I don't do a lot of DVD reviewing in general, but I took this copy because it's live-action, with real human beings. Remember back when we were kids, and you could see real people on kids' TV all the time? Not anymore. It's all cartoons or CGI. And that kind of makes me a little nuts. So when I got the offer to review Pretend With Miss Kim, I accepted it, even though I figured my boys wouldn't be that interested in a DVD with girls in pink leotards.
But I think I've created a monster, because now my almost-3-year-old wants to watch "Pee-tend wit' Miss Kim, Mama!" all. the. time. When Miss Kim has them get out their pretend paintbrushes to paint colors, he gets his out and pretends to paint. When she does the story that helps them practice beginning ballet moves, he puts his feet together and stretches and bends right along with them. When she sings "Mr. Sun" and I sing along, he says, "Mom, his name is Mr. Golden Sun, not Mr. Sun!" He laughs hysterically when they bounce the stuffed bunny doll on the parachute. (Watch samples of the DVD at Miss Kim's site.)
And the 6-year-old, as jaded by the rigors of Kindergarten as he is, can't really pretend he's watching it in an ironic way, either. Yeah, he makes fun of Miss Kim's strong North Carolina accent (the 3-year-old doesn't notice it, like he doesn't notice my grandma's deep Minnesotan accent) and the fact that all the girls are wearing pink leotards, some with skirts. But he also sings along when he thinks I'm not paying attention. And he knows all the names of the girls in the class. And he thinks Miss Kim's hair is beautiful. And it inspired a discussion about how in the south kids call grownups Miss Firstname and Mr. Firstname and why people don't do that in the north.
So live-action is a hit, and pretend is a hit, just like it was back in the heyday of Mister Rogers.
From the parent point of view, Miss Kim is easy-going and charming, and has a good way with the girls. This DVD is very girl-focused, and she talks about lipstick and pretty dresses at one point, so if you're trying to avoid that then this is not the DVD for you. If you're OK with your girls hearing about wearing lipstick, or you have boy toddlers, this DVD is going to be a hit, and a good thing to rotate in with the construction and train-related DVDs you probably already have. Target age range for this is around 2 to around 4.
My only complaint is that the run time is only 16 minutes. Pretend With Miss Kim is only US$10, but I'd pay twice as much for twice as much pretend time. Maybe Miss Kim will do another, longer session in a year or two. In the meantime, this is just the thing for when you need a short break, or just enough time to hop in the shower or toss in some laundry.