Adventures From the Book of Virtues: The Series
Adventures From the Book of Virtues: The Series – Follows the adventures of eleven-year-old Zach Nichols and ten-year-old Annie Redfeather as they suffer pain from issues involving other children.
To solve these problems, they seek council from a group of anthropomorphic animals whose names come from the Greek – Plato, an old and scholarly bison; Aurora, a wise red-tailed hawk; Socrates, a rambunctious and wisecracking bobcat; and Aristotle, a feisty and bookish prairie dog. This ensemble teaches the kids virtues by telling them stories from the Book of Virtues.
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S1, Ep1 – Sep. 2, 1996
A thunderstorm strikes the forest, knocking a tree into the rainbowl. Zach and Annie volunteer to clean it out, along with Plato, Ari, and Aurora, but Sock isn’t interested in helping. Plato tells him the story “How the Camel Got His Hump”, where another beast’s how not working gave him trouble. Annie uses something like the object of Aesop’s fable “The Bundle of Sticks” to show how everyone pulling together will make a difference as doesn’t believe. When he agrees to help but complains of boredom, Plato tells “Tom Sawyer Gives Up the Brush”, where it was learned that
S1, Ep2 – Sep. 2, 1996
Zach is sorely tempted to touch his dad’s beautiful antique camera, despite promising not to – and when he does, he breaks it and lies that it fell off its display table naturally. Plato tries to convince Zach to tell the truth by telling him the stories of “The Frog Prince”, where the title character received a punishment for breaking a promise and another had to keep one made, and the legend “George Washington and the Cherry Tree”, whose protagonist too broke something he promised to leave in good shape but learned his lesson in a different way. Annie even tells a
S1, Ep3 – Sep. 3, 1996
Annie agrees to put her brand-new bike to good use by delivering cakes from her mom’s bakery, but can’t resist Zach’s offer to race – and is angry with him when her bike crashes and the food is ruined. Plato and Aurora try to convince her that responsibility is always handy to keep around as shown in “Icarus and Dedalus” where a boy had too little responsibility to obey his father and paid for it, or the legend “King Alfred and the Cakes” where even a renowned ruler was forced to admit he neglected his simple duty. Ari tells “The Chest of Broken Glass”, where a mother
S1, Ep4 – Sep. 3, 1996
Emile Zigrodny, a classmate Zach barely knows, loses his house in a fire, and Zach is hesitant to show him support since their first meeting would be his giving charity. Plato and the others try to push him in the right direction by pointing out that anyone can be kind since even the least-likely are capable of it as shown in the Biblical story “The Good Samaritan”, anyone can make a difference no matter how young as shown in “The Legend of the Dipper”, or how it proves to have lasting effects for the giver and the receiver as shown in “Androcles and the Lion”
S1, Ep5 – Sep. 4, 1996
Annie is defeated badly by a formidable opponent in a hurdles race, and her confidence leaves her after that. Plato tries to help her get her it back by telling the story of “The Minatour”, where an opportunity was taken to protect people in spite of the danger. When Zach acts confident, Ari points out to them both that different levels of courage are needed in different situations, as shown in Aesop’s fable “The Brave Mice”, and Plato speaks of William Tell, who put plenty at risk for his own sake and others’. Even the poem “If” is a reminder about how much courage
S1, Ep6 – Sep. 4, 1996
Zach offers Annie and all the others favors for money since he wants to buy a new game and can’t get an allowance-raise at home. Plato points out that wanting money too badly leads to pain, as King Midas learned in “The Golden Touch”. When Zach reveals that he said something hurtful to his mom, Aurora mentions how painful a short temper is for the one with the temper by telling “The King and His Hawk”, where even Genghis Kahn didn’t control his enough to not regret his actions later, and Plato reminds that waiting pays off, as shown in “The Magic Thread” where a boy
S1, Ep7 – Feb. 9, 1997
Annie is disheartened when her recently-made friend Sarah decides to choose a partner other than her to go canoing with, even though she agreed to pair up with her, just because Annie’s canoe leaks. Plato reads “Waukewa’s Eagle” to show how compassion is occasionally and a good heart is always found in real friendships like that of a Maliseet boy and a bird. When Annie is ready to hold too much distrust against those from cities, Ari explains that friendship can take a lot of strength to build but it takes more to get through life without it by telling “Why Frog=child
S1, Ep8 – Feb. 9, 1997
Zach enjoys birdwatching with Mr. Cleveland, but in climbing on a plaque to get up to a tree he breaks it and doesn’t get why Mr. Cleveland is so worked up over it, especially when he shows confusion over why anyone would care about such an aged thing. Plato explains the meaning of one of the words on it, “loyalty”, by telling the stories of “Yudisthira at Heaven’s Gate”, where a king is challenged to choose between a companion and his dreams, and “The Cap That Mother Made”, where a boy is tempted with great things for something he values. When Plato remembers that
S1, Ep9 – Feb. 16, 1997
