Busytown Mysteries

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Busytown Mysteries TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Richard Scarry's beloved characters solve kid-size queries.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

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.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRonjasMom October 1, 2019

Nice show for little kids

Eh, I'll be generous and give it four stars. I don't think it catches the offbeat spirit of the books, but it's cute and fun for the littlest vi... Continue reading
Adult Written byMauve1 March 8, 2019

Fun and upbeat

Teaches great critical thinking and has fun little mysteries to solve. Very light and kid friendly.
No violence but at times a tad bit of name-calling by two q... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 28, 2013

Horrrible show, episodes WAY WAY WAY too short.

As for the 4 star rating, CSM is wrong once again. This show is so rushed. I hate it. Each episode is around 7 minutes long, and the mysteries are so simple, st... Continue reading

What's the story?

Huckle (voiced by Joanne Vannicola), Sally, Lowly Worm (Paul Wensley), and the rest of author Richard Scarry’s beloved characters come to life in BUSYTOWN MYSTERIES. The series is set in the bustling burg of Busy Town, where adventure is always close at hand and each day presents Huckle and his friends with questions to ponder and queries to solve. No mystery is too big for this group of young gumshoes, who examine evidence and gather clues that help them unravel the mysteries behind the who, what, and where in question.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the characters in Busytown Mysteries solve each mystery. What steps do they take to get from a question to a solution? Do they ever reach an incorrect conclusion? What do they do then?

  • How do friends and teammates help each other? If a friend is having a bad day, what do you do? Why is it important to show your friends that you respect them?

  • Kids: How does this series compare to Richard Scarry’s books? Do you think they look pretty similar? Are the characters how you pictured they’d be when you read the books? What are some of your other favorite shows based on books?

  • How do the characters in Busytown Mysteries demonstrate curiosity and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

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