By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
A "mooovelous" intro to reading for preschoolers.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Encourages preschoolers' early literacy skills through the mechanics of reading (left to right, top to bottom), storytelling, and listening comprehension. The characters happily turn to books to solve the various dilemmas they tackle, and they're always ready to help one another.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this engaging series introduces preschoolers to reading in a unique way. Kids see books from the vantage point of the reader, watching as his hoof follows the words that are being read and turns the pages when it's time. Characters turn to books for information when they face a problem they can't solve on their own, and they reiterate the lessons they learn from the stories to ensure that young viewers pick up on them.
Where to Watch
Based on 4 parent reviews
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not even for the 9 year old
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What's the Story?
WILBUR (voiced by Julie Lemieux) and his barnyard friends -- Dasha (Emma Pustil) the curious duck, Ray (Ian Busher) the talkative rooster, and Libby (Taylor Barber) the kind-hearted lamb -- join forces to tackle dilemmas that young viewers can relate to, like a pal with a bothersome habit or things that go bump in the night. Unable to find solutions on their own, the animals turn to books for inspiration; the stories they read help them understand how to navigate the world around them.
Is It Any Good?
Preschoolers will be drawn in by the series' cheery characters, engaging puppetry techniques, catchy tunes, and rhythmic storytelling. Plus, they'll pick up important clues about the mechanics of reading. The characters also encourage listening comprehension through interactive questions that await kids' responses; many retellings of the stories by both Wilbur and real kids reiterate each episode's theme and ensure that little ones won't miss a beat of the tales.
Developed by a trio of moms who saw a need for book-oriented preschool programming, Wilbur may very well get your kids jazzed up about reading, especially if you mimic the characters' excitement and style (follow the words with your finger as you read, let your kids turn the pages to find out what happens next, etc.) when you read at home.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what their kids like about books. Kids: What are some of your favorite books? What do you like about them? Who are the characters in the books? What problems or issues do they have to solve? How do they do it? How do a book's pictures help tell the stories? Parents can use Wilbur's excitement about reading to jumpstart their kids' own interest in books by reading to them, asking them follow-up questions about the story's plot, and encouraging kids to retell the tale in their own words.
- Premiere date: April 16, 2007
- Cast: Emma Pustil, Ian Busher, Julie Lemieux
- Network: Discovery Family Channel
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Horses and Farm Animals, Numbers and Letters
- TV rating: TV-G
- Last updated: October 11, 2020
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