Master Communications Presents Reading Karaoke™ with Release of New 'BookBox®' DVD Series

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"Enchanting Christmas Stories," "Stories From Around the World" -- Initial titles in the DVD release leap onto DVD Oct. 23, 2007, feature same language subtitling technology -- proven to increase children's reading ability.

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It's never too early to learn to read, whatever language you speak. And with today's interactive visual and media technology available as a teaching tool, it's never been easier. But how do you make reading entertaining for kids as well as educational? And how do you use visual storytelling to teach a child to read or learn a language? Why, with BookBox, of course!

Created by literacy expert Dr. Brij Kothari, who holds a Ph.D. in Education from Cornell University, BookBox is a new DVD series that uses Same Language Subtitling (SLS) - synchronizing the text, audio and visual components of a story shown on screen - or "reading Karaoke style."

SLS is the simple idea of subtitling music videos, film, television and DVDs in the same language as the audio. Word for word, what is heard is what will be read on screen.

SLS has its roots in a project that addressed mass illiteracy in India. In 1996, Dr. Kothari hit upon the idea while trying to improve his Spanish by watching a film in Spanish. "The Spanish movie had English subtitles, and I remember commenting that I wished it came with Spanish subtitles, if only to help us grasp the Spanish dialogue better," he said. "And if they just put Hindi subtitles on Bollywood songs in Hindi, India would become literate. That idea became an obsession. It was so simple, intuitively obvious and scalable in its potential to help hundreds of millions of people read - not just in India, but globally."

Dr. Kothari went on to win several awards for his research in SLS and most recently has been invited to attend the UNESCO Regional Conference in Support of Global Literacy in Mali this September. He created BookBox to make stories come alive, entertain and help children improve their basic reading skills all at the same time.

BookBox titles are a compilation of short animated films featuring SLS, which has been proven to aid early readers in developing their reading skills. The stories will be available in numerous different languages on different discs. Enchanting animation, dramatic vocalization, beautiful music and easy-to-follow on-screen text come together to provide hours of viewing fun!

Available from Master Communications, best known for the multi-award-winning Families of the World DVD series, BookBox is launching Oct. 23rd with Enchanting Christmas Stories and Stories From Around the World. Each 30-minute BookBox DVD is recommended for ages five and older and will retail for $14.95.

Enchanting Christmas Stories will be available in English only, English/Spanish, English/French, English/German, English/Italian, and English/Mandarin Chinese. Stories From Around the World will be available in English only, English/Spanish, English/French, English/German, English/Italian, English/Mandarin Chinese, English/Hindi, English/Gujarti, English/Russian and English Portuguese.

DVD extras include downloadable coloring pages and interactive games designed to improve a child's memory and observation skills.

Stories on Enchanting Christmas Stories are:

  •      "The First Christmas" - The star of Bethlehem recounts how on the first Christmas Eve, the angels came and requested him to shine with all his brightness to lead the three kings through the desert to meet baby Jesus.
  •     "The Greatest Treasure" - Peter stumbles upon a treasure map and decides to seek it out, meeting several animals along the way who join him on his quest. Together, they defy the obstacles in their way, find the prize and realize that the greatest treasure of all is friendship.
  •     "Tucket the Bucket" - Tucket, a gardener's favorite bucket, develops a hole, is tossed aside and rusts after a rainstorm. One day, a little girl discovers him, cleans the rust off and places a rose plant inside. Tucket takes care of the rose bud, making him the happiest bucket in the world.    
  •     "The Elves and the Shoemaker" - A poor cobbler and his wife are aided by two elves who, during the nights, secretly craft several exquisite pairs of shoes. Soon, they become quite well known in town for their innovative designs. In the true spirit of the season, they show their thanks and appreciation by stitching the elves warm clothing and a pair of shoes for Christmas.
  •     "Santa's Christmas" - Oh, no, the usual hustle and bustle of preparing presents is gone as Santa has fallen ill! Children come to visit and offer him gifts, proving the true meaning of Christmas is wrapped up in love and kindness.

Stories on Stories from Around the World are:

  •      "The First Well" - A magical tale from a kingdom far, far away about how the very first well was created.
  •     "The Boo in the Shoe" - Meet playful "Boo" creatures who hide under beds at night and come out to play during the day.
  •     "The Whispering Palms" - A charming tale about Mori, who lives with her parents in a coconut grove and helps her father who goes fishing every morning. A random dream changes their lives forever and they decide to live in harmony with nature and find alternative methods of earning their living.
  •     "The Little Pianist" - Azul loves to play the piano and practices regularly. His piano teacher confuses him one day when she asks him to play from his heart for the upcoming recital. How can you play piano with your heart and not your fingers? Azul nervously begins to play at the recital and magically his fingers move by themselves, thus finding the true meaning of "playing from the heart."
  •     "Elephant Goes to the City" - Rosa, a baby elephant is terribly unhappy as she lives all alone in her cage at the zoo. A chance escape gives her the freedom to explore the city and raise a bit of havoc! When the zoo keeper finds her, he realizes she would be best living with other elephants in the freedom of a forest reserve.

A portion of proceeds from the sale of BookBox DVDs will be donated to http://www.PlanetRead.org, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to reading and literacy development around the world.

Master Communications will release two titles in the BookBox series in early 2008 and thereafter will release two to four DVDs per year. For more information about BookBox or to order DVDs call
1-800-765-5885 or visit http://www.master-comm.com.

Series: BookBox
DVD Titles: "Enchanting Christmas Stories"
"Stories from Around the World"
Release Date: Oct. 23rd, 2007
Genre: Children; ages 5 and older
R/T: Approximately 30 minutes each
SRP: $14.95 each

Press Information:
Andrea Blain
Andrea Blain Public Relations
9750 Crawford Ave.
Skokie, IL 60076
847-933-9884 phone
847-673-5836 fax
andrea(at)andreablainpr.com

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