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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this short preschool series is based on picture books by Lara Jones, so it's a great segue into some read-aloud time with your tot. The delightful characters embark on adventures that appeal to young kids' curiosity about the world; along the way they meet new friends who help guide them to their destination. Each story offers Poppy and his friends the opportunity to solve a problem, fix mistakes, express their feelings, and discover something new about their world, all of which has positive messages for preschoolers.
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What's the story?
POPPY CAT is an animated series based on books of the same name by Lara Jones. The stories center on a feline named Poppy Cat (voiced by Joanna Page) and his menagerie of friends, all of whom travel to far-off places to see and learn about the world. Poppy Cat's adventures are introduced by his human, a young girl named Lara, who starts out each episode by reading a story to her faithful kitty before Poppy Cat and his friends take center stage and set off on grand journeys via hot air balloons, pirate ships, and the like.
Is it any good?
Everything about this whimsical short-form series beckons to preschoolers, from the simple animation style to the characters' inherent curiosity, and tots are sure to want to come along for the ride when Poppy Cat and his friends are at the helm. There's no adventure too big -- or small -- for this bunch, and their travels teach them important lessons about relating to others, solving problems, and talking about their feelings. The characters do a very good job of showing (not just telling) kids that even though we're all different, we can still find enough common ground to build a friendship and work together.
Perhaps the best aspect of this show is that it introduces youngsters to a lovable set of characters who can come alive for them in the pages of Jones' books, as well, giving parents a great reason to cuddle up with their kiddies for some reading after the TV's turned off. With a running time of around 10 minutes per episode, there's ample opportunity to work in both to the routine.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Poppy Cat's adventures. What prompted the characters to set off on a journey? How did they travel? Whom did they meet? Did they find what they were looking for? What did they learn from the experience?
Kids: How are Poppy Cat and his friends different from each other? Do these differences ever cause problems or misunderstandings? How is diversity a good thing among friends? How are you and your friends different?
Have you read any of the Poppy Cat books? Which are your favorites? Do the characters' animated selves stay true to how they seem in the books? What, if any, changes do you notice between the stories and the series? What other books would you like to see as TV shows?
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