Babies having fun while learning

Mallory Lewis, who carries on her mother Shari Lewis' legacy in children's entertainment, now stars in an educational DVD series called Phonics 4 Babies.

“Phonics 4 Babies: Babies First Words”

starring Mallory Lewis

By Lan O’Kun / Special to The Malibu Times

How rare it is these days that educational information is entertainingly presented on our screens, especially for very young children. So it is with delight to have viewed the first of six DVDs called “Phonics 4 Babies, Baby’s First Words.” It stars Mallory Lewis, daughter of Shari Lewis, famous for Lamb Chop, her puppet made from a sock.

Having been brought up by the best in the business, Mallory Lewis is an absolute delight to watch, always entertaining, ever charming, friendly, completely at home in the atmosphere she creates. Parents will instinctively understand that there is a nice intelligence in this entertainer, a knowing leader and teacher, who doesn’t gush, or boss, but smilingly breaks through the barrier of the screen and becomes an immediate friend.

Lewis works with quite uncomplicated puppets here, at which she is, through years of exposure, always expert, and wonderfully accessible. She sings quite well, and the show is full of music to learn by.

The screen is full of strong, primary color, with plenty of movement to catch a child’s eye and hold their interest. The goal of this entertainment is to teach a baby’s first words, and the reading information on the jacket informs that there are 300 initial key words for an infant to learn.

The 60-minute DVD contains the baby material, and Dr. Kovacs North, a licensed clinical psychologist at UCLA, discusses child speech development in an in-depth interview with Mallory at the end.

The incipient series is well researched and watched over by UCLA child experts.

The first DVD of the series, priced at $14.98, will be available Sept. 25, and can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Toy ‘R Us stores, or online at