Zach and Annie are building a go-cart out of scraps from a friend’s junkyard, but don’t strike gold with every piece they find right away, and are ready to blame Jake Jeeters when he kicks them out after they yell at him. Plato hears their complaints and points out that manners are important in life, just as they are in the story “Please”, the results for using and not using them are different by reading “Diamonds and Toads”, and everyone and everything deserves respect as shown in the Italian story “The Bell of Atri”
S1, Ep10 – Feb. 16, 1997
Annie is saddened when her faith-devoted neighbor and friend Ruth passes away, and wonders whether faith is really wroth it because of that. Plato tries to convince her that it is very much worth it by telling the stories of the Hebrew Daniel in the lions’ den, who looked to faith always and saw how times of trouble caused it to prove strong, and Harriet Tubman’s determination to use faith to continue taking noble risks throughout her life. Even the 23rd Psalm is a good example of why there’s enough reason for faith to live throughout life
S1, Ep11 – Feb. 23, 1997
Annie is delighted to win the class presidency, but upon receiving it is pressed by her classmates to make what will be extreme, controversial changes and believes their proclamations that her greatness can accomplish anything. Plato warns her that a ruler’s not swallowing pride often brings a painful fall to humiliation as proved in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. On the other hand, “King Canute at the Seashore” is noted by Aurora as a reminder of how humility is a good thing for anybody but especially those trusted with power, but the mistakes made by a partly-noble
S1, Ep12 – Feb. 23, 1997
Plato learns that Annie and Zach are collecting canned goods for a homeless shelter, but their first priority is the rewards they’ll get instead of helping the hungry, to the point where they argue over who should be recognized first at a celebration. He tries to explain how true giving requires selflessness, as shown in the story of “Rocking-Horse Land” where it’s done between friends, and how it can be more satisfactory than receiving by telling “Old Man Rabbit’s Thanksgiving Dinner”. “The Gift of the Magi” is read as a reminder that even the thought of attempting
S1, Ep13 – Mar. 2, 1997
Zach and Annie have been taking lessons in karate and guitar, respectively, but now decide they don’t want to stay in them anymore. On a hike, Plato tries to remind them of how rewarding persistence can be by telling the stories of “Scarface”, about a Native American warrior who was rewarded based on how hard he tried for something he wanted, and “The Stars in the Sky”, where a girl learned how pleasing staying with a goal was afterward. A Greek hero’s story in “Ulysses and Cyclops” proved how important tenacity is in times of trouble. Even the poem “You Mustn’t Quit”
S2, Ep1 – Feb. 15, 1998
Zach is excited that a college football player who is his role model will attend his school pep rally, so volunteers to help out in order to meet him. But he doesn’t think cleaning up for the assembly is worth it, and is prepared to go back on his word. Meanwhile, Sock is reluctant to help Ari find his misplaced glasses as promised because of his fear of tunnels. Plato explains that character is shown by letting actions compare to words as shown in “The Bear and the Travellers”, where a badger learned of his companion’s nature in a bad time, and in “The Knights of the
S2, Ep2 – Feb. 22, 1998
Zach and Annie go mountain-biking in the woods, but Zach’s bike overturns and he sprains his ankle. Annie decides to stick with him since he can’t walk or ride on it, and gets him not to think about their being stranded by retelling the Greek fable “Proetus” Plato told them, where a Greek king had to use all his willpower and strength to allow himself and his soldiers to return home. When Annie worries that they will have no chance of making their way out, Zach retells from Plato’s collection the true story of Jinkswoitmaya, about a Native American who worked to save
S2, Ep3 – Mar. 1, 1998
Annie gets more orders for her craft weathervanes with Plato, Aurora, Ari, and Sock on them than she can deliver right away, so rushes through some to sell them – then gets complaints about how they’re dysfunctional. Plato encourages her to consider what the results of a rushed job show by telling “For Want of a Horseshoe Nail”, where one incomplete task led to a remarkably high amount of trouble, and Aurora “Charlemagne and the Robber Knight”, where an English king’s and a lowly thief’s thoughtfulness in how to deal with people proved life-saving
S2, Ep4 – Mar. 8, 1998
It’s Zach’s birthday and he wants to plan a large party to celebrate, but is bitter when his parents inform him they can only host a moderate one. Seeing this and how Ari is glum that his small size is why Sock won’t let him do much to help set up an earlier celebration for Zach, Plato points out that what is actually had in life should not be easily scorned, as a man found out during his many experiences and longings in “The Discontented Stonecutter”, and Aurora reminds that some things in life, like people, are worth more than ones that show wealth by reading ”
S2, Ep5 – Mar. 15, 1998
Annie’s enthusiasm about her family’s upcoming spring vacation doesn’t last when she learns her mother wants her to be a part-time sitter for her little cousins. Plato tries to explain how helping out can bring rewards, as shown in “The Line of Golden Light”, or should at least bring joy, as it did to a knight in “St. George and the Dragon”
