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 this British import from The Jim Henson Company engages preschoolers with colorful puppets and fun music and encourages their curiosity about all kinds of topics. In each episode, the characters -- who hail from far-away Hoobland -- seek answers to simple questions about the world. Through their own investigative work and input from kids (or "tiddlypeeps," as the Hoobs call them), they find answers to their queries and celebrate their discoveries with song and dance. While parents will love the show's educational qualities for their kids' sake, they may find the Hoob-iquitous language nuances ("Hooby groovy," "Hooble-toodle-do," and so on) a bit too nerve-grating for their own liking.
What's the story?
Created by The Jim Henson Company, British import THE HOOBS uses colorful puppets, spirited music, and storytelling to excite preschoolers' curiosity and get them interested in exploring the world around them. Tula (Julie Westwood), Groove (John Eccleston; Brian Herring), Iver (Donald Austen), and Roma (Gillie Robic) -- Hoobs who hail from far-away Hoobland -- are sent to Earth by Hubba Hubba Hoob (Herring) to discover all they can about life here. They report back, and Hubba Hubba Hoob adds the new information to his big, scholastic Hoobopaedia. The Hoobs often get answers from \"tiddlypeeps\" (kids), who help the Hoobs via songs or crafts, as well as with their own age-appropriate knowledge of how the world works. The Hoobs always recap the highlights of their investigative process, and the repetition gives preschoolers the chance to see how the dots connect from the initial question through each phase of discovery up to the final answer.
Is it any good?
The bottom line for parents is this: The colorful, peppy stars of The Hoobs will encourage your preschoolers to think creatively about the world around them, but if your kids are the type to repeat everything they hear, you might want to opt out of this one. The relentless tweaking of the English language to include Hoob-isms (like "Hooby groovy," "Hooblicious," and the overused "Hooble-toodle-do!") may be fun for kids, but for parents, they quickly get Hoobtiresome.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the discovery process the Hoobs use in each episode. What question did the Hoobs want to answer? How did they start to collect clues to the answer? What did they do when they hit a dead end? How did the kids help the Hoobs? Would your kids have helped them differently? Parents can ask kids what questions they would like to investigate with the Hoobs and can explore the subjects with them.
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