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

Tumble Leaf

Tumble Leaf

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

Tumble Leaf is an original series from Amazon Studios that premiered in May of 2014. It's designed for preschoolers and is available to view online at Amazon Instant Videos. This inventive program exhibits some genuinely spectacular stop-motion photography.

Each half-hour program includes two separate stories, following the adventures of a little fox named Fig. He lives in the community of Tumble Leaf, which just happens to be the site of a magnificent abandoned shipwreck. Stories focus on Fox, his best friend (a caterpillar named Stick) and their pals as they explore the wreckage (which he calls "the finding place") and they all end up learning interesting facts about the mechanics of the items they discover. Balls, buckets, spyglasses, magnets - a world of discovery opens to Fig every time he finds a new treasure. It's a fanciful way to teach science and engineering concepts and Tumble Leaf deserves praise for making STEM educational programming so visually engaging.

In the episode "Fig Flies a Kite," Fig studies a butterfly and a balloon to help him understand science concepts that will get his own kite up in the air. In "Magnifying Glass," Fig and his friends learn that life is all about perspective; the world includes spectacular sights when you take the time to look closely and a little differently.

Tumble Leaf is a lovely program, achieving the fine balance of being inventive, compelling and educational. It's aimed at preschoolers but don't be surprised if it continues to appeal to children in kindergarten and even early elementary school—inspiring them to wonder about the mechanics of the items in the many "the finding places" in the real world around them—and how scientific discovery can happen through play.

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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