Stella and Sam

Common Sense Media says

Charming siblings' adventures have teaching points for kids.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Many of their adventures incorporate learning points for preschoolers through the characters' experiences with nature, animals, and daily life. Others are rooted in pure imagination (space exploration or travels to other countries) but still have some educational value parents and kids can build on later.

Positive messages

Kids see two siblings not only getting along but enjoying each other's company as they embark on imaginative adventures together. There's no rivalry or roughhousing here; Stella and Sam's relationship is all about patience, loyalty, and compassion.

Positive role models

Adults are absent from the stories, but Stella is a good stand-in as a role model for her little brother. When he's worried, she calms his fears; when he has a question, she answers it; when he's looking for adventure, she's there to blaze the path. In other words, theirs is the sibling relationship parents wish for their kids.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The show is inspired by a popular book series and is accompanied by an app geared toward kids.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Stella and Sam is a TV series based on Marie-Louise Gay's popular book characters. At its heart is a delightful relationship between siblings who enjoy each other's company and set off on adventures together. Sam's trepidation over new experiences will resonate with some preschoolers, but he always finds a sense of security in his big sister's presence, which has great messages for brothers and sisters in the audience. Adults are absent from the stories because they're told from the kids' point of view, which invites big, imaginative adventures kids will love. 

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

STELLA AND SAM centers on the adventures of siblings Stella (voiced by Rachel Marcus), an irrepressible redhead with an insatiable curiosity, and Sam (Miles Johnson), her shy younger brother. Each day is a new opportunity for these two to explore new places and learn new things, whether it's in their own backyard or as far away as the moon. They're usually joined on their journeys by their happy-go-lucky dog, Fred (Tony Daniels).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Stella and Sam sums up the very best aspects of childhood. Stella's curiosity leads the pair to new adventures, which never fail to teach them something new, and they often make new friends along the way. What's more, the siblings' polar personalities broaden their appeal by ensuring that kids will identify with at least one of the characters. Even better, siblings get to see an ideal brother-sister relationship at work in a natural way that enhances, rather than detracts from, the overall story.

Because the series takes such care in staying true to the books' illustration style and storytelling pace, it works well as either an add-on for existing Stella and Sam devotees or an introduction for newcomers to the characters that can transfer back to the books. Either way, it's a delightful choice for parents and their preschoolers, and it's bound to generate some questions from curious kids about how the world around them works.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Stella and Sam's adventures. Where do their journeys take them? How are these places similar to and different from your own surroundings? What did they learn by visiting new places?

  • Kids: How does Stella and Sam's relationship compare to yours with your own siblings? Do they ever have disagreements on the show? Do you think this is a realistic view of any siblings? How do you resolve your differences with your brothers and sisters?

  • Families can use this series to inspire their own explorations and field trips. Take a nature walk, visit a museum, or learn about different animals at a zoo or an aquarium. Discuss how different elements of nature coexist. Learn about astronomy and view the stars through a telescope. Which aspects of science are your favorites to study? Why?

This review of Stella and Sam was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2 year old Written bycmdcasey212 November 4, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Stella and Sam is a surefire classic!

My son and I love Stella and Sam - each episode tells a sweet tale lead by an adorable sibling pair that are imaginative and curious and extremely friendly. I can't say enough positive things about this wonderful series!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 2 year old Written byjinx-wolf March 6, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Let your imagination soar!

My two year old daughter and I love watching this show together. Stella is a great role model for Sam and their little "backyard adventures" are charming and delightful to watch. My daughter loves to reenact the shows and makes up her own stories as we go on grand adventures in our apartment or out in the yard.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent Written bysunflower75 April 22, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Creative play wins!

My now 4 year old has been hooked on Stella and Sam for over a year now. He identifies with Sam (must be the hair!) and loves the idea of going on adventures. What I like most is that the episodes are so focused on imaginative play and getting kids outside, two things that I think preschoolers need more and more as we become a technologically-driven society. Here's to the cardboard boxes that make great forts and spaceships!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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