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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dora and Friends: Into the City! follows the adventures of a grade school-age Dora and her five best friends. The show's focus is on community service, friendship, and solving problems, all of which play out in stories that show the kids as valued and hard-working members of their vibrant hometown. Kids who are familiar with Dora's preschool explorations will enjoy how this series updates classic features such as Backpack and Map, and Latino culture and the Spanish language continue to be prominent fixtures in every story. With a cast of kids who enjoy making a difference in their community and an eager leader in Dora, this series is brimming with positive role models for young viewers.
What's the story?
DORA AND FRIENDS: INTO THE CITY! is the continuing story of preschool TV icon Dora the Explorer, who's now grown up and eager to make her mark on her hometown of Playa Verde. Alongside her best friends -- Kate (Isabela Maner), Alana (Ashley Earnest), Emma (Kayta Thomas), Naiya (Alexandria Suarez), and Pablo (Eduardo Aristizabal) -- Dora (Fátima Ptacek) is always on the lookout for ways to help her neighbors, and many of her adventures play out through magical twists and turns. But even when new challenges arise, Dora and her friends put their heads together and manage to save the day, usually with a little help from her trusty Map App (Marc Weiner) and a bracelet filled with magical charms.
Is it any good?
For kids who've recently aged up from this bubbly hallmark of preschool TV, this series is a fun way to revisit a more mature version of a beloved character. Much of what endeared Dora to younger kids still stands out in Dora and Friends: Into the City!, from her confidence in the face of a challenge to her exuberance at a task's end. She's still a great friend and a natural leader and is rarely rattled when contemplating a problem. She's also proud of her heritage, and this series continues to expose kids to the language and culture of the Latino community in ways that feel natural within the diverse community setting.
But what really stands out is how much care its creators took in making the traits kids remember fondly about Dora the Explorer more relevant to an older age group. Her backpack full of magical items has been replaced by a fashionable charm bracelet, for instance, and, instead of calling on a singing map to guide the way, she clicks Map App on her electronic device. Also, at various points, she's still able to talk with animals and visit magical lands, which is always fun. Add to that the fact that the show is visually appealing and its fast-paced action is often set to music, and it's a safe bet kids will like this new installment of Dora's adventures.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what being part of a community means. What different roles do people play in your community? Why is each one important? What communities are there in Dora and Friends: Into the City!? What communities do you belong to?
What evidence do you see of Dora's Latino culture in these stories? Are any of them familiar to you? Does your family have any traditions that reflect your own heritage?
This show can inspire volunteerism in your kids as they see Dora and her friends pitch in around their hometown. What opportunities exist to help others where you live? How can doing so improve your community and the work that's done there?
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