A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Olive the Ostrich is a preschool series that celebrates imagination, adventure, curiosity, and friendship. The title character is a young bird who feels different from all of her family members and so spends much of her time with her head underground thinking up exciting places to visit and people to meet. In her own imagination, Olive can solve any problem and unlock any clue, sentiments of self-esteem that will appeal to her young audience. The show also incorporates some basic pre-reading skills like counting and color recognition, and it's set to original artwork from kid contributors, so it could inspire your own young artists to try their hand at designing a scene.
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What's the story?
OLIVE THE OSTRICH is a British animated series that uses kids' artwork submissions to set the background for the adventures of an inquisitive ostrich named Olive (voiced by Laura Ellison), who spends much of her time with her head buried in the sand seeking out imaginary people and places. Whether she's in the library or in a far-off planet, personable Olive has little trouble making friends, and she's always eager to lend a hand when they're in a tight spot.
Is it any good?
Narrated by Rolf Harris and designed to sound like a read-aloud book, Olive the Ostrich appeals to preschoolers' natural curiosity about the world around them and beyond. The use of children's art in the series authenticates its sense of make-believe, since the stories reflect the unique places and characters that come straight from real kids' imaginations. Olive's wide-eyed approach to every new experience validates tots' wonder about places and things they've never seen. The show also offers some happy messages beyond those of the imagination, especially when it comes to Olive's friendly, helpful nature, which often contributes to a turning point in each of her adventures.
On a surprising note, the series seems to play up Olive's sense of distance from her family by wrapping up each episode with an exchange between her and her parents and brother, all of whom get a good chuckle over her retelling of her imaginative adventures of the day. It's subtly implied that this contributes to her plans for a similar escape another day. Ultimately, though, this isn't something that will affect the intended preschool audience, all of whom will be otherwise occupied by Olive's unpredictable escapades, but it may be worth encouraging your kids to experience some real-life adventures with you rather than just make-believe ones on their own.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about feeling different. Why do you think Olive feels unique in her family? Does it seem to bother her? What makes you different from everyone else? How is being different a good thing?
Kids: What are some real-life adventures you and your family can find in and around your hometown? How will you plan for the trip? What supplies will you need?
Did you learn anything from this show? What did Olive learn today? Do you watch other shows that help teach you things like numbers, letters, and colors?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love preschool fun
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