Parents' Guide to

Between the Lions

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Educational TV with heart -- and a slight flaw.

TV PBS Educational 2000
Between the Lions Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 4+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 2+
For 2-4 year olds. This show is awesome! It teaches the basics of english/language arts. I really enjoy(ed) listening to the songs and stories. My papa like Cliff Hanger, maybe me too. Here's their website:

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 7+

Not Quite Like Sesame Street...

Unlike Sesame Street, Between the Lions' puppetry can be a bit odd and even scary at times. One puppet has a swirly eye and bad teeth, whilst his background singers are only lips with wigs on them! Click the Mouse creeped me out a tad. One other thing: I can't remember what episode it was nor its EXACT details, but there was one episode where there was lightning or something; the library had become something like a haunted house. Very unsettling for kids used to seeing the library as a calm place. Some of the animated sequences can be a bit odd, animation-wise. Depending on the episode, Between the Lions is best watched as a family.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much consumerism

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (14 ):

In each episode, a vowel sound group (like the short "a" in the sound group "ack") is emphasized. Words containing the sound group (e.g., "back," "sack," and "crack") flash briefly on the screen, while letters are bumped to form new words as they are spoken. Even the strongest readers have to pay close attention to the quick changes in spelling, so it's unclear how the series' creators fathomed that young readers would be able to get the gist of them. It's almost as though the subliminal benefits of quickly flashing words were deemed more important than taking the time to focus on fewer sounds more thoroughly.

Sesame Street does well in this department by slowly sounding out fewer variations of word choices. Otherwise, the young viewer is apt to become frustrated -- or even confused -- by what's going on in the program. In other words, the intention to educate is clearly behind Between the Lions, but the quantity-not-quality axiom doesn't apply when it comes to teaching young readers about phonetics. Other than this educational qualm, Between the Lions is an entertaining, diverse -- and rather educational -- show for young viewers.

TV Details

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