A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show is constructed around a literacy curriculum that reinforces letter recognition, phonics, and early reading skills. Concepts such as rhyming and synonyms are explored through the exceptional content, and the characters interact directly with the audience, encouraging kids to offer answers to their questions about how letters sound and what words say as well as to come up with synonyms or rhymes.
The show incorporates important lessons on social issues such as getting along with others, communicating, keeping promises, and following directions. Friendship, teamwork, and creative problem-solving are common themes as well, and even though magic factors heavily into how the characters act, they also rely on tactics that kids can employ in their own situations. Through one character's perpetual misbehavior, kids see that breaking rules always has consequences.
Positive Role Models
Wally and his friends are curious, helpful, and always eager to solve problems. When one is in trouble, others jump to assist, usually with the power of words and literacy. Bobgoblin is meddlesome and selfish, and his interference causes all sorts of problems for the other characters, but things are always set right in the end, and occasionally he learns a lesson as well.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wallykazam! craftily disguises solid lessons in basic literacy skills as delightful stories about an endearing young troll and his forest friends. Preschoolers will love the abounding silliness in Wally's adventures, but for parents, the show's best asset is its incorporation of essential reading skills into its content. Throughout each story, audience members are encouraged to read words, identify letters, make rhymes, and generate synonyms, all in ways that feel nothing to kids like the quality lessons they actually are. Beyond the bookish learning, kids will see examples of strong friendships and creative methods for solving problems. This exceptional, comical preschool series is so well designed that parents will want to tune in with their kids, which will help parents reinforce the curriculum's points.
Is It Any Good?
Set in a colorful, whimsical forest inhabited by ogres, fairies, and giants, this show is poised to become a favorite among both its young audience members and their parents. Wally is the kind of kid you hope yours will be; he's kind, caring, and imaginative and always looking to help his friends. Put a little magic in his hands, and he can solve problems like nobody's business, which is great news for all his woodland neighbors. Kids' imaginations will run wild in this fun land of magic and fairy-tale creatures with big personalities.
Not every preschool series can pull off casting a villain of sorts, but when it's managed well, it adds a whole new level of intrigue. Enter Bobgoblin (Aria Capria), Wallykazam!'s mischievous, egocentric troublemaker who delights in deliberately irritating Wally and his friends. His antics are always amusing (though not so much for his co-characters) and typically end in some lesson learned, so he serves a valuable purpose. Even so, little can compare to the fantastic educational quality of this clever show, and its interactive style encourages kids' involvement throughout.
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.