Photo Credit: PBS
How many lives does The Cat in the Hat have? Well, at least one more come Labor Day. That’s when PBS launches The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, an animated series for preschoolers featuring the voice of Martin Short (I always thought Short's Ed Grimley sounded vaguely Cat-like).
While it may not completely erase the memory of Mike Myers' 2003 creepy film version, this Cat takes a new educational direction, exploring natural sciences with Nick and Sally. Along for the ride, of course, are the Fish, and Things 1 and 2.
If you can't wait until September for your Cat in the Hat fix, I recommend The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, a puppet-based series from Jim Henson which aired on Nickelodeon in 1996. I worked at Nickelodeon Online during the show's launch, and we had a splenderific time writing most of the material in Seussian verse (though we discovered few things that rhyme with "hyperlink"). You can find the series at most video stores -- not just the ones you saw on Mulberry Street.
With emphases on exploring, creative language, basic science, and humor, Dr. Seuss' tales are natural conduits for early education. The original 1957 book was actually a challenge taken on by Theodore Geisel to write an engaging childrens story using over 200 words they were learning in school. Before this, "Dick and Jane" books were considered quality entertainment.
I'm thrilled to see PBS and Random House partnering on this science project (at the very least, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That will teach kids that "alot" is not a real word) and wish the Cat many more lives to come.