S2, Ep6 – Mar. 22, 1998
Zach feels triumphant when he gets a high enough grade on his history test to give him a good grade on his report card and make the honor roll, until he catches a mistake his teacher didn’t. He is tempted to keep it secret so he’ll be rewarded for his achievement, but Plato points out that the greatest honor, and reward, come from openness as shown in “The Honest Woodsman”, and how even before he became famous as president Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln built a great reputation for himself by always attending to matters so small they would have been easy to ignore. Even
S2, Ep7 – Mar. 29, 1998
Annie volunteers to tutor a younger student in math, but grows openly frustrated with Josh when it doesn’t turn out as easy as she hoped, then regrets her offer to help to begin with. Plato tries to convince her that patience can make a difference, just like it did with another teacher, Anne Sullivan, who was forced to test every bit of hers to help her pupil, Helen Kellar. He also shows how using it enough to deal kindly with others brings satisfaction in “How the Brazilian Beetles Got Their Coats”
S2, Ep8 – Apr. 5, 1998
Annie and Zach are saddened to see some families in town don’t have any heat or warm clothes for the cold winter, and wish someone could help. Plato explains how anyone can make a difference and even tells them the story of how a monk’s giving to those in need was enough reward for him throughout his life in “The Emerald Lizard”. The two are eager to donate many clothes to the families who need them, and Annie is even willing to offer her favorite coat – but soon wishes she never had done that. Hoping to bring out the satisfaction for her that everyone should feel
S2, Ep9 – Apr. 12, 1998
Zach doesn’t think much of his football captain, and when Plato hears of Melanie’s glory-lust which allows her to do as she pleases at the cost of the benefit of the team, he tells “The Tower to to the Moon” to demonstrate how a leader’s self-importance was rewarded. Zach has a different reason to worry later when he himself is elected to do the job himself, and Plato tries to put his mind at ease by reading “The Gourdian Knot”, to show how Alexander the Great proved the ability to think clearly was needed to lead, as well as another story about his putting others
S2, Ep10 – Apr. 19, 1998
Annie is disappointed that her family’s vacation is postponed since her father has jury duty, and wonders why he simply doesn’t skip it. Plato explains citizenship can reward good character, as shown in “The Stone in the Road” where those with and without it are repaid accordingly, and even if it doesn’t, can make differences for the better, as the Roman Cincinnatus demonstrated by leading when and how he believed he must during war
S2, Ep11 – Apr. 26, 1998
Zach’s first assignment for photographer as the school paper is, to his disappointment, taking pictures of things for the advertisements. He wants to quit, but Ari points out that every task has its ups and downs so the best solution is to work hard and cheerfully, as shown in “The Discontented Pig”, and Michelangelo’s refusal to shun any duty, from making snow-art when he knew it would melt to painting when his true talent was sculpting, made him famous for his work in the Sistine Chapel
S2, Ep12 – May 3, 1998
Annie does her best in baseball and ends up leading her team tot he champion game, but then learns she’s been spending too little time on schoolwork. Plato points out that being involved too much in something doesn’t mean it brings rewards, as a creature learns in the African folktale “The Spider’s Two Feasts” where determination to take much forced him to make a decision he didn’t handle well. Sock gets into a situation like that of the title character in Aesop’s “The Boy and the Nuts” when he tries to overdo the amount of Zach’s report-card celebration cookies he
S2, Ep13 – May 10, 1998
Zach has graduated from elementary school and is about to start at middle school with more challenging work and new students, some of whom directly mislead him on Orientation Day, and is worried if he will succeed there. While Annie, remembering all the two have learned together, and the others encourage him, Plato reads “The Story of the Two Friends” to define wisdom by how a person lives out the positive characteristics .
S3, Ep1 – 14 Sep. 2000
Zach is asked to deliver his dad’s film to the film laboratory, but chooses to go with Annie on their hiking-trip first on a difficult way he’s determined to prove he can handle – then is trapped by a steep wall. Ari and Sock find them and, while waiting for Sock to retrieve the rope, Ari tells him the story of “Jack and the Beantalk” with Zach himself as that main character, to help him face the truth of how talking big gave him obstacle – and what he can do to solve his problem of admitting he missed an opportunity to do his work earlier.
S3, Ep2 – 1 Oct. 2000
Annie agrees to give Zach $15 if he’ll paint her fence and yard-furniture for her since the time she finally promised to do it conflicts with a friend’s birthday party, but later is reluctant to when he finishes quicker than she thought. Plato tells the story of “The Pied Piper” as a reminder of how those who don’t keep their word usually end up paying a higher price for dishonor than they would otherwise.
S3, Ep3 – 8 Oct. 2000
Annie chooses to build an electric motor for her science project but has a tough time with it so is ready to quit. Plato reminds her of the Wright Brothers, who wanted to build a machine but had to put a lot of effort into making the first airplane.
S3, Ep4 – 15 Oct. 2000
Racing with Zach in the woods, Annie is quickly outrun and is unhappy enough about it to want to quit when she runs into Plato and the others. They remind her of another racer whose odds were against him but managed to win something even greater than a race when he persisted in “The Tortoise and the Hare”.
S3, Ep5 – 22 Oct. 2000
Zach’s new track-teammate is so skilled, Zach thinks he has to compete with Dylan rather than try to befriend him. While Sock is wistful when his own best friend Ari feels called upon to fix one of Plato’s books instead of spending time with him, Plato points out that friends are interesting people since they can come from anywhere, and proves it by telling the story of another pair of rivals who ended up friends in “Robin Hood and Little John”. Even after Zach tries to warm up to Dylan, he is bitter and resentful that Dylan will replace him in the long jump at the
S3, Ep6 – 29 Oct. 2000
Zach spends all his time playing an electronic game, so isn’t ready for the Spring Valley Rangers camping trip since he hasn’t read his guidebook. Embarrassed and frustrated, he heads out to see Plato, Aurora, Sock, and Ari. They hear about his situation and Ari reminds him that too much of a good thing can hurt if serious things aren’t attended to, as shown in “The Dancing Horses of Sybaris”, where a whole community put pleasure before work.
S3, Ep7 – 5 Nov. 2000
Annie is left to watch over her uncle and aunt’s garden, but is distracted by doing many fun things with Zach, so neglects it badly. Plato tells the story “The Pupil in Magic” as a reminder that not taking care of duties quickly leads to trouble, as learned by a magician’s apprentice whose trick of transforming a broom and dish-towel to clean a room for him.
S3, Ep8 – 12 Nov. 2000
Annie is glum when she gets a postcard from a friend who moved to New York and dreams of how much more glorious life would be if she lived there. Plato points out that Spring Valley has its fair share of advantages and tells the story of “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse”, where a creature learns what advantages a life that seems simple or boring can have.
S3, Ep9 – 19 Nov. 2000
When a new TV channel showing all the most popular movies airs, Zach promises he’ll keep doing well in his work at school and at home if he watches it, but is unable to keep his word. Even after he makes up for it long enough to invite Annie over that weekend, both are confronted by how much time they spend watching TV and snacking. When they go to see Plato, who has been unsuccessful trying to convince Ari to get rid of some of the many things he keeps, he reminds them that moderation is a good way to live, proved in “The Cat and The Parrot”, where a greedy animal
S3, Ep10 – 26 Nov. 2000
After boasting about how good she is at snowboarding and bantering with a pair of older boys calling themselves “The Wolf Pack”, Annie challenges them to ride down Dedfall Bluff, claiming she can do it without thinking of the dangers it might bring. Zach, Ari, and Sock can’t convince her to change her mind, until she sprains her ankle and takes shelter in Plato’s cave, where he tells the story of “Pecos Bill and Slue-Foot Sue”, where a foolhardy risk led to a bad situation.
S3, Ep11 – 3 Dec. 2000
After giving himself too little time to work on a history fair project, Zach uses a model replica of an artifact his dad brought from Egypt to use on one on hieroglyphics, but grows embarrassed that it’s fake so claims it’s a real artifact, and concocts an elaborate story of how it was gotten. Annie is angry that he’ll get as much acclaim as those, like her, who worked hard on theirs, while Ari is angry with Sock’s reluctance to honor the deal they made about sharing their new intertube. Plato reminds them that dishonesty never truly pays off, as another found out in
S3, Ep12 – 10 Dec. 2000
Compassion: Part 1
Annie is elected to be president of the school drama club just in time for the school Christmas pageant, but soon becomes obsessed with how much money will be made so plans to put on another play than the traditional yearly “A Christmas Carol”, so forgets about the point they’re trying to send – or how important it is to donate the usual profits to the local orphanage. She can’t even listen to Plato’s reasoning, and Zach is troubled by her stubbornness and harshness. Her actions trigger a series of dreams that she’s taken on the role of Scrooge.
S3, Ep13 – 17 Dec. 2000
Compassion: Part 2
Annie’s dreams based on “A Christmas Carol” continue, making her realize how important her friendship with Zach is – and how, throughout the year, but especially at Christmas, giving to others is the greatest gift to give and the greatest reward.
Not all films in this series are “Christian” based.
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