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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series introduces preschoolers to basic scientific concepts like gathering clues, analyzing data, and creating a hypothesis. Sometimes the content allows for additional learning -- as when a mystery at the beach prompted the characters to learn about changing tide levels.
The show promotes teamwork, curiosity, and critical thinking -- the characters hypotheses about the mysteries often turn out to be wrong, but they always learn from them and never treat anyone’s ideas disrespectfully.
Positive Role Models
Huckle and his friends sometimes have disagreements, but they handle them politely. They’re always courteous and make amends when they’ve done something wrong. The young characters often turn to knowledgeable adults when they have a question about how things work.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Busytown Mysteries (also known as Hurray for Huckle) is a preschool series starring the characters of Richard Scarry's beloved children's books. As the young characters solve mysteries, they encourage kids to think critically about the world around them and introduce them to basic scientific concepts like making observations, analyzing evidence, and testing theories. Huckle and his friends always demonstrate admirable traits like kindness, respect, and sincerity. In other words, this show is a great choice for preschoolers -- and perhaps even their parents, who might remember Scarry's characters (in book form, anyway) from their own childhood.
Is It Any Good?
Scarry's delightful illustrations transfer seamlessly to this animated series, and kids will get caught up in the brisk stories that encourage critical thinking. The mysteries are just right for the preschool set, typically relating to questions that kids would ask themselves -- like "Where did my sandcastle go overnight?" or "Who made those unfamiliar tracks in the snow?" As Huckle and his friends work to answer them, kids will see a pattern to their analytical process and begin to predict what might happen next.
With its timeless characters and worry-free content, parents can breathe easy about letting their preschoolers tune in to Busytown Mysteries. Then again, since some moms and dads likely have fond memories of the characters from their own childhood bedtime stories, there's plenty of reason to curl up with your kids and enjoy the show -- and perhaps open one of the books for an encore.
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.