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TV Review: Ni Hao, Kai-Lan

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     Far from the rainforest of Go Diego Go or the ever-changing landscape of Dora The Explorer lives a sweet tempered girl named Kai-Lan. Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, a show on Nick Jr., has been on air since 2008 and is still airing episodes. In an increasingly globalized and shrinking world it was only time before another kid show premiered that taught a foreign language. Yet, unlike Go Diego Go and Dora The Explorer that teach kids Spanish, Ni Hao, Kai Lan teaches kids Mandarin Chinese.
     Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is about a girl named Kai-Lan who lives with her grandfather and loves to play with her friends Hoho, an adorable monkey who never listens, Tolee, a Koala bear that loves pandas, and Rintoo, an adventurous tiger.
     Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is a great learning tool for pre-schoolers. The show not only introduces kids to Chinese culture and language, but also teaches them how to deal with their emotions. For example, in each episode, Kai-Lan usually pauses and reflects on why one of her friends is upset and tries to figure out a solution to the problem or work things out. By reflecting on problems, the episodes teach kids how to interact better with each other.
    The characters on the show are also relatable to pre-schoolers and toddlers, because the characters on the show are about the same age as the viewers. The characters also have the same temperament as the viewers their age and face many of the same problems, like trouble listening or getting angry when you lose a race.

     The animation of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is impeccable. The show features engaging characters against a vibrant and colorful backdrop. The show also showcases catchy songs that are sure to grab your toddler’s attention.
     One flaw about the show is that the Mandarin Chinese spoken on the show is sometimes hard to follow. Unlike the Spanish language in Dora The Explorer, Chinese phrases are a little harder to grasp or remember. Most people can say “arriba,