Saturday, September 3, 2011

Curious George Season 6 Premieres Labor Day on PBS KIDS

PBS Kids logoAround here, the beginning of September translates into three things for us: the start of school, celebrating Labor Day and the premiere of a new season of one of our very favorite shows: Curious George.

Based on the best-selling Curious George books by Margret and H.A. Rey, Curious George the television series on PBS Kids expands George's world to include a host of colorful characters and original locales. At the same time, the show works to maintain the charm of the beloved books while also inspiring kids to explore science, math, and engineering in the world around them in a fun and entertaining way.

Each half-hour episode includes two animated stories followed by short live-action pieces showing real kids who are investigating the ideas that George introduces in his stories. The series encourages inquiry and curiosity, promotes hands-on exploration, and shows parents and caregivers how to support children's science and math-related play.

So we couldn't be more excited that our favorite monkey is back with a new season of (mis)adventures beginning Labor Day, September 5, 2011 on PBS KIDS (check your local listings). In ten all-new episodes, follow George as he encourages preschoolers to find their own creativity and get curious about the arts.

Curious GeorgeRunning Monday, September 5 through Wednesday, September 7, season 6 of Curious George kicks off with three brand-new episodes - Auctioneer George/Sock Monkey Opera, Hamster Cam/The Great Monkey Detective, and George and the Giant Thumb/Shutter Monkey.

Children are sure to be excited to follow George's contagious enthusiasm as he explores painting, sculpting, music, dancing, and more than will encourage their creativity and curiosity about the arts! The fun continues all season long as George explores arts themed activities including helping Betsy enter a photography contest, creating a wind symphony, sand painting the desert, and even dancing the box step.

It all starts Monday, September 5, with Auctioneer George and Sock Monkey Opera. In Auctioneer George, George has one dollar to buy anything he wants at the Annual Corn Roast and Attic Auction, and he sets his sights on a pair of red elephant mittens.

When the Man with the Yellow Hat leaves George alone, he bids ...and bids...and wins! Only, he didn't realize how bidding works, and now he owes $100. While George tries to re-auction the mittens himself, Marco searches the city for the only person unique enough to pay $101 for red elephant mittens... Mr. Glass.

Then in Sock Monkey Opera, when Betsy gets the chicken pox and can't see her favorite opera, Hansel and Gretel, she sends George in her place. George loves the opera so much, he decides to cheer up Betsy by performing for his itchy friend. But how can one little monkey sing, dance, and act for an entire cast of characters?

The fun continues on Tuesday, September 6 when George learns that clues are key to solving mysteries in the new episodes Hamster Cam and The Great Monkey Detective. In Hamster Cam, Steve's pet hamster, Hogie, is on the loose in the city streets with nothing but a small video camera tied to his back. George helps Steve track his whereabouts using clues from the hamster cam and his best monkeyish map-reading skills. But can a monkey with a map keep up with a hamster on the run?

Then, in The Great Monkey Detective, it's a mystery movie night at Chef Pisghetti's restaurant. But the big mystery really begins when Chef Pisghetti's cookbook suddenly vanishes! A fan of Detective Basil Know-it-All, George understands that clues are the key to solving a mystery. Will George be able to crack the case of the missing cookbook or will this mystery remain unsolved?

On Wednesday, September 7, George explores sculpting and photography in George and the Giant Thumb and Shutter Monkey. In George and the Giant Thumb, a bored George and Allie decide to make a ginormous sculpture of Bill's sprained thumb. The duo quickly run out of clay and turn to less conventional art supplies. Peanut butter proves too sticky and shaving cream too drippy, so George and Allie use mud to finish their masterpiece. But will Bill give their art a thumbs up?

Then, in Shutter Monkey, Betsy's "Out of Sight Shapes" entry for the photo contest is sure to win first prize, that is until George and Steve accidentally ruin her pictures. With some help from Steve, George runs around town trying to re-shoot the photographs. But finding the hidden shapes in things is hard for a little monkey! Can George snap four pictures of four shapes by 4:00... or are Betsy's prize-winning photos out of sight for good?

"Now in our sixth season, we're excited to present an all-new set of eight (mis)adventures that highlight the arts," said Senior Vice President of Animation Production for Universal Studios Family Productions Ellen Cockrill. "And we hope that viewers will stay tuned later this season when we launch the 'Exercise Your Creativity Dance Contest,' giving children the opportunity to show us their unique creativity through dance."

Along with these great new episodes, the fun of Curious George will continue all season long this year with even more excitement:

Curious George Holiday Spectacular
Love the Curious George movies? You're in for a treat on Wednesday, November 23, when PBS KIDS will feature a Curious George Holiday Spectacular, starting with the broadcast premiere of the original Curious George feature film, staring Will Ferrell and Drew Barrymore, followed by encore presentations of Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey and Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas. Going away for Thanksgiving Week and afraid you'll miss it? Don't worry because the movies will repeat throughout the weekend (check local listings).

Exercise Your Creativity Dance Contest 2012
Coming in February, be on the lookout for the Curious George Exercise Your Creativity Dance Contest! To celebrate the art of movement and dance, Curious George will be having his first ever dance contest! Parents will be invited to send in videos of their little monkeys dancing to the Curious George theme song. Videos will be posted on the Curious George website and one lucky dancer will receive a special Curious George prize. Stay tuned for more details.

Special Earth Day Episode
In April, Curious George celebrates Earth Day with the special episode Junky Monkey. In this episode, Steve is appointed head of the Pretty City Committee Pod 7 on a mission to lead George, the Man with the Yellow Hat, Aunt Margaret, Betsy, and Charkie to clean up litter in their neighborhood.

But where others see trash, George sees treasures hidden in alleys, sidewalk, and recycling bins. He takes his findings up to his apartment and sorts them by shape and size, transforming his collection into a masterpiece worthy to be hung at City Hall. But will the mayor agree or call it junk? Tune in on PBS KIDS to find out.

New Curious George books and DVD sets from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
New Curious George items for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt this year include a fully packaged book and DVD set, Curious George Builds a Home (September 2011; $6.99; Ages 4-8). When Curious George meets a homing pigeon, he decides that his home, with improvements, would be perfect for his new friend.

This paperback picture book explores the concepts of planning and design and includes a DVD featuring the episodes Curious George's Home for Pigeons and Curious George and the Dam Builders, with an emphasis on simple engineering concepts. Children can enjoy the story and episodes wherever they go!

Also coming in January 2012, Curious George Colors Eggs ($12.99; Ages 4-8). Curious George explores the wonderful world of colors but can he do it without getting messy? This early reader includes two activities that explore primary and secondary colors.

Clearly this is the year of Curious George! Even though both of my daughters have liked a variety of characters and shows over the years, their love for Curious George has continually remained strong. I admit that even I have a fondness for this fuzzy brown monkey and can't help but want to see what mischief he gets himself in and out of each time.

I love the fact that the show is completely appropriate for children, always has a positive moral and even has a real-life science, math or engineering lesson or activity at the end, showing how kids can take away the educational aspects each time. Needless to say, we've watched most every episode that has aired and we can't wait to stay tuned for the fun that is in store for Curious George and his friends this season and beyond!

(Other than the information and advanced screening copy of Curious George that I was sent from WGBH, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my opinion of this show.)


Brenda said...

My 4 year old son will be so happy to watch the new Curious George shows!