Jack the Cuddly Dog.

JackthecuddlydogLooking for an alternative to those Baby Einstein videos? This morning Madame and I watched Jack the Cuddly Dog, a home-brewed kid's DVD from self-proclaimed "baby dudes" Max Reynal and Doug Morrione. Similar to Baby Einstein, it's a very mellow, soothing show, with colors and shapes and classical music. But unlike Baby Einstein, the baby dudes are going for something a little more organic. The music is played on a real piano; a lot of the video shows real footage of animals, flowers, parks and beaches; and throughout the whole thing a hand drawn Jack the Cuddly Dog pops up to wave hello.

The video says for ages 6 months to 2 years, but for my daughter (almost 15 months now) it was way too mellow. She did enjoy the shape animations and the video of the animals (she's a big fan of ducks) but the DVD seems really geared towards infants. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that if watching someone else play with toys while synth-Mozart plays in the background calmed her down eight months ago, this video would too. And personally, I'd rather listen to a real piano.

Jack the Cuddly Dog [website]