A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Hosts get a clear educational message across in their pre-story and post-story talks. Characters and stories support cultural appreciation. Language from the culture represented is integrated into every episode. Stories are carefully curated by an editorial team from each culture. Episodes end with book recommendations on the culture and folklore referenced to encourage further reading.
Episodes promote self discovery and appreciation of different cultures. Explores values such as cooperation, loyalty, self-worth, friendship, honesty and respect. Mythical creatures bring lessons that highlight the value of keeping connected with cultural and family traditions. Some of the folktales include: "The Dangsan Tree" of South Korea, "The Wise Fool" from Puerto Rico, "The Cholito de la Suerte" from Mexico, Mami Wata from Nigeria, Loyal Mongoose from India and The Deluge, a Cherookee myth.
Positive Role Models
Main characters are tweens and teens that portray positive values in a relatable way. Adults and magical creatures represent connection to family traditions. Antagonists are present in some of the stories and play an important role in the main character's journey. Strong female characters from around the world are often central to many stories. Characters demonstrate courage, teamwork, empathy and integrity.
Diversity is highlighted through stories that represent different cultures. Samoan, Jamaican, Puerto Rican and South Korean are just some of many cultures represented in featured stories. Episodes portray the power of connecting with cultural roots through real-life scenarios experienced by tweens/teens that have migrated to the United States. Original language from each folktale is incorporated into each episode. Strong female characters from around the world are often central to many stories.
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Violence & Scariness
Some stories include brief non-graphic violence central to progressing the story. Some stories may include moments of peril and fear enhanced by sound effects. In one story, "Loyal Mongoose", an ancient South Asian tale, a couple leaves their baby in the care of a loyal mongoose who protects the baby from a deadly snake, but the mother mistakes the blood she sees when she returns home as her baby's and kills the mongoose, later realizing he had protected her child.
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Occasional expressions like "what the heck?"
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cultureverse is an immersive audio adventure narrated by well-known stars Yara Shahidi (Grown-ish) and Kelly Marie Tran (Raya and the Last Dragon). In the stories told, kids from different racial and ethnic backgrounds meet a mythical creature connect to their culture. Adventure ensues as each creature helps their child become more connect to their cultural heritage and tradition. This podcast serves as a journey of self-discovery and appreciation for different cultures and regions of the world. Typical tween/teen interactions take place and plots involving peer pressure, social media and bullying get resolved in a positive way. Themes center around cooperation, loyalty, self-worth, friendship, honesty and respect. Characters demonstrate courage, teamwork, empathy and integrity. Some stories include brief moments of non-graphic violence and light peril and suspense reinforced by sound effects.
Is It Any Good?
As the stories have been modernized to bring ancient mythical characters to life, the plots sometimes can seem a bit random while remaining entertaining. Cultureverse is a great way to learn more about ancient folklores that represent different cultures in a fun, interesting way. Listeners can appreciate the educational and concise tone used by popular hosts Kelly Marie Tran and Yara Shahidi, as well as their narration full of expression, likely backed by their amazing acting talents. Expect high quality sound effects, music, professional acting from multicultural voice actors and fascinating creatures.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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