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 Sammy's Story Shop is a preschool series that brings to life popular children's books like Harold and the Purple Crayon and Caps for Sale. Each 30-minute episode incorporates two or three such stories, with the segments bridged by visits with three friendly animated characters who "cook up" the tales in their kitchen. Not only is it a fun way to enjoy read-alouds of some childhood classics, it's also a great motivator to kick back with your kids and read some of your own favorites together. Often the stories have life lessons you can point out to your kids as well.
What's the story?
Adventure and great story-telling go hand-in-hand in SAMMY'S STORY SHOP, a Scholastic Entertainment series about three siblings who concoct stories that are then animated for the viewers. The stories include popular kids' books like The Snowy Day and Make Way for Ducklings, each of which is narrated and animated to reflect the original version's illustrations and tone. Between stories, viewers see the goings-on in the story shop, where Sammy (voiced by David DeNardo), Sharlene (Kezia DaCosta), and Wiggy (Ethan Kempner) are always up to something silly.
Is it any good?
What's not to like about a series that turns the pages of classic children's stories into animation? As it turns out, not much. Sammy's Story Shop is like a dressed-up trip to library story time, and its effect on viewers is much the same in how it plants the desire to dive into reading. This is great news for parents, who can use the show to encourage kids' interest in family story time at home.
Of course, the books are only part of the picture in Sammy's Story Shop. In between them, visits to Sammy's place touch on sibling relationships and make the connection between creativity and story-telling as the characters mix ingredients like adventure and excitement in a magic pan that generates each new tale.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the books they see in the show. Kids: Have you heard those stories before watching this show? If so, did your impression of them change in any way when you saw them through animation? What other favorites would you like to see this way?
Kids: Where do you think authors get ideas for their stories? What book characters are your favorites? Why? If a book was written about you, what would it be called?
Families can use this series to inspire story time at home. What can books offer that TV and movies can't? Are there any stories that are better suited to one media or the other? What are your family's limits on screen time?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love preschool fun
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