What Dora's Doing For Her 10th Birthday

Dora the Explorer is about to throw herself a birthday party so big, it'll make Puff Daddy jealous. For Dora's 10th anniversary year, Nickelodeon is launching a new online, on-air, and everywhere else campaign called "Beyond the Backpack," which aims to prepare preschoolers socially, emotionally, academically -- and no doubt, bilingually -- for school.

Salma Hayek
and Childrens' Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman have signed on as partners, and will appear together in a public service announcement. An obligatory website, dorabeyondthebackpack.com, will launch in April.

The Big Orange is celebrating Dora's birthday in more traditional ways, too, unwrapping four prime time specials, an original documentary, and new online content. The first special, "Swiper the Explorer," airs March 21. Both the documentary and the one-hour "Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure"  will air in August. Don't expect too much from the documentary -- I hear Dora's very tight-lipped about her pre-Explorer past.

I've given the cheeky chiquita a hard time in past blogs -- the show becomes simply intolerable once you pass a magic age -- but I'm certainly not going to be mean on her birthday.

So Feliz Cumpleanos, Dora! Now, what do you get the animated, effervescent, monkey-loving, click-happy latina girl who seems to have everything?

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