Cartoons and the commercialization of childhood
Saturday morning cartoons was a rite of passage for many of us growing up in the USA in the 1980s. Smurfs, Transformers and even the WWF cartoon was on the docket each weekend. Yes, each of them were platforms for selling us cereal and toys, but it still stinks.
Last weekend PBS held "play dates" in Toys-R-Us stores in conjunction with its show "Super Why!" I love "Super Why!" because it has a black princess and Little Red Riding Hood is a rollerskating gal. It also gives new spins to classic fairy tales. It's one of the few shows that I don't cringe about when my almost-6-year-old asks for cartoon time.
But why hold a national play date in a toy store? Are they more accessible than a local library? Not even close! I'm not opposed to sponsored events since I know that sometimes it is the only way an event can happen. But surely Toys-R-Us could have sponsored events in libraries. What better way to promote literacy but to hold an event and let the kids sign up for their own library cards? Especially since "Super Why!" is holding a summer read-a-thon for kids.
I hope that the next sponsorship event for PBS Kids has something to do with Word Girl and maybe a dictionary for every kid.
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