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

Peg + Cat

Peg + Cat

Spring 2017 Television
Ages: 3 - 5 yrs.
Rating: TV Y

Quick, ask your child to come up with some adjectives to describe the study of mathematics. Did fun, lighthearted, and happy-go-lucky roll off his preschool tongue? If not, then sit down in front of a few episodes of Peg + Cat, a delightful animated half-hour series airing on PBS.

Simply put: Peg + Cat is outstanding. Each half-hour episode includes two separate stories that follow young Peg and her droll talking pet cat (named Cat) on an adventure that presents a problem of some kind.

In "The Tree By The Nile Problem," Peg and Cat are enjoying some down-time in ancient Egypt when an overzealous dancing camel catapults Cat to the top of a tree, a problem made worse when three crocodiles join him. Peg points out that panicking never makes a problem better and they reason their way through possible methods to get Cat down, pronto! Peg decides to construct a measuring instrument called a pan balance, explaining weights and balances in the process. Meanwhile, Cat distracts the crocodiles with a musical number called "The Pattern Dance." In an episode titled "The Dance Problem," famous real-life ballerina Misty Copeland gets animated - literally - and Peg can't wait to dance with her idol. But first, Peg has to clean her room, a task made easier when she sorts items by size, shape, and color. In another episode titled "Follow the Bouncing Ball," counting and world cultures collide as Cat chases a bouncing ball. As it bounces to different locales, the ball also bounces to 10 different world beats. In fact, you'll often see references to multiculturalism and an appreciation for diversity, as is the case in the episode "The Eid al-Adha Adventure." Peg is visiting friends Yasmine and Amir for their celebration of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday devoted to giving. Cat likes the idea of celebrating but he's a little concerned about this concept of giving because if he gives he won't, you know, have. In addition to the lesson about sharing, mathematics gets the nod when Peg helps her friends divide the party food into equal portions. Peg + Cat also includes pro-social lessons about kindness and teamwork; original tuneful musical components reinforce educational concepts.

With her trademark joyful personality, and the occasional song breaks, Peg uses skills such as reasoning, counting, grouping, making predictions, recognizing patterns, to find a solution to any problem she encounters. Peg explains the steps clearly and in such a friendly manner that young viewers will easily see just how things add up.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2017 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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