.  Today, when we finished our Bible lesson about Joseph, they were quick to beg me to watch the Superbook Joseph.

Now, you may remember the OLD Superbook episodes.  Yep, I am showing my age when I tell you this is the remake of Superbook!  As I tell you all about the new ones, you may be thinking about a Japanese anime that you turned on Saturday morning.  Well, for those of you who know what I am talking about, there is an added bonus to these DVD's.  As a bonus feature, they have included the corresponding old episode with each new episode.  So cool!!

The last thing that my children have absolutely LOVED is the new theme song for Superbook.  I catch my girls, especially, singing it ALL.THE.TIME!!

I highly recommend this series and am going to have to purchase the two DVD's that we don't already have yet!  I believe they are planning more in the future, as well, so I will be watching for those!

How to Buy?

There are two ways to buy the Superbook DVD's.  First of all, through the Superbook DVD club.  If you sign up for the club, you will receive 3 copies of the Fiery Furnace DVD for $25.00 (one for you and 2 as gifts), then every 4 to 6 weeks, you will receive a new Superbook DVD, and your account will be charged $25.00.

Or, you can purchase each DVD individually for $25.00.

You can read all about the purchasing options and order your DVD's on the CBN website.


You can check out the Superbook website-that has info about the show, games to play, trailers to watch, and Bible Study guides (free) for each of the DVD's.


I'm so glad you stopped by!  Hope you enjoyed the review!

God Bless,

Disclosure:  We received our Superbook DVD pack as part of a promotional program from CBN and Mom Select, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Dave Emerson said...

So what specifically ages (or grades) would be appropriate for the new superbook series?

What's too young?

Too old?


Dave Emerson said...

So, what's the age or grade range for superbook?

Is it too intense or complicated for pre-K?

I'm guessing around 4 - 12 years old?


Lisa @ Our Country Road said...

Thanks for the question! My children are ages 3-7 and all three enjoyed them very much. The characters Chris and Joy are supposed to be in middle school. I actually think you could use this up to as high as 6th grade with the right group. The content level is certainly there as long as they are willing to watch an animated show.

Rendla said...

You have peaked my interest in Superbook. I am always looking for more DVDs and books that teach Christian values to kids. Since I didn't grow up with these examples I'd love to know what other series do you recommend?

Some my kids like are Veggie Tales, Theo,The Animated Kids' Bible, Kids' Ten Commandments, What's in the Bible, and Torchlighters.

Lisa @ Our Country Road said...

Rendla-We own Veggie Tale and What's in the Bible. I've not watched the others-I'll have to look into them.

We enjoy BOTH of Veggie Tales and What's in the Bible. The Veggie Tales are good for introducing a Bible story to young children. They do change things to make them funny and enjoyable to children-such as in the story of Jonah they say the bad thing people of Ninevah are doing is hitting others with not exactly accurate, but the basic story of Jonah is right. Veggie Tales are especially good for ages 1-5, but my 7 year old still likes them, and even the older crowd doesn't mind them from time to time. I loved them in high school, and I know others that did, too.

What's in the Bible is really good for truly explaining what the Bible is, what it means, what happens, how it all works together. It's like basic theology for kids-probably age 5 and up, though it's generally for the older kids (1/2nd grade through about 5/6 grade-maybe even higher if you wanted to use for a family Bible time). They are really fun and engaging and teach a lot-like the history behind things even. My kids really learned a lot from them!

I hope that helps!