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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Butterbean's Café is a preschool series in which the fairy characters run a neighborhood restaurant and prepare creative menu items for their neighbors. As they go about their work, kids see basic kitchen skills like gathering ingredients, mixing, blending, and baking in action. The characters' creativity comes through in the foods they prepare, and some of the simpler snacks they make (ants on a log, for instance) can be done easily at home by kids and parents. The neighborhood villain is driven by greed and laziness to sabotage the fairies' work, but their ability to solve the problems she creates always sets things right in the end. Positive messages about honesty, integrity, friendship, kindness, teamwork, and the joy to be found in preparing and sharing food are plentiful in this sweet series.
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What's the Story?
In a quaint land called Puddlebrook is a cozy neighborhood café called BUTTERBEAN'S CAFÉ, run by a group of fairy friends and Butterbean (voiced by Margaret Ying Drake), the proprietor. She and her little sister, Cricket (Gabriella Pizzolo), and pals Poppy (Kirrilee Berger), Dazzle (Olivia Grace Manning), and Jasper (Koda Gursoy) cook up tasty treats to brighten their customers' days while fending off the efforts of their scheming business rival, Mrs. Marmalady (Alysia Reiner), who's forever plotting to upend Butterbean's success.
Is It Any Good?
Set in a miniature world of fairies and tiny woodland creatures, this sweet series models kindness, friendship, and industriousness for kids. Butterbean and her friends work together in the café, realizing the rewards of setting and achieving goals and being creative in the kitchen. Teamwork pays off in the delectable snacks they make and in the company they keep with friendly patrons and others they help through their love of preparing and serving food.
Kids will love the darling characters and their inviting surroundings, and parents will like how Butterbean's Café presents the tasks of communal cooking and serving others as joyful and fulfilling. Resident villain Mrs. Marmalady is in stark contrast to the vibrant café crew, but that's by design and helps viewers separate her naughty behavior and bad choices from the other characters' better ones. While it often oversimplifies the process of preparing foods like cookies and pancakes, there are some menu items that kids can replicate at home with minimal supervision, encouraging them to step into the kitchen and create as well.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the ways in which Butterbean and her friends work together toward common goals. How do they divide large tasks? In what ways do they show that different opinions and ideas are welcome? Is the leader always the same from one story to the next? What qualities stand out in the leader(s)?
Who among the characters demonstrates character strengths like hard work, dedication, and perseverance? How do these strengths help the group as a whole? In contrast, what traits do you see in Mrs. Marmalady, and how do they inspire her to act toward Butterbean and her friends?
Kids: Does Butterbean's Café inspire you to try creating in the kitchen? What are some of your favorite foods? How do certain foods (and sharing them with people you love) make you feel? Do you like to try new foods? What role does food have in our celebrations and special events?
- Premiere date: November 12, 2018
- Cast: Alysia Reiner, Kirrilee Berger, Margaret Ying Drake
- Network: Nick Jr.
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Friendship
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
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