FAMILY : Brum Takes Viewers on a Feel-Good Tour


If your TV-watching tyke can’t get enough “Barney” or “Thomas the Tank Engine"-type feel-good fare, don’t miss a sunny new series of live-action home videos from Random House about the adventures of an adorable miniature ‘20s touring car named Brum. (As in “brum, brum,” universal kid language for car sounds.)

Each of the four videos in the series--"Brum to the Rescue,” “Brum and the Little Girl Lost,” “Brum and the Bank Robbers” and “Brum and the Baby Carriage"--includes three stories and an accompanying paper model of Brum to punch out and put together. (Mom or Dad will probably be volunteered for this job.)

The simplicity of these British imports are their charm: The only voice heard is a narrator’s as the child-sized Brum toodles off from its home in an antique automobile museum to explore the “big town” and meets and helps various friends along the way, rescuing dollies and lost puppies and thwarting thieves.

The gentle, sweet videos have a storybook feel and all the endings are, of course, happily-ever-after.


* Random House Home Video, 30 minutes, $9.95, (800) 733-3000.


Positive Thinking: OK. Let’s forget about what’s wrong with Los Angeles and concentrate on what’s right. Friends of the Junior Arts Center, a nonprofit arts education organization, is inviting children ages 5 through 17 to “Imagine a Great City . . . What I Love About L.A.” through original drawings, paintings, photography, collage, ceramics, film or video for the center’s second annual “Billboard Project” competition.

Four finalists will have their artwork reproduced into full-color billboards that will be put up in the Los Angeles area, sponsored by a foundation, corporation, local business or individual.


Young artists who would like to submit an original work can call the center at (213) 660-3362 for an entry form.

Or, attend the city’s 213th birthday celebration at the Plaza of El Pueblo de Los Angeles at Olvera Street on Labor Day, Sept. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., where entry forms will be distributed and art supplies will be available.

Artwork will be accepted between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31.