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Grammaropolis — A Pop-Up Educational Media Franchise

Many parents would say that it’s a difficult task for educational music and media to ingratiate itself to full-family enjoyment.  Whereas modern, non-lesson-centric children’s music, videos & books will often pull lovingly on the heartstrings of a parent while simultaneously bringing exuberant joy to a youngster, curriculum-based media tends to bring about hearty groans from adults not particularly interested in relearning their times tables, being reminded to brush their teeth, or hearing about transient verbs. The kids may very well dig all that, but it is hard to get past that first line of defense.

I do not disagree with this common sentiment regarding educational media. I, like you, enjoy being entertained, primarily, whilst enjoying entertainment and consuming media. I got through school, even some college, and while I still cannot correctly spell many words with more than six letters or use a semi-colon properly; I don’t necessarily want to learn from a song or an app.  And I feel that it is my job, along with their teachers at school, to teach my children to brush their teeth and that 9×9 is, without a doubt, the coolest multiplication problem. 7×6 is also a wonderful problem. To further illustrate this point, I will add that I don’t listen to grown-up music to learn how to, say, upload a podcast to iTunes, so I don’t expect or want strangers with guitars to teach my children shit that they should be learning from me or in school. Entertain us.

This is why the new educational media franchise Grammaropolis deserves nothing but the highest praise from critics and families alike. You WILL want this multi-pronged curriculum-based grammar program in your lives because it is riotously funny, warmly endearing, and all-around brilliant from start to finish.  The Bear is totally gaga crazy for it!

Critically acclaimed YA author Coert Voorhees and noted children’s musician Dr. Noize (he of The Ballad of Phineas McBoof fame), along with talented illustrators and web-savvy tech folks, have risen from nothing a new city center inhabited by nouns, adverbs, connective thingies, and more stuff I don’t pretend to understand (even as a 37-year-old published writer.)  It is here, in this fictional place knows as Grammaropolis where learning becomes a hilarious romp for 5 and 9-year girls, and their fake-it-till-they-make-it fathers. Note: children of varying ages and genders are also eligible for said hilarious romps through Grammaropolis, the above example simply reflects who is romping in our home.

The Grammaropolis program, for lack of a better word, can be consumed in a number of different ways. There are then literally NO excuses for not consuming it. The website offers access on a monthly ($3.99), yearly ($19.99) or lifetime basis ($39.99) while the app and the Noun neighborhood is free with each additional part of speech priced at $1.99 (or $12.99 for the Complete Edition Grammaropolis App.) Okay, enough with all the dollar signs. They, after all, have nothing to do with grammar. I don’t think. Yep, definitely nothing to do with parts of speech. Probably.

In either the app or the site, young learners travel through the budding metropolis learning, hanging out with cute characters like Nelson the Noun and Izzy the Interjection (our two faves), taking quizzes, watching music videos, and, in general, having so much fun while picking up terms, tricks, and good writing and reading habits. Parents with an inclination for doing so can track their child’s progress at any point, to see where they are in the city, how they are doing on the quizzes, and to make sure they aren’t hanging out in seedy parts of town with Slang and his cohorts. That’s right, Slang, he’s the place’s resident baddy, a shadowy hipster who tempts children with words like rad, ‘illin, and a dash of fo shizzle. He’s like Snoop Dogg without the smoke halo.

The musical portion of the Grammaropolis equation (sorry for slipping math terms in here again) is a quick and easy download. While the songs stand proudly on their own, and range from the Michael Jackson-esque smash hit (in our house) “Noun Town” to the Meatloaf-via-Broadway drama of “Lights! Camera!! Action Verb!!!” to the high school marching band inspired “Do You Qualify?”, the quality and frame of reference is enhanced when coupled with the website, app, or books. Oh yeah, there are books too. See why I called it a franchise.  Note: the books are available as paperbacks but the digital versions are included in the website and app packages.

You should still be super hesitant to dive into edutainment products, music, and videos for your family. No one will blame you, because many of your options are heavy-handed garbage devoid of artistic qualities. But when it comes to the Grammaropolis, the Schoolhouse Rock! of 21st century childhood, and its suite of educational goodies, you can feel free to rent a nice walk-up right next to Lil’ Pete the Preposition, and then et your kids run wide in any and all of its many neighborhoods. Fo Shizzle!

*OWTK received a Grammaropolis CD, book, and access to the website and app for review consideration. The opinion express above are honest and unbiased, as always.

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