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

Peg + Cat

Peg + Cat

Spring 2015 Television
Ages: 3 - 5 yrs.
Rating: TV Y

Peg + Cat might well be the most joyous celebration of mathematics ever conceived. Little viewers ages 3 - 5 will happily follow the adventures of bold Peg and her sprightly cat (named, suitably, Cat), a pair of self-proclaimed super-heroes, as they protect the city of Mathtropolis. They tackle crises head-on, using basic math skills to make it all work out.

Kids will be hooked from the opening notes of the theme song Peg plucks out on her ukulele. After that, each half-hour program presents two short stories featuring simple predicaments even very young viewers can grasp. In "The Arch Villain Problem," Peg takes on a bad guy who has turned every shape in the city into a curvy arch (he's an arch villain, get it??) and it takes reasoning and some simple geometry concepts to restore order. In "The Sushi Problem," tracking down missing fish means gathering and evaluating data to reveal the identity of the thief. And in "The Pirate Puzzle Problem," everyone works together to calculate shapes and complete a puzzle-math instruction that also weaves in a lesson about the value of teamwork.

Cheerful musical interludes help pace each story, and the art direction is top-notch, with backgrounds built around subtle shapes and graph paper. Best of all, the script is peppered with a refreshing mix of clever word-play, stylish dialogue, and useful vocabulary definitions.

Peg + Cat provides some much-needed rebranding for mathematics, which, for far too long now, has gotten a bad rap as "boring," "hard," or too theoretical. Thanks to Peg, Cat, and their friends, math is revealed for what it is: The language of creative problem-solving, and a way to see patterns that lead us to more efficient and effective solutions for life's daily challenges.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2015 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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