My family has always been big fans of Curious George. We’ve been watching the PBS Kids show since MM was two and this year I’ll be experiencing the world of Curious George all over again with little BB.
This week PBS Kids is kicking off it’s sixth season of Curious George which will include 10 all new episodes of Curious George, three of which will air this week. This season George will be encouraging preschoolers to get creative and curious about the arts from singing opera to solving mysteries and using maps and cameras and more.
Here’s a quick description of each of the episodes, paraphrased from the press release I was sent from WGBH, and what the kids and I though about each of them:
Monday, September 5 : In “Auctioneer George,” George has one dollar to buy anything he wants at the Annual Corn Roast and Attic Auction. He is immediately smitten with a pair of red elephant mittens. When the Man with the Yellow Hat leaves George alone, he accidentally bids $100 for the mittens and wins! Poor George had no idea how bidding works, and now he owes $100. The Man in the Yellow Hat explains the concept of 100 and helps George try to re-auction the mittens himself.
Our take: BB of course was smitten with George and his antics and giggled incessantly over the funny auctioneer speak. I was really impressed with how well The Man With the Yellow Hat explained the concept of 100 to George.
Then in “Sock Monkey Opera,” Betsy gets the chicken pox and can’t see her favorite opera, Hansel and Gretel. She sends George in her place and George loves the opera so much, he decides to cheer up Betsy by performing for his itchy friend. But how can one little monkey sing, dance, and act for an entire cast of characters?
Our take: This episode was so fun. My 5 year old would have been enthralled with this idea of making sock monkeys and finger puppets to act out the story and of course BB loved it and sang along to all the musical numbers!
Tuesday, September 6th: These episodes are all about solving mysteries! In “Hamster Cam,” Steve’s pet hamster, Hogie, accidentally escapes the apartment with a small video camera tied to his back. George helps Steve track down Hogie using clues from the hamster cam and a map of the city. But can a monkey with a map keep up with a hamster on the run?
Our take: I loved how they introduced so many great problem solving skills in this episode and also how fun it was to see things from different perspectives – seeing the city through the Hamster’s POV and listening to Steve’s interpretations of what must be going on was just hysterical.
Then in “The Great Monkey Detective,” it’s mystery movie night at Chef Pisghetti’s restaurant. But the real mystery begins when Chef Pisghetti’s cookbook vanishes! A fan of Detective Basil Know-it-All, George uses clues to try and solve the mystery of the missing cookbook!
Our take: Grown ups are going to love the childish interpretation of mystery movies like Sherlock Holmes as seen through the little clips of Detective Basil Know-it-All. Another great episode, this one does a great job of explaining “clues” and how to use them to solve mysteries. Your kids will be wanting to make magnifying glasses of their own after watching this one.
Wednesday, September 7th: George explores sculpting and photography in these episodes. In “George and the Giant Thumb” a bored George and Allie decide to make a ginormous sculpture of Bill’s sprained thumb. But they quickly run out of clay and turn to less conventional art supplies. Will peanut butter or shaving cream be able to help them finish their masterpiece?
Our take: I watched this episode with my 5 year old, MM, a long time Curious George fan. We both really enjoyed watching George and the kids experiment with different mediums to try and build their gigantic thumb shaped statue. MM also got a real kick out of Bill’s ongoing infatuation with his own thumb. A fun, silly episode. :O)
Then in “Shutter Monkey,” Betsy’s “Out of Sight Shapes” entry for the photo contest is sure to win first prize – until George and Steve accidentally ruin her pictures! So George runs around town trying to re-shoot all of the photographs. Can George snap 4 pictures of 4 shapes by 4:00?
Our take: This was one of my favorite of the new episodes. Not only did it introduce the concept of cameras and photography in a fun, modern way – but I enjoyed how it showed how you can find shapes in unexpected places. MM is still quoting a fun line from this episode – where Steve is trying to distract Betsy as George runs around town recreating Betsy’s ruined photographs. At one point he says, “Hey Betsy, I really like your hat, but you’re wearing it wrong!” Then he pulls the hat over Betsy’s eyes as George runs by. So silly and MM cannot stop quoting it to everyone in the family!
We really enjoyed all the new episodes of Curious George. Fans won’t want to miss all the new episodes this week so be sure to check your local listings and set your DVRs!