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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Esme & Roy is a Sesame Workshop show about two friends who help their community by taking care of young monsters and helping them overcome challenges through mindful behavior practices. In each episode, Esme (a human girl voiced by Millie Davis) and Roy (a large furry monster voiced by Patrick McKenna) babysit for a preschool-age monster who's troubled by some kind of fear or habit. The duo helps identify the concern and express its effects before coming up with an imaginative way to explore solutions through interactive play and active techniques like breathing and self-talk. This thoughtful series has exceptional takeaways for parents and preschoolers, who can use similar practices in their own lives. With original music that emphasizes each episode's theme and pre-reading skills like counting and color identification incorporated in the stories, this series has lots to offer.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In ESME & ROY, two best friends team up to care for their community's young monsters when their guardians are called away. Esme (voiced by Millie Davis) is an outgoing girl with a big imagination; Roy (Patrick McKenna) is a big yellow monster who's as gentle as they come. Together these caregivers use playtime to help the monster tots work through challenges like learning to be gentle with a pet and overcoming a fear of thunderstorms using mindfulness techniques that settle their emotions and calm their moods.
Is it any good?
They're an unusual pair, but these sweet sitters are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to helping youngsters work through their feelings. Esme and Roy engage the tots through imaginative play using costumes and props from a magical bag that transforms into whatever they need that day. Got a picky eater? Esme's restaurant might be just the thing to encourage him to try new foods. Thunderstorms strike fear in a little one? Roy's gentle example can help kids recognize the signs and practice self-calming techniques.
Esme & Roy's thoughtful approach to self-awareness and mindful behavior makes it an excellent tool for families and caretakers to use in teaching similar skills to kids. The monsters' struggles with self-control, anxiety, and adaptation to change likely will be familiar to preschoolers, and even if the specifics don't relate to your kids' experiences, the broader emotions will. As youngsters watch the characters face and conquer their challenges, they may be inspired to better address their own with some grown-up help.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fear and anxiety, and how to overcome them. Kids: What kinds of things make you afraid? How does it feel to be scared? Do you think some of Esme and Roy's techniques for calming down could help you? Can you practice them together?
What examples of kindness, helpfulness, and compassion do you see in the characters' actions? Who in your life is another good role model of this kind of positive behavior? When you see negative behavior happening, how do you ensure you're not drawn into it?
How does imagination help Esme and Roy find creative solutions to the monster kids' problems? When we use our imagination, does it change the way we see the real world? Can it help us make it a better place? If so, how?
- Premiere date: August 7, 2018
- Cast: Millie Davis, Patrick McKenna, Lilly Bartlam
- Network: HBO
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Character strengths: Compassion
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: March 18, 2021
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