I heart PBS Kids. At a time when they face proposed massive budget cuts, I want to say how grateful I am for all the mornings they have given me to get myself dressed and pack school lunches while my children enjoy commercial-free, educational programming. Among my family’s favorite shows are Super Why!, Wild Kratts, Sesame Street, and Clifford.
As if PBS Kids weren’t already doing me and so many parents out there a great service, they recently sent me eight Halloween specials for review. My kids and I loved every episode that we saw, which by the way, will air next week October 17 to October 21. Please check your local listings for showtimes:
Wild Kratts “Predator Week”
Ari, who wants to travel the world and study animals as an adult, ate these three episodes up. They were “Little Howler” about wolves, the largest predator in North America. (I didn’t know that!) The second episode, “Stuck on Sharks,” profiled the awesomeness of the Great White Shark and cleverly introduced the cruel practice of cutting off sharks’ fins for soup. In this case, the shark was saved by the Kratt brothers, but I always appreciate PBS Kids’ willingness to delve into difficult social issues like food insecurity, and of course, the cruelty of cutting off sharks’ fins.
The last episode, “Masked Bandits”, was about racoons and other nocturnal animals.
My kids and I watched two episodes: “Haunted Roundhouse” and “Big Pond Pumpkin Patch.” We all enjoyed it, but Dinosaur Train really is for kids Eli’s age (4). Ari went through a dinosaur kick between the ages of 4 and 5, and recently told me that Dinosaur Train was for “niños chiquitos”.
Eli watched even though she is not into dinosaurs, which left me wondering: is it largely boys who are into dinosaurs? I am finding that my kids’ interests lie along gender lines. Eli loves clothes, princesses and dolls. Ari is into science, and his previous interests were Star Wars and dinosaurs. I tried to pass on Ari’s things to Eli, but she is not taking the bait. What say you about this?
The Cat in the Hat knows A Lot About That!
Again, Ari was never into the Dr. Seuss books like Eli is. The episodes, “Aye Aye!” and “Trick or Treat” were her first choice when the PBS Kids DVDs arrived, while Ari wanted to see Wild Kratts. Ari watched The Cat in the Hat, but Eli was shushing us as she was really taking in all the Halloween rhymes. Later that night she told me she wanted to “escribir libros” — “write books” — when she grew up. I, too, love Dr. Seuss’s books, and am thrilled that PBS Kids has adapted them into cartoons.
The last episode, Sid the Science Kid’s “Halloween Spooky Science Special,” got a lot of laughs from us. That’s the other thing — these “spooky Halloween” specials are not scary, at all.
What are some of your favorite PBS Kids’ shows? How about Halloween specials?