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What parents need to know
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What's it about?
Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat is an animated series on PBS. The companion Web site offers games and stories that extend the concepts introduced on the show. If you've never seen the TV series, don't worry. The site presents an introduction to the characters: middle kitten Sagwa, her siblings, extended family, and even the silly humans with whom they all live. The "Games" area features lots of interaction and fun. Other activities teach you which year of the Chinese zodiac you were born in and how to count in Chinese. There are also printable coloring pages as well as online coloring, plus printable "flip books" that let kids try out simple animations at home. Parents can visit the "Caregivers" section for suggested reading lists and hints on using the site with their kids.
Is it any good?
With charming characters and fun activities, this site provides kids with a nice introduction to Chinese culture and customs. There are some super-simple games for little kids, such as Counting Koi, while puzzle games like Tangrams will challenge older kids -- and possibly their parents! There's no age guide to the games, so there may be a bit of trial and error involved in finding the right fit. Nevertheless, the games are nicely animated and do a good job teaching a range of skills.
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