Critter Quest! TV Poster Image

Critter Quest!

(i)

 

Home-grown adventure for young scientists is lots of fun.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show does a great job encouraging curiosity about the world around us (though some parents might not agree with Schriemer's suggestions to take some of nature inside...). Close ups of some bugs -- and slime -- might not be embraced by particularly squeamish or easily frightened preschoolers, but the critters are presented as more interesting than scary overall.

Violence & scariness

Fairly frequent mentions of predators and what critters do to avoid ending up as another critter's lunch; the odd shot or two of a bug grabbing another for a meal.

Sexy stuff

Mention of mating (one bug even gets to do its mating dance), but there's no explanation of what mating is, and the concept is only presented in the vaguest terms.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that since this show is about backyard nature, there are lots of bugs and other critters, including a spider that bites (but the host doesn't not touch it and explains that you don't want to, either), slimy slugs, and some that like to eat their fellow bugs for lunch. The host makes sure to tell young viewers not to dig except where their parents don't mind, but an excited and curious young one could easily forget that word of warning. But overall this enaging educational series is perfectly age-appropriate for kid viewers.

What's the story?

Most of us think of slugs as slimy pests. But CRITTER QUEST! host Peter Schriemer considers them just another part of nature in our own backyard. Carrying a backpack and a lively sense of curiosity, Schriemer takes kids on mini-excursions through (theoretically) his yard to find all sorts of cool bugs and wildlife, demonstrating what they're like and how they live. He uses repetition with a magnifying glass to signal "a closer look" and encourages kids to explore by suggesting projects they can try in their own yards.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This show is engaging and interesting -- even with the slime factor accounted for. Schriemer has a scientist's perspective, and his passion for his subject is infectious. Yes, the information offered is presented in simplified language for young viewers, but it's still fun to watch, and you might even learn some surprising things about critters that few of us think about ... beyond getting rid of them before they take out our plants, that is. Just beware: If you're at all squeamish, watching bugs walk on Schriemer's face could result in a solid case of the creepy crawlies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how a show like this teaches viewers about nature. What did you learn by watching? How could you find out more if you wanted to? How is your yard different from the one on the show? Where can you go to look for critters if you don't have a lot of trees and shrubs in your back yard? Also, kids: Is it a good idea to try the things the host suggests without discussing it with your parents first? Why or why not?

TV details

Premiere date:November 1, 2007
Cast:Peter Schriemer
Network:Smithsonian Channel
Genre:Educational
Topics:Science and nature
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

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Teen, 16 years old Written bySeraphinaRox August 21, 2011

Great show for all ages!

My brother who is 8 loves this show. I'm really older than him, and even I learned some things about animals I didn't know before! My only concern is how they show bugs getting eaten by other bugs or animals. It's not a huge problem, but it could scare littler kids. Otherwise, awesome show!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages