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 Shimmer and Shine is an animated series that illustrates for kids the positive side of making mistakes and learning something from them. The young characters -- two kids and two kid genies -- team up to tackle some pretty daunting tasks, and even with three wishes, they find the solutions are never easy. Viewers see that a positive attitude and the willingness to acknowledge when you're wrong can empower you to fix your mistakes and do better the next time. Kids will enjoy the magical touches the titular genies bring to the plot, and parents will like the emotionally meaningful content, even if it downplays any realistic consequences that should accompany the characters' actions.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
SHIMMER AND SHINE follows a young girl named Leah (voiced by Alina Foley), who uses her oil-lamp necklace to call on her genie friends, Shimmer (Eva Bella) and Shine (Isabella Cramp), to help her tackle a different task each day. The twins arrive to grant Leah her three wishes, but mishaps ensue through misunderstandings, forcing all the characters to work together toward an eventual solution. All the while, they have to keep Shimmer and Shine's presence secret from Leah's neighbor friend Zac (Blake Bertrand).
Is it any good?
The fact that life isn't perfect is a concept that's sometimes tough for youngsters to grasp, so these characters' accident-prone experiences have real value for the preschool set in particular. Even with magic at the genies' fingertips, things never go as Leah envisions them, forcing her back to the drawing board to reassess and try again. It can be frustrating, but Leah's perpetually positive attitude reminds kids that there's always something to be gained from your mistakes.
The flip side of this theme is that there are rarely any consequences for those mistakes, which paints an unrealistically rosy picture of the giant messes Leah and her friends make. What's more, SHIMMER AND SHINE goes a little overboard on the characters' predicaments, putting young Leah in charge of grown-up jobs such as baking cupcakes for a school event and constructing a tree house in the backyard. Kids will still get the intended message, but the show might have been better served if the plots were scaled down to include projects more in line with kids' independent abilities.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about times when their own mistakes have become teaching moments. Is this rule always true, or are there some mistakes that can't be fixed? How should you respond when your mistakes hurt someone else? Why is it important to consider other people's feelings in situations like this?
Shimmer and Shine have magic at their disposal. What unique qualities does Leah have that are equally helpful to the group? How might you have handled a similar predicament as theirs differently?
Do your kids enjoy make-believe and fantasy play? Which characters do they like to imagine for themselves? Do they have special powers or skills in those roles?
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