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The Mighty Jungle
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 live-action puppet series for preschoolers encourages kids to explore their own imaginations. The series' format reinforces kids' natural inclination toward make believe and shows them the entertaining potential of their own stories. Parents may find the stories a bit too juvenile for their own enjoyment, but the 11-minute episodes are brief enough that even young preschoolers will enjoy following a story from beginning to end.
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What's the story?
In THE MIGHTY JUNGLE, three animal friends learn important social lessons through adventures that take place in their colorful jungle home. For Babu the meerkat, Bruce the gorilla, and Rhonda the rhino, the lush jungle is little more than an oversized playground -- each day brings fun, frolic, and new challenges to overcome and learn from. Their adventures are directed by a panel of real preschoolers whose imaginations inspired the stories and who take center stage as storytellers during each episode.
Is it any good?
This inventive series takes a creative approach to kids' entertainment, using stories by preschoolers to craft a show for preschoolers. All of the show's situations and supporting characters are created or inspired by kids, and young viewers will easily relate to the characters' kid-sized problems (running out of a favorite snack, for instance). The show also lets real kids share the spotlight with the puppets, which helps show preschoolers just how exciting and entertaining make believe and pretend play can be.
The down side to the show is that because the tales do come from kids, the storylines are pretty juvenile and slow-moving. But while The Mighty Jungle might not be at the top of most parents' list of shows to watch with their kids, if you let them watch on their own, they can practice their storytelling skills when you ask them to recap the episode for you. With a little encouragement, the process could inspire them to tap into their imaginations and create their own original tales as well.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about writing stories. Kids: What are some of your favorite stories to be read or told? What do you like about them? If you could change parts of them, what would you change? Do you like to create stories? How do you get ideas? What are some of your favorite characters for your stories? This series is a great conversation starter for parents and kids to work together to create, tell, and possibly even write stories of their own.