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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dragon is a darling preschool series inspired by a series of children's books by Dav Pilkey. The stories follow Dragon's experiences at home and around his community, illustrating how he solves problems (how to feed his new cat, for instance), enjoys the outdoors, and performs common tasks. They're methodically paced and narrated much like a book would be read, with pauses that encourage kids to process what they see and hear. Most episodes show Dragon learning something new, and in every case he's shown to be kind and a good friend. This gentle series is an excellent companion to the books and amply entertaining on its own.
What's the story?
DRAGON is a friendly blue dragon (voiced by Frank Meschkuleit) who lives in a cozy house with his new pal, Cat. Episodes offer slice-of-life looks at how Cat and Dragon spend their days, performing common tasks like going to the store or taking a bath. Often their errands bring them in contact with others in their community including Mailmouse, Alligator, Beaver, and Ostrich (all Meschkuleit again).
Is it any good?
These sweet stories bring to life a nondescript book character in gentle adventures of discovery and self-awareness that will resonate with young kids. Those who haven't heard Dragon's stories beforehand will have no trouble slipping right into his world with the show's combination of narration and character dialogue, much of which replicates the books word for word. If you have read Pilkey's books to your preschoolers, more the better, though depending on their retention of story details, they may notice some components changed for the screen.
Dragon's charming stop-motion animation style gives the characters a playful nature that complements the show's simple stories and patient pace. What's more, each episode is divided by chapters much like the books are, giving each segment a clear theme that makes it easy for kids to follow and creating even more consistency between Dragon's book adventures and those onscreen, perhaps encouraging kids to enjoy both equally.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes Dragon a good friend. In what ways does he show compassion to his friends? How does he respond when others offer help to him? What other character strengths are important to solid friendships?
If you've read the books with your kids, talk about how this series compares to the stories as you imagined them. Do you like one format better than the other? How does seeing the characters in action change how you picture those in the books?
Kids: Who are your favorite book characters? What qualities do you most like in them? If you could choose, which ones would you like to see in a TV show?
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For kids who love preschool fun
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