Spend some time this summer with your children in the leisurely and lovely "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
Rogers, who died in 2003, produced and hosted about 900 episodes of his children's show, which still airs on PBS. For the first time, two DVDs of his "Neighborhood" adventures are available (Anchor Bay Entertainment; $16.98; more with bonus toys; not rated).
The television pioneer had envisioned developing a library of tapes, working with every major theme of childhood. The "Adventures in Friendship" DVD focuses on cooperation, kindness and love, and offers a singalong of "You Are Special."
"A Day at the Circus" DVD tackles self-esteem, creativity and musical fun, and has a singalong of "It's You I Like."
Each DVD includes two half-hour episodes plus factory tours (where Rogers sees how such things as teddy bears and pretzels are made), games, recipes and more.
Other recent DVDs for preschoolers and early elementary schoolers:
* "Are We There Yet? Starring Miles the Goose" (Banyan Entertainment: DVD $14.99; not rated) Big, blue-feathered Miles and his four young friends ask questions, sing songs and provide fun facts about traveling.
* "Bear in the Big Blue House" (Buena Vista Home Entertainment: DVD $14.99; not rated) Four new titles in the series have been released this month: "Sense-sational," "Early to Bed, Early to Rise," "Visiting the Doctor With Bear" and "Storytelling With Bear." Each DVD includes catchy singalong songs and Spanish-language tracks around a theme.
* "Thomas & Friends" (Anchor Bay Entertainment: DVD $17.98; not rated) "Percy Saves the Day" will be released July 26, and two titles previously released on VHS are now on DVD: "James Learns a Lesson" and "Best of James." Bonus features include read-along stories, singalong songs and games. Collector's editions, which cost about $2 more, include collectible trains.
* "Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites Wave II" (Buena Vista Home Entertainment: DVD $14.99; not rated) Take classic Disney cartoons, organized around a theme, and you have "Extreme Sports Fun Volume 5," "Extreme Music Fun Volume 6," and "Extreme Adventure Fun Volume 7," each with eight animated tales of Mickey, Donald and the gang.
* "Fraggle Rock: Live by the Rule of the Rock" (Hit Entertainment: DVD $16.99; not rated) Three episodes of "Fraggle Rock," which aired on HBO from 1983-87, feature Jim Henson's Muppets. Bonuses include singalongs and trivia.
* "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" (Buena Vista Home Entertainment: DVD $29.99; not rated) While his friends set traps to catch a heffalump, Roo befriends Lumpy. The predictable story is still charming -- even for adults. Bonus features include sing-alongs, printable pages to color and a rumpledoodle recipe.
New on DVD:
Coach Carter (Paramount Home Video: DVD $29.95; PG-13; available Tuesday) Samuel L. Jackson plays the coach who benched his undefeated basketball team because of its poor academic performance. The DVD includes several deleted scenes and a music video.
Oz: The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Home Video: three-disc DVD $64.90, not rated, available Tuesday) The inmates get an all-new building after Season 4's explosion, but life at Oswald State Penitentiary is still far from being a fairy tale.