A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show illustrates for kids the value of acknowledging when things go wrong and using what they learn to do better the next time. The characters never get frustrated or disappointed in themselves; instead they decide together what works and what doesn't so they can make a better plan going forward.
Kids see the characters make mistakes, try again, and make more mistakes before finally solving the problem of the day. Their actions remind viewers that even though you don't get it right on the first attempt, each time you try, you learn something important and get closer to your goal. Even so, little work is actually done by the human characters, as Shimmer and Shine use their magic to help, which diminishes the message a bit.
Positive Role Models
Leah doesn't shy away from a challenge, even when it tests her patience. She's always willing to look at her situation from a different perspective when things don't go right, and she embraces her mistakes as learning opportunities. Shimmer and Shine are eager to help, which often winds up causing mishaps when they misinterpret Leah's wishes. Ultimately, though, it's the combined effort of all the characters that gets the job done.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.