PBS Kids debuts a brand new episode of Curious George next Monday, February, 4th. The new episode includes two brand new shorts that teach some very valuable lessons about different kinds of safety. The first of the two new shorts in Monday’s new episode teaches about pet care and pet safety in “Where’s The Firedog?” The second of the new shorts couldn’t come at a better time as we enter the homestretch of Winter and the annual flu season. “Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye” re-introduces the blues-singing germ, Toots. It teaches young viewers about health safety and ways to keep from spreading germs and especially germs that can cause colds and the flu.
The first half of Monday’s new episodes introduces two brand new friends to George. He meets Blaze the firehouse dog and his fellow probationary, Sam. One of Sam’s tests to pass is to keep Blaze from running away, as that’s the biggest problem that Blaze has; he likes to run off, causing Sam to have to chase him. Eventually it leads Blaze to be caught by the dogcatcher and sent to the local animal shelter. This is where kids and parents can learn a valuable lesson together. Sam and George pick up Blaze and in order to keep him from being caught again, they take him to the local pet shop to get a leash and his very own collar and dog tag. The tag has Blaze’s name, Sam’s name and all the information to the firehouse including phone number. This is a very important lesson to teach young viewers; especially young viewers who might be first time pet owners. An equally valuable lesson taught is that some dogs do better with others. In the end, it turns out that it was Blaze wanting to connect with another dog that was leading him to run out. So instead of one dog, the firehouse welcomed two dogs. And thanks to that, not only did Blaze stay at the firehouse, but Sam also become a full fledged firefighter.
In short, the first half of this episode teaches younger viewers the importance of being a responsible pet owner. Pet owners have to keep track of their pets to keep their pets safe and keep them from being taken to a shelter. The weather across the country will be turning warmer in the next couple of months. So what better time than before the weather gets warm to teach potential new pet owners about being responsible and keeping their pets safe and keeping track of them?
The second half of Monday’s new episode is equally well timed, as the nation is coming down the home stretch of Winter and its associated flu season. When the man in the yellow hate comes down with the flu, George tries to help him get better. When George nearly eats from the same spoon that the man had just used, George learns about how germs spread and how to keep them from spreading. Along the way, there’s a dream sequence that leads George to chase down an old foe named Toots. Toots is a germ whose only goal is to make everyone sick. George has to stop Toots from infecting everybody around the man. Kids learn two very important ways to prevent the spread of germs in this short. One is obvious. The other one is more subtle. The more obvious way in which George learns to keep germs from spreading is through washing his hands. The other way is more subtle. As the doctor comes to visit the man in the yellow hat, he sneezes. Rather than sneezing into his hands, the man sneezes into his sleeve. This is the more commonly used manner to keep germs from spreading if one doesn’t have a tissue immediately at hand. As subtle as it is, this is in itself just as important for young viewers to learn, so that they can help prevent the spread of germs both at home and at school.
The lessons taught in both halves of Monday’s new episode teach some very important lessons to viewers. They’re lessons that offer excellent opportunities for both parents and teachers to use as discussion points with children. Given they cover different topics. But there is one theme that runs through both episodes. That central theme is responsibility. Responsible pet ownership keeps pets safe. And responsible personal hygiene care keeps a person and everyone around said person safe and healthy. It makes for one more wonderful reason for kids and their parents and even teachers to sit down and check out Monday’s new episode of Curious George. Viewers should check their local listings for exact air times for Monday’s new episode. And to keep up with all the latest from Curious George and other PBS Kids shows, parents and kids can “Like” the PBS Kids Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PBSKIDS.
To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.