Sunday, May 5, 2013

PBS airing brand new episodes of ARTHUR: May 6 - 10

Have you ever found yourself humming a tune to yourself at work or when you are out and about on an errand that you might be embarrassed if someone realized what it was?  I’ll admit it happens to me; in fact I seem to find myself singing the theme song to one of the cartoons my kids watch on television all the time.  You have to admit though that the Ziggy Marley reggae beat which serves as the theme song to ARTHUR is a great tune! Haven’t heard it? Take a listen:

ARTHUR is the second longest running cartoon in the United States behind The Simpsons and has been broadcast on PBS since 1996.  The show follows the youthful misadventures of an 8 year old aardvark named Arthur Read and his friends in their hometown of Elmwood City.  It’s a show that I can sit down as a parent to watch with my children and find it enjoyable and entertaining myself.  The stories for the episodes are really well written and they often include inside jokes that will make parents chuckle without the kids realizing something humorous is going on.  More importantly, the shows contain important educational messages and themes with teachable moments children can learn from while they are being entertained by the show. I am a big proponent of finding ways to incorporate FUN into learning as an educational tool.  I believe parents should be careful in limiting the amount of television that children watch, but also some tv programs like ARTHUR can be a beneficial experience for kids too and are a fun way to help your child with learning some life lessons.

In its 16 seasons on PBS, ARTHUR has approached some weighty subjects in an age appropriate manner for young children:  adoption, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, the death of a pet, dyslexia, and food allergies.  As the parent of a daughter with a severe food allergy, I really appreciated the episode “Binky Goes Nuts” which dealt with the topic of peanut allergies (watch it here or click on the video at the bottom of the post).  For more information on the educational elements of the show, CLICK HERE, for a great post on the PBS website written for teachers on how to utilize ARTHUR for their lesson plans.

Each half hour episode of ARTHUR is divided into two 15 minute stories.  New episodes of ARTHUR have been on hiatus since December 2012, but Season 16 continues from May 6 – 10, 2013 with 5 brand new episodes (10 stories).  This week ARTHUR will be addressing a new issue for its young audience, the topic of BULLYING.  As a kid, I was personally bullied to the extent that it still has negative consequences on my own self esteem and confidence. Based upon the incidents I experienced in my youth, I’ve devoted a significant portion of my professional career as an adult addressing the topic of reducing bullying in our society. So I am excited to see ARTHUR tackling this topic in its newest episodes!

Airing on Monday, May 6 in the story “The Last Tough Costumer” the school gang known as the “Tough Customers” realize it is time to stop bullying and find a new hobby.  But can their leader Molly ever truly change her ways?  Than the week concludes on Friday's episode with the story “So Funny I Forgot to Laugh” where Arthur thinks his jokes about Sue Ellen are in good fun but her feelings are hurt.  Has Arthur become a bully?!

Check out this clip from “So Funny I Forgot to Laugh” dealing with bullying:

According to PBS, other new episodes airing this week include:

“Brain’s Chess Mess”
Brain starts a chess club at school to improve his game and beat Los Dedos, the local chess master. Who knew the best player in the club would be…Rattles?!?
 “Baseball Blues”
It’s Grebelings season and George can’t wait to play! After all, no one knows more about baseball than George. But when he realizes knowledge of sinkers doesn’t guarantee success in the field, will he throw in the towel?
“Brain’s Biggest Blunder”
When Brain gets teamed with Buster and Binky in the annual Arithmattack competition, he immediately enrolls Buster in binomial boot camp. Can Brain transform Buster into a mathematic marvel? Or will he be forced to eat humble pi?
 “Buster’s Book Battle”
Lakewood Elementary has just instituted IRP; a program where kids can earn points (and prizes!) for reading. Buster’s thrilled and gets to work straight away! But will he earn enough points for a skateboard?
“On the Buster Scale”
Buster and Brain never agree on movies. Buster rates every film a 10+, while Brain doesn’t seem to like anything…Only one of them can be right…or so they think.
 “Fern and the Case of the Stolen Story”
The unthinkable has happened! Fern has writer’s block! Fortunately, Ladonna’s full of stories. Faced with a tight deadline, Fern decides to “borrow” the tales and simply change the names. Has Fern confused write and wrong?
Sue Ellen Vegges Out”
When Sue Ellen decides to stop eating meat, Muffy and Francine compete to be the best vegetarian. Can they successfully resist meat? Or was this a missed steak?
 “Best Day Ever”
It’s a beautiful afternoon and everyone is reminiscing about their “best days.” Everyone, that is, except Arthur. Is it possible he doesn’t have one?

ARTHUR is a top notch show with great writing and stories that delve into important issues that is both entertaining and educational.  If you haven’t seen the show before I encourage you to check it out.

For more information on ARTHUR visit

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