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family

Kids' Zone

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”I love the books of Oliver Jeffers (The Day the Crayons Quit, Lost and Found), which I’ve been plowing through with my 2-year-old. Quirky, awesome illustrations with equally quirky, awesome stories. I may like them more than my daughter does.” —Kyle Ryan, Editor, EW.COM

”We are deep into the first season of Once Upon a Time (ABC). My three kids are so awed by the twists on familiar fairy tales that they are starting to invent some of their own. Fan fiction can’t be far behind.” —Nicole Sperling, Senior Writer

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Family Game Night!

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Zoo Tycoon
Turns out running a zoo is really stressful. Tycoon is a fun but complex management sim that tasks aspiring keepers with everything from setting admission prices to decorating the park to scooping poop. Really, though, it’s all about the animals: Using the Kinect camera, you can feed them, hose them down, and make faces at monkeys. It’s educational, and kids can get closer to the giraffes and elephants than at a real zoo — all without the smell. (Xbox 360, Xbox One; rated E) B

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Family Picks

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Aug. 9
Movies Planes (PG) Voices of Dane Cook, Teri Hatcher Disney’s high-flying spin-off comes ”from above the world of Cars,” but it still stars automobiles with giant windshield gazes. The film follows Dusty, a crop-dusting farm plane (who happens to be afraid of heights) as he competes in an international air race against high-tech jets.

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Disney Infinity

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EW's Must List

If you’re at all familiar with the popular Skylanders series — and if you’ve shopped Target’s videogame aisle with your tykes, you probably are — then you’re halfway to understanding what Disney Infinity is all about. Much like Activision’s super-successful toys-meets-games mash-up, Disney Interactive Studios’ ambitious new project also pairs collectible playthings with interactive fantasy adventures.

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Toy Story: Smash It!

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On the surface, Toy Story: Smash It! looks like another attempt to ape Angry Birds’ successful fowl-flinging formula. Thanks to a fresh 3D perspective, inventive puzzles, and plenty of Pixar personality, however, Disney’s latest is much more than another me-too entry.

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Temple Run: Oz

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Just as Temple Run: Brave didn’t do much to change up the popular franchise’s free-running formula, Temple Run: Oz — Disney’s latest Temple tie-in — similarity sticks to the series’ tried-and-true template. Where Merida’s lap around the coin-cluttered maze borrowed heavily from the original Temple Run though, Oz’s sprint emulates its sequel.

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Wonderbook: Book of Spells

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The Harry Potter franchise was built on a foundation of wish fulfillment. The first book begins with beleaguered Harry, the unwanted foster child of the horrible Dursleys, discovering his wizard ancestry and embarking on a journey of discovery. Likewise, much of the appeal of the various strains of Potter media — the movies, the videogames, the theme park — get their intrinsic appeal from welcoming the readers, viewers, players, and ticket-holders into Harry’s world.

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A Tangle of Knots

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Author Lisa Graff has created a beautiful world of deliciously interconnected stories that draw you in. It looks an awful lot like our world, but things are slightly off. It’s a world with magic running through it. One where people have Talents — that’s right, with a capital “T.” At the heart of it all is Cady, an orphan whose baking skills are unparalled. She’s particularly adept at sussing out the perfect flavor of cake for a person, whether they know it or not. (In fact, each chapter begins with a cake and recipe, with names like V’s Mystery Fudge Cake.

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The Black Rabbit

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Ever feel like someone was following you? Well, that’s exactly how poor Rabbit feels when out of the blue he realizes he’s got a Black Rabbit trailing behind him. No matter how fast or far he runs, he just can’t shake him. At least not until he gets to the dark woods. But when a new foe surfaces, Rabbit runs out of the woods and finds that the Black Rabbit isn’t so bad after all.

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Mummenschanz 40 Years

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I took my kid to see Mummenschanz 40 Years.

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