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

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

Spring 2012 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Rating: TV Y

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! is a half-hour TV series airing on PBS, as well as in Canada and the U.K. Actor Martin Short voices the title role. The program is an animated interpretation of the book franchise The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library," first introduced by Random House when it launched its Beginner Book series in 1998.

Aimed at preschoolers, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! focuses on science and early learning concepts. Nick and Sally are the little kids lucky enough to live next door to the Cat in the Hat. When they ask questions, the Cat whisks them away in his magical flying machine so that they can all discover the answers together. Fish and mischievous pals Thing 1 and Thing 2 often join them, and whether the adventure takes the crew to the bottom of the sea or to an unexplored corner of the back yard, young viewers will be exposed to interesting science facts in a fun and memorable way. Some of the facts are quite basic-it's dark at the bottom of the sea because the sun doesn't shine that far down - and others are very advanced. For instance, during a study of tiny living things, we learn that paramecium are the most commonly observed protozoans - but we learn it through a peppy little song called "Pete the Paramecium."

The complexity of some of the subject matter may leave parents wondering if any of it is sinking in, but in the end, the show isn't really meant to be hard-core test prep. It's more about asking questions and celebrating curiosity, and with its bright, uncluttered animation and Short's delightful voice talent, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! will help kick-start preschoolers' interest in science education.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2012 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.

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