If you have a toddler or preschooler who likes books, you will undoubtedly pick up a (picture) book every day to read aloud. Nothing is more relaxing for children and older people than that moment of happiness: enjoying a funny or exciting story together with the most beautiful illustrations. The variety of picture books is countless times greater than the range of films for this target group. A good choice of the French Célia Rivière to turn existing French picture books into an animation series, “La cabane à histoires”. Some of these animated shorts have now been released under the title “Birdhouse Stories”.
What the videos in “Birdhouse Stories” have in common is that they are about animals. Often, but not always, a bird plays the leading role. The nine films are animated differently, yet there are similarities. The style is best described as “brought to life picture book” and that is of course exactly the intention. Collage techniques and the absence of overly garish colors contribute to the artistic atmosphere. The films are linked together by the table on which the books are placed and are introduced, with a cute bird that returns in every connecting scene.
The playing time of the videos is just long enough. It is of course a proven recipe; other compilation films for toddlers / preschoolers also have the same length and structure; take for example “Rita & Crocodile” or the adventures of the ghost Laban. It may be a bit too much for some restless children to have nine films, compare it to reading nine books… but the stories are different enough to keep the interest.
The stories in themselves are not very startling; but with themes such as “you are good the way you are”, “overcome your fears”, friendship and being there for each other is okay. Nice pastime for children from the age of three.