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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Puffin Rock is a gentle preschool series that introduces kids to some basic concepts of science as they relate to the characters' explorations of their island habitat. As kids see the characters play and explore, they learn about different animal species and their respective behavior, including whether they're nocturnal or diurnal, what they eat, and where they live. There also are many positive qualities to the characters' relationships, presenting kids with excellent examples of loving family members and caring friends. And the delightful narration by grown-up favorite Chris O'Dowd doesn't hurt, either.
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What's the story?
PUFFIN ROCK is an Irish animated series from the team behind movies Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea. Narrated by Chris O'Dowd (Moone Boy, The IT Crowd), it follows a young puffin named Oona (voiced by Kate McCafferty) and her baby brother, Baba (Sally McDaid), as they explore their island home and learn about how its various inhabitants live and interact. For enthusiastic Oona, every day dawns with the promise of new adventures, and her menagerie of friends are always happy to join in the fun. And when night falls, she and Baba head home to their burrow where Mama (Geraldine Cole) and Papa (Brian McMonagle) are eager to hear all about what they've done.
Is it any good?
Darling, kindhearted Oona will make fast fans of preschoolers who tune in, and they'll learn about various matters of science along with the puffin chick. She and her friends are curious about everything they see and hear in this beautifully animated, sweetly scripted show, and it inspires that same sort of enthusiasm for learning in the show's viewers. That said, the show's narrated style makes it feel more like an animated story time than a classroom lesson, so kids won't even realize there's more to the content than the cute characters' antics.
Puffin Rock also has great things to show kids about family and friend relationships, and parents especially will love Oona and Baba's sweet sibling camaraderie and Oona's willingness to play the role of mentor to her tagalong brother. These characters have a lot to offer preschoolers who watch, and the show's gentle pace makes it enjoyable to watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what the characters in Puffin Rock learn by exploring their rock home. What other creatures make a home there? How do they interact? Are they all friendly to each other? Are any of the creatures you see in this show indigenous to where you live?
How does Oona and Baba's relationship set a good example for siblings in your family? What are some common troubles that arise between your kids and their siblings? How do they get resolved when they come up? What do your kids enjoy doing together?
This show makes learning look like a lot of fun. What areas around where you live could you explore together? Take a nature walk or visit an animal park to observe the animals' behavior in person. Talk about how they eat, sleep, and protect themselves.
- Premiere date: September 1, 2015
- Cast: Kate McCafferty, Sally McDaid, Darragh Gargan
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Ocean Creatures, Science and Nature
- Character strengths: Curiosity, Gratitude, Self-control
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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