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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Blue's Clues & You! is a reboot of the 1990s preschool series Blue's Clues and continues its quality educational content through puzzles the host encourages viewers to help solve in each episode. There's a heavy emphasis on literacy, including phonics, spelling, and letter recognition, as well as basic preschool skills like shape and color identification. Social-emotional themes also stand out in some stories that deal with feelings. This engaging series actively involves audience members, which helps teach critical thinking skills and promotes the value of curiosity.
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What's the story?
A spunky blue puppy and her caregiver use clues to solve puzzles and answer questions in BLUE'S CLUES & YOU!. This updated version stars Blue (voiced by Traci Paige Johnson) and a new babysitter named Josh (Joshua Dela Cruz), who's a cousin of former hosts Steve (Steven Burns) and Joe (Donovan Patton). Josh calls on the audience's help in finding and deciphering clues to the questions that arise during his and Blue's playtime. Other friends in Blue's life help in their own ways as well. Josh and Blue keep track of the clues they find in their handy dandy notebook so that they and their viewers can discover the answer to the day's question.
Is it any good?
This remake doesn't reinvent the wheel because there's really no need to do so. Blue's Clues is a lauded and beloved classic of the modern era, and Blue's Clues & You takes all the best qualities of the original and improves upon them. Josh is engaging and exuberant, Blue is infinitely adorable in her CGI form, and the multimedia sets captivate imaginations little and big. With talking objects and returning character favorites like Mailbox (Doug Murray), Mr. Salt (Brad Adamson) and Mrs. Pepper (Gisele Rousseau), and their (now four!) kids, this reboot polishes and accessorizes without losing what kids loved about the original.
What parents loved about the show also makes a return: The content is tailored to preschoolers but challenges their mastery of skills like shapes, colors, and early literacy topics. Viewers are encouraged to remember the question of the day, watch for paw prints that indicate clues, and analyze those clues to guess the answer. Along the way they can play guessing games, match letters and words on the screen, "help" Josh by suggesting ideas, and even start to consider more advanced school skills like sentence structure. In these ways, Blue's Clues & You! is an excellent addition to the TV lineup for preschoolers and their own grown-up caretakers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the connection between Blue and Josh in this series. How do they demonstrate their feelings for each other, especially since Blue doesn't speak in words? What other ways of communicating exist when words aren't enough?
What would it be like to live in a house like Blue's with objects that talk? Do you ever think about how inanimate objects or pets might talk or what they might say if they could?
How do the characters in Blue's Clues & You! demonstrate compassion, curiosity, and teamwork in these stories? How does asking questions help us learn about things we don't understand? When we work with others toward a common goal, do we always get to the answer faster? Why or why not?
- Premiere date: November 11, 2019
- Cast: Traci Paige Johnson, Joshua Dela Cruz, Doug Murray
- Network: Nickelodeon
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship
- Character strengths: Compassion, Curiosity, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: August 27, 2020
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