A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Demonstrates the value of reading. There's an emphasis on making new friends as each story in the first season is introduced with the phrase, "ready to make a new friend?"
Positive Role Models
The show models both girls and boy reading and being excited about the stories. Depending on the story, there are lots of instances of characters being good friends and helping each other.
In the last season, there's a diverse range of child narrators of different ethnicities and genders.
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Violence & Scariness
Characters are sometimes sad, scared, mean, or in peril but even the scary parts aren't very intense because all that's shown is either a still picture or a live person play acting with a CGI background. Stories are short and simple so nothing is overly suspenseful.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that each episode of The Book of Once Upon a Time starts with a narrator introducing the featured Disney story and opening a book to begin reading. The stories are then told as pages from the book are shown and intermingled with the narrator acting out some sections. Adults narrate the first three seasons and kids narrate the stories in the last season.
Is It Any Good?
With its unique format, this is the rare show that may actually compel young viewers to ask adults to read to them. The Book of Once Upon a Time starts off as many storytelling shows do, with a live action host introducing a book and then proceeding to read it aloud. What's different here is how the story is brought to life. There's no moving animation. Instead still shots from the pages of the book are shown interspersed with the narrator jumping into the scene as they continue to read. It sounds a little chaotic, but the overall effect is similar to the magic created by traveling puppet troops who visit elementary schools to put on their shows. Young viewers will be drawn into the story in a novel way, never forgetting how entertaining reading can be.
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.