Thursday, May 15, 2008

Brought to you by the letter "A"

My sister has a two year old son whom I adore. Consequently I have become very familiar with children's television. Children's entertainment is BIG business these days, but sadly that has not produced really high quality programs. Don't get me wrong, it isn't a wasteland by any means. There are actually a number of shows that I would watch without the bambino's company. Charlie and Lola for instance, or Jack's Big Music Show. I even enjoy the Wiggles, but that's mainly because of Anthony. Umm....wait, where was I going with this? Oh yes. However, there seems to be the general impression from most children's entertainment producers that super bright colors, loud music and dialogue, and psychedelic backdrops or characters are all you need for a program. Seriously, some of the characters look like they were dreamed up by someone on a bad acid trip. And even stalwarts of my youth have been compromised by this trend. Sesame Street is really just Elmo these days. And what is up with teaching Cookie Monster that cookies are a sometime food? I hate to criticize the longest running children's program, but wouldn't it be better if the kids were doing something active instead of watching t.v. if you are that concerned about childhood obesity? And yes, cookies are a sometime food, but that's the point of Cookie Monster. He's our collective childhood Id, devouring cookies at the expense of everything else and missing out on the other great things out there. Focus on that lesson, which is so beautifully demonstrated in Bread and Jam for Frances, instead changing the integrity of a beloved character for the sake of political correctness. But I digress. For those who are interested because they have little ones in their immediate or extended family here is my list of the best kids programs.
1. Classic Sesame Street (available on DVD)
2. The Wiggles
3. Jack's Big Music Show
4. Charlie and Lola
5. Handy Manny (an enjoyable alternative for learning Spanish to Dora the Explorer)
6. It's a Big, Big World
7. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse


amnbdad said...

Hi, stranger. Long time no see. Another kids show that I and my 6 and 2 year old like, but no one else in the family can stand, is The Upside Down Show. It comes on Noggin and is silly and reminds me of like a improve show, it's very inventive and imaginative. On an unrelated topic I've found myself locked out of Shelfari, they've reset my password for me but I still can't get logged in. It's very frustrating. Take care, hope to see ya' soon.

Stacked Librarian said...

Oh yes, the Upside Down Show! I have seen this, and I did enjoy it, although it is quite odd. My sister finds it very funny and finds that Mrs. Foil reminds her of our good friend Mockingbird. Not in appearance, but in personality.

LissaLissa said...

Thank you a thousand times for this list (I'm a friend of Mockingbird's). I'm 4 months pregnant and already battling with my mom not to buy my child a "Tickle Me Elmo XL" doll. My cousin got one of these at xmas and I was horrified to see that the point of this toy is to agitate it until it has some sort of loud, epileptic seizure on the floor much to the delight of small children and dim adults. I instead asked her to ship me my set of "My Bookhouse Books" and Andrew Lang illustrated fairy books so I can teach my child that fairy tales existed before Disnification (commercialization). For toys I'm focusing on soft fabric blocks and unpainted wooden blocks, and of course a soft teddy bear!!!