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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Postcards from Buster is a spin-off of the series Arthur where Buster, Arthur's friend, has the chance to travel North America on his father's plane with a fictional Latin rock group called Los Viajeros. As a child of divorce, Buster is happy to spend time with his dad, who travels often. During his travels, Buster meets kids from all over North America, learning about their lives and their beliefs. Diversity is the name of the game, though the program can be rather male-centric.
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What's the story?
Arthur fans will be familiar with the cartoon cast of POSTCARDS FROM BUSTER -- but this series goes beyond the fictional world that the 'toons inhabit, interspersing live video footage of the people Buster meets as well. Postcards from Buster crosses race, ethnic, religious, and class lines with the greatest of ease. So while Buster isn't the most evolved character in the world -- he tends to obsess about junk food, and he can get frustrated rather easily -- he's also able to ask things like "what's a reservation?" to a Native American host without feeling self-conscious.
Is it any good?
This show earned some notoriety after it was singled out by the Department of Education for an episode featuring a girl in Vermont who proudly showed a photo of her mom and her female life partner. The discussion that this brief snapshot of real life incurred might not be a bad thing, though, because talking about people's choices is always a good conversation for families to have. Ultimately, the tone set by Postcards from Buster is one of tolerance and diversity -- a timely reflection of the melting pot in which we live.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way that other people live their lives -- how does what kids see in Postcards from Buster reflect or differ from life in their own hometown?
What do they take away from Buster's travels? Do they get any ideas of where they might want to travel?
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