When I mention Phil Vischer, what do you immediately envision? A tomato, perhaps? A group of vegetables that can sing, hop, and tell Bible stories? Well, yes, you're right...that's probably what most of us think about when we hear Phil's name! VeggieTales creator, aka Bob the Tomato.
But Phil has been hard at work for the last several years, since the 2003 Bankruptcy that forced him to sell Big Idea Productions. Just what has he been up to, you ask? Well, doing more of what God has called him to do...create relevant, Biblically based children's entertainment that teaches kids about God.
With the 2008 launch of his online network variety show, JellyTelly , we were introduced to a new cast of characters. Not a vegetable among them!! No, these players are all puppets! This troop is held together by their front man...er... front puppet, Buck Denver ; TV anchorman and all around good guy who helps answer questions sent in from real children, as well as clarify some lesson objectives, and fix some sticky situations that the lovable, quirky cast of characters seem to get themselves into during the daily shows.
These puppets personify several different real-person types that kids will both love and be able to relate to. From the humorous Dr. Schniffenhousen; to the very knowledgable, grandmotherly Sunday School Lady; to Michael, who is...a kid. This wonderful puppet-cast of characters also star in Phil's newest project, WHAT'S IN THE BIBLE.
WHAT'S IN THE BIBLE (WITB), is truly some of Vischer's best work, to date! In this series of 13 DVD's, Phil and his wacky Jellyfish characters explore each book of the Bible. You will be amazed at how much knowledge you and your child can glean from just watching these DVD's!
Oh, and did I mention that the kids will LOVE watching these shows?! How many five year olds can say "Pentateuch"? After the second DVD, yours will, and as a bonus he/she will actually know what it is!
What about a completely fun, catchy song that will help them memorize all the Kings of Judah? Have you heard of the Fabulous Bentley Brothers? Oh you will...
If you grew up in the 70's, School House Rock, and their lyrically smart songs were just a part of your Saturday morning cartoon routine. If you're anything like me, even in college I was still signing (in my head) the Preamble of the US Constitution to the tune I learned many years prior through School House Rock. It was painless, fun, and somehow...it stuck. This same modality of teaching/ learning is just as effective when applied to God's Word.
As a home schooling parent, part of my curriculum program is a Bible component. I have yet to find a curriculum which is both entertaining and truly educational! My choices have been Bible cartoons with great story but no educational or historical value; or they are so...what's the word I'm looking for... BORING! Yes, very,very boring, dry, beat-it-into-your-head Bible history, boring. Sort of painful for most kids to get through. Sort of painful for most adults to get through, too!
This year we will begin using Phil Vischer's WITB, as our elementary curriculum. I will add some art projects, and Bible memory verses, but I guarantee it will be a course where my second grader learns about God's Word, His story and His history! Not painful in the least, very educational, and I'll even look forward to popping in the DVD and sitting alongside my son, as we have class! Not bad!!
This isn't to say that WITB can't be thoroughly enjoyed without using the DVD's as a school course. Entertainment with a message; that's really how they were designed to be enjoyed. I'm just tweaking things...as usual. You know me!!
There are three DVD's already released in this 13 DVD series, and the fourth will release in October 2010. To order or watch a trailer go to the links provided:
Here's Phil talking about the series and, well,... What's in the Bible...