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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Robocar Poli introduces young kids to community helpers like police officers, emergency medical services personnel, and firefighters through the work of friendly vehicles that represent their respective jobs around town. When trouble arises, the rescue team members drop everything and race to the scene, ready to do whatever they can to help. The characters exemplify strong traits like compassion, selflessness, and resourcefulness, and they always take the time to teach their neighbors important safety skills when they are relevant. Because of the nature of the stories, there are some moments that show sympathetic characters in perilous situations that might worry preschoolers, but everything is fixed in the end.
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What's the story?
In the bustling burg of Brooms Town, a team of rescue vehicles, including ROBOCAR POLI, works hard to ensure that the community stays safe. Despite their best efforts at prevention, accidents are bound to happen, and so Poli the police car (voiced by Marc Thompson), Helly the helicopter (Kate Bristol), Roy the fire engine (Jason Griffith), Amber the ambulance (Rebecca Soler), and their human dispatcher Jin (Eileen Stevens) are ready to do whatever it takes to fix the problem. As they help their neighbors, the rescuers use the incidents to reinforce important concepts about staying safe.
Is it any good?
These friendly community helpers introduce kids to the important work of first responders like police officers and firefighters in friendly, nonthreatening ways. Kids will see that accidents can happen anytime and anywhere -- even with the best of intentions and in the seemingly perfect island town of Brooms Town -- and that rescuers are there to help when it's needed. Even though each team member has different specialties and abilities, they work together, ask for input when they need it, and always put others' needs first.
As kids watch the Robocar Poli stories unfold and see the characters facing different elements of danger, they also learn along with the show's characters how to stay safe or respond to emergencies in certain situations. Each episode sees rescue team members advocating personal and community safety tips like staying calm under pressure, prioritizing tasks, listening carefully to directions, and respecting rules. The characters' experiences also show kids that making mistakes is a part of life, but that there's always something valuable to be learned from them. Central to the stories are reminders about self-respect, patience, and knowing when to ask for help.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the rescue squad members help their neighbors learn to stay safe in their town. Why is it important to listen to and respect the directions of personnel like police in an emergency? In the absence of these kinds of rescuers, who else is an authority figure at home? At school?
How can you tell that the characters feel worried, upset, or frustrated in Robocar Poli? Are their responses to their predicaments the same as yours would be in similar trouble? Does communicating their feelings help others help them?
In what ways do the rescuers demonstrate courage and compassion in their work? Do they ever put themselves at risk helping someone else? Why is teamwork so important to the work they do? Would they be as effective if they operated on their own?
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