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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wimzie's House explores common emotional troubles among young kids, including not wanting to share, feeling jealous, and being scared. It's easy to select an episode or two to start discussions about a particular subject or tune in for the whole series to help kids look at these kinds of issues from a different perspective. Wimzie's behavior isn't always exemplary, but that's to illustrate excellent messages about getting along with others, being a good friend, and playing an important role in a family structure.
What's the story?
WIMZIE'S HOUSE centers on 5-year-old Wimzie (voiced by Sonja Ball), a precocious dragon/bird hybrid who spends her days playing with her friends Jonas (Thor Bishopric), Loulou (Holly Gauthier-Frankel), and Horace (Bruce Dinsmore) and her baby brother, Bo (Liz MacRae), at her grandmother Yaya's (Jane Woods) daycare. Their experiences often lead to small interpersonal problems of some kind, forcing Wimzie to ponder how best to solve them and how to mend any relationships that were affected by them. Fortunately she's surrounded by caring grown-ups to help guide her when she needs it, including Yaya and her parents, Rousso (Tyrone Benskin) and Graziella (Jennifer Seguin).
Is it any good?
Resembling (but not associated with) Jim Henson's Muppets, these friendly characters have valuable things to teach kids about understanding their own feelings and relating to other people. The stories confront common tot troubles such as being jealous of a friend, feeling discouraged, and craving attention in honest terms that don't sugarcoat these tough issues. Not only does this communicate to viewers that experiencing similar trials is normal, it also shows them that no matter the issue, there's always a solution to be found by addressing your feelings and communicating your needs to others.
The show's carefully crafted cast ensures that Wimzie experiences many of the same issues her young viewers do, including sibling troubles, friendship woes, and family spats of various kinds. Her process for solving problems isn't always the same from one story to the next, but the result -- a happy kid and a cooperative, loving family and friend pool -- is consistent throughout. Kids will enjoy the unique characters and their experiences; parents will love the worthwhile lessons those experiences teach their kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Wimzie's feelings. Kids: Can you relate to the problems she faces? How would you feel (or have you felt) in a similar predicament? Would you do something differently to solve the problem?
Why is it important to talk about your feelings when something's bothering you? Which grown-ups in your life can you confide in about these kinds of things?
Kids: What makes you unique? What are some of your favorite qualities you see in yourself? What do you look for in good friends? Would life be more or less fun if people were all the same?
- Premiere date: October 1, 1997
- Cast: Sonja Ball, Holly Gauthier-Frankel, Bruce Dinsmore
- Networks: PBS, Online
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Great girl role models, Puppets
- Character strengths: Compassion, Empathy, Integrity
- TV rating: TV-G
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
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