Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Between the Lions

Between the Lions

Spring 2010 Television
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
Network: PBS
Between the Lions is a PBS kids' program designed for viewers aged 3 to 7 - although kids on the younger end of that range are probably more likely to be drawn to the show's puppet format.

The main characters are lion cubs Lionel and Leona, who are joined in various skits throughout the half hour by a variety of friends, all of them fascinated by what can be discovered in the pages of a book. Each episode includes short live-action segments and animated spots, as well as segments in which the lions read a children's book aloud. These segments are among the best in the program, reinforcing lessons in vocabulary, letter sounds, and definitions with simple animation bringing the actual book illustrations to life. To encourage independent reading, the story's text also appears on the screen with a kind of "follow the bouncing ball" light technique to spotlight each word.

The program hasn't tampered much with its formula since it premiered and with good reason: Between the Lions has an easy rhythm and smart charm to keep kids interested in reading at a crucial age in their development.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

Look for this product at:
WGBH Educational Foundation

Share This