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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Special Agent Oso encourages preschoolers to solve puzzles as the main character helps kids work through everyday challenges like brushing their teeth and learning to use the library. Age-appropriate skills like shape recognition, chronology, and spatial relationships are emphasized within the context of the plot, so kids learn while they enjoy the stories. The show's best quality is its positive message about the joy to be found in helping others.
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What's the story?
In SPECIAL AGENT OSO, a caring panda named Oso (voiced by Sean Astin) comes to the aid of kids who need help with everyday troubles like cleaning their room, finding a lost item, and planning a special surprise. As part of an international organization of helpful stuffed animals, Oso is always ready to lend a hand -- er, paw -- to the kids he meets, and his assignments let him exercise the skills he learns under the guidance of senior agents Wolfie (Phil Lewis) and Dotty (Amber Hood). Armed with a ready supply of high-tech gadgets -- including perky virtual assistant Paw Pilot (Meghan Strange) -- Oso is prepared for anything and can solve problems of any size.
Is it any good?
Oso is a welcome hero for every kid who's ever envisioned her cuddly teddy bear as a living, breathing best friend. He's the consummate champion for the kids he helps, and preschoolers will relate to the characters' troubles and benefit from seeing how they and Oso follow simple steps to fix them.
Special Agent Oso's interactive format encourages kids to think independently of the characters and try to solve problems on their own, and the educational content ensures that they'll pick up important preschool skills along the way.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about solving problems in Special Agent Oso. Kids: What kinds of problems do you encounter during a typical day? How do you try to solve them yourself? What tools do you use to help?
How do you feel when you solve a problem on your own? Who do you turn to for help when you can't do something on your own?
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