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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Zou caters to preschoolers' sense of curiosity and adventure while teaching valuable lessons in responsibility, kindness, and ingenuity. The titular character loves his family, is a good friend, always tries his best, learns from his mistakes, and has a positive attitude even when things don't go his way. He's surrounded by caring adults -– including extended family members who live with him -– and a vibrant community of people who help each other. The show is sensitive to differences among the characters, particularly in the case of Zou's elderly great-grandmother, who walks with a cane and uses a stair lift to move between floors in the family's home.
What's the story?
ZOU follows the adventures of a 5-year-old zebra named Zou, who lives with his extended family in a brightly colored town filled with friendly neighbors. There are his friends, Elzee and Zak; his cousin Zinnia; and his feathered friend, Poc, who's always at his side for his exploits. For Zou, every day is a chance to learn something and to have fun while doing it.
Is it any good?
Based on the character from books by Michael Gay, Zou is a charming tot with an insatiable sense of wonder about the world and all its workings. The simple stories are indicative of preschoolers' experiences, with Zou exploring new hobbies, role playing, and engaging in imaginative play. When his plans involve others, the characters learn about getting along and solving problems, as well as fixing the mistakes they make.
Parents will love the how this show presents family relationships within Zou's home, where four generations happily coexist. Zou especially reaps the benefits of strong bonds with his parents and his grandparents, and someone is always around to help guide him with sage advice, encouragement, and positive behavioral examples.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role Zou plays in his community. How is he able to help others? What jobs does he fill at home? In his neighborhood?
Kids: How does Zou's family structure compare to yours? What does being a family mean to you? How are all the members of your family alike?
Families can check out other characters who moved from books to TV shows. Read some of their stories before you watch them on TV. Which format do you like better? Are there any benefits to reading books over watching TV?
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