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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Toolbelt is an animated series inspired by author Chris Monroe's same-named picture books. Chico Bon Bon (voiced by Robbie Daymond) is an eager helper to his neighbors and adapts his skills to meet the unique needs of each problem. The series incorporates basic STEM concepts into each story as the characters use a variety of tools, simple machines, and their own knowledge to devise solutions. As Chico Bon Bon and his friends solve problems, they demonstrate teamwork and the ability to turn failures into eventual success.
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What's the story?
When things go wrong in the town of Blunderburg, the only call to make is to CHICO BON BON: MONKEY WITH A TOOLBELT (voiced by Robbie Daymond) and his Fix-It Force. In no time at all, they'll be zipping down the street in their team ride, racing to the scene to save the day. Using a variety of tools, some STEM smarts, and simple machines, Chico Bon Bon and his friends Tiny, Clark (Anthony Tedesco), and Rainbow Thunder (Dayci Brookshire) team up to solve the problem and get Blunderburg's residents back up and running.
Is it any good?
Chico Bon Bon is the kind of neighbor everybody needs: He's quick to answer the call for help (on a banana phone, of course), and he's chock-full of bright and handy ideas. Sometimes in his eagerness to save the day, his plans fall a little flat, but he never lets it get him down, and his friends are always there to help in every way they can. And when the Fix-It Force wins, everyone in Blunderburg wins.
Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Toolbelt's title tells you most of what you can expect in a show about a handyman monkey who wears a toolbelt. That said, in addition to the show's obvious messages about cooperation and helping others, there are more subtle themes that reinforce community values and relationships that are worth noting. The series has fun with quirky characters and funny predicaments and even some celebrity spoofs that parents who wind up watching may enjoy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the town of Blunderburg benefits from its many different residents. What jobs do you see being filled by various residents? How would the community suffer without all of those jobs getting done? Is any one job more important than the others?
In what ways does Chico Bon Bon strike you as a good leader? How do the Fix-It Force members combine their skills and work well together?
How do the characters in Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Toolbelt use their mistakes as inspiration for other attempts at solving problems? How does it feel when you make a mistake? Is it difficult to admit? How can they be learning opportunities?
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