A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Some discussion of non-Western European holy days and celebrations; social-emotional learning is embedded in many of the episodes, much of them about family and relationships. Animals and robots are used for fun in the stories but also as instructional metaphors.
The stories in this podcast are primarily meant to entertain but do include messages about the importance of family, intergenerational communication, trust, bravery, kindness, understanding, and heritage.
Positive Role Models
Characters evolve over the course of each episode; one is scared of new things and learns to be braver; another doesn't care about her ancestors but, through an experience with a special ghost, she learns the importance of her lineage. Many of the episodes involve situations that require social-emotional intelligence. Adults are shown as patient and playful.
Most stories are about traditional, nuclear families and binary-gendered characters. But ethnicity is explored in several episodes, for instance: "Conchas Contigo" is about the Mexican Day of the Dead, describing (with Spanish language sprinkled throughout) details of the holiday and its importance. Another, "The Inconstant Moon," is about a Muslim boy during his first fast for Ramadan. The story "Under the Water" tells the tale of a Vietnamese-American girl.
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Violence & Scariness
Although there are stories with ghost sightings and robots that go a bit rogue, it's gentle and not spooky. For younger listeners who are especially sensitive, be sure to read the episode synopsis beforehand. Plenty of stories without ghosts or robots to choose from.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Little Stories Everywhere is a collection of some classic but mostly original, fictional stories that often contain a moral, or show a character evolving in a positive way. The episodes are free, except for the first season -- all retold Christmas tales -- which is only available by subscription ($4.99/month). Although best for ages 7 to 10, the show's content is fine for younger children, and some tweens may enjoy, too. The storytelling and audio are tight; the show is hosted by veteran actors Virginia Madsen and Robbie Daymond. Many of the stories emphasize the importance of family, heritage, and intergenerational relationships, like "Conchas Contigo," which is about a girl who meets her great grandmother's ghost on the Day of the Dead and undergoes a personal transformation. Other episodes cover more common issues for kids, like fear or disappointment. There are a few mentions of ghosts and magic, but nothing too scary. For the most sensitive of listeners, check out the episode summary beforehand.
Is It Any Good?
Each story in this series is quite creative, has a good story arc with realistic character development, and usually offers teachable moments. Most episodes in Little Stories Everywhere center on a struggle to overcome or a value to learn.
The production value (from the pros at Wondery) is high -- music, sound effects, and voice acting are high quality and seamless. Hosts Virginia Madsen and Robbie Daymond are veteran actors who are believable and talented at building tension in the story and variety in the characters. Episode length (about 20 minutes) is good for holding attention and for shorter car rides; there are also many two-parters for longer listens.
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.