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DVD Review: Caillou’s Family Favorites
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Caillou's Family Favorites  DVDCaillou’s Family Favorites
PBS/Paramount Home Video
Available February 26, 2008

Sometimes you don’t need a lot of flashy graphics or madcap zany mayhem to reach pre-schoolers and toddlers.

Sometimes, you just need simple stories and simple animation.

Caillou falls into the latter category. Caillou is a cartoon series based on the series of books by Christine L’Heureux and illustrator Hélène Desputeaux. In the series, Caillou is a 4-year-old who is learning while growing up, and getting into a little mischief but always learning his lesson in the end.
His family includes his mother Doris, father Boris, sister Rosie, and his Grandma and Grandpa. They help teach him about life and learning from his actions. The slogan of the show is “Growing Up Is The Greatest Adventure Of All” and anyone with small children knows that’s the truth!

PBS has recently released Caillou’s Family Favorites on DVD, which features four episodes of the TV series. That series, originally produced in Canada, has been on PBS since 2000 and is a mainstay on PBS channels and on Sprout, the PBS Kids cable and satellite network.

Caillou is a memorable character mainly because of his bald head. Though not as sad sack as Charlie Brown, you really cannot forget a 4-year-old boy with no hair. The stories are simple and sweet, with each show containing a few 5-minute self-contained tales.

This DVD contains four shows: “Caillou’s Surprise,” “People I Love,” “Captain Caillou,” and “Knowing How.” It also contains interactive games, bios of the characters, coloring pages, and some information for parents. These episodes are well chosen, as they showcase each of the family members and also show a lot of lessons that Caillou learns along the way.

“Captain Caillou” did make me jealous a bit because it showed Caillou and Grandpa racing sailboats in the pond at the park. I wanted to do that with them!

As for the show itself, it’s not flashy nor action packed. But the stories do hold the attention of toddlers and pre-schoolers and the animators do use a lot of colors in their work, which helps keep the attention of kids so they can follow the story.

My kids liked this DVD. Caillou isn’t their favorite — they normally don’t ask to watch it. But they do watch it if it is on, and they have asked to watch this DVD. In the eyes of a 2½-year-old and a 6-year-old, it’s a winner!

All in all, if you are tired of kids’ shows that are too grown up, sardonic, and not teaching along with entertaining, then invest in this DVD. I just hope that it doesn’t encourage kids to shave their head bald to be like Caillou.

1 Comment »

  1. I also hope it doesn’t teach kids to throw fits to get attention, as Caillou seems to do every episode. Maybe it was just my being sick of it after watching it every day.

    I have the same inexplicable dislike for Dragon Tales. “Why are you scared? You’re a dragon, all your friends are dragons, and YOU ARE THE BIGGEST DRAGON. BREATHE FIRE ON THE SCARY THING.”

    Comment by Michael Hoskins — March 3, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

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