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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sheriff Callie's Wild West teaches preschoolers about being good friends and citizens through the adventures of a colorful cast of animal characters in an Old West setting. Each story sees one character faced with a choice between doing the right thing and doing the easy thing, the latter of which always has negative consequences like mistrust or hurt feelings, until the instigator makes amends. Catchy songs and the show's cute incorporation of its Old West theme give this show real flair, and the fact that it casts a pink boots-wearing girl as the town sheriff goes a long way to bridge the gender gap as well.
What's the story?
SHERIFF CALLIE'S WILD WEST is set in Nice and Friendly Corners, a quaint frontier town that's home to a menagerie of neighbors and overseen by the kindly Sheriff Callie (voiced by Mandy Moore), a calico cat with a magic lasso and a big heart. Each day gives Callie the opportunity to lend a paw to a friend in need, whether it's by fixing a crumbling bridge or demonstrating the importance of being a good sport. If there's trouble in her town, Sheriff Callie is the one to call, and she's often flanked by her trusty deputy, Peck, and his best friend, Toby.
Is it any good?
Preschool TV has come a long way in the past decade or so, introducing kids to wild animals, works of art, and the wonders of science, to name a few scenes. But the Wild West is a new setting for this age group, and Sheriff Callie and crew make it a delightful little jaunt to this genre. Of course, the vibrant animation gives it more of a new feel than an old one, and kids won't pick up on the fun twists on classics like a town saloon (this one serves milk shakes) and dueling (a horseshoe game, that is), but if parents find themselves tuning in, they'll appreciate this attention to detail.
As for kids, the details that benefit them relate to the careful construction of stories that teach important lessons about character. Every aspect of the show –- right down to cameos from a trio of singing prairie dogs -– is designed to reinforce that day's theme, and the stories put characters in situations that kids can relate to, giving them a set of social skills they can apply to their real-world experiences. And because this happens at the hands of darling critter characters, it's an easy sell for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the characters in Sheriff Callie's Wild West solve problems. Do they go it alone? When do friends step in to help? What do they learn about the value of positive relationships? Do you find the same thing is true in your life?
Kids: Have you had an experience in which honesty was the best policy? Do you find it rewarding to share? How do you feel when your actions hurt other people's feelings? How do you fix things when that happens?
What are some of your other favorite TV characters? How do they model positive behavior? Do you ever question their actions? Do you always learn something from the shows you watch?
Find more TV shows that help kids build character.
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