Driver Dan's Story Train

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Driver Dan's Story Train TV Poster Image
Gentle series has subtle but positive messages for tots.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The stories include positive messages about interpersonal relationships and encourage early reading skills with listening comprehension, and some simple tasks like counting. 

Positive Messages

The series is subtle in its approach, but it promotes positive social messages for preschoolers about themes like friendship, cooperation, curiosity, and respect. Each episode relates a children’s book to the characters’ experiences that day, so kids will see how general life lessons can apply to their own scenarios.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All of the characters are kind and caring, and each one uses his or her talents to help the others in some way.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this gentle series has subtle positive messages for youngsters about friendship, fair play, and self-esteem. The characters’ experiences and the featured stories are easily related to kids’ lives, so parents will find lots of opportunity to reinforce the lessons in the show. The featured stories also encourage pre-reading skills like active listening, retention, and comprehension.

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What's the story?

In DRIVER DAN’S STORY TRAIN, a soft-spoken lion named Driver Dan (voiced by Pat Monahan, lead singer of pop band Train) drives a train that picks up passengers along the way to Story Corner, where they all settle in for Dan to read them a book. Dan’s colorful friends include Twinkle the bird, Precious the camel, Tallulah the elephant, and Hip and Hop, the brother-sister bunny duo.

Is it any good?

If you’re looking for a mellow TV choice, this series has just what you need. Everything from the characters’ voices to their appealing hand-sewn appearance speaks to the soothing effect it has on viewers. Each episode wraps up with Dan’s story time, which is just the thing to help wind down busy preschoolers.

The show offers some positive social messages about kindness, helpfulness, and other friendly themes, but its style is much more subtle than that of many of the other series geared toward preschoolers, so parents may have to draw kids’ attention to the lessons the characters are trying to teach. As for other quality stuff, the story-driven content does promote early literacy skills and listening comprehension in its young viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about stories. What kinds of stories do you enjoy the most? What are your favorite kinds of characters? If you could write a story, what would it be about?

  • Kids: How do the characters demonstrate that they are good friends? What talents or traits set each one apart from the others? Do these differences ever cause problems among them?

  • Families can also talk about TV and house rules. How much TV are you allowed to watch? What kinds of shows do you get to see? Why is it important to have times when the TV is off? What other activities do you enjoy in your free time?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool fun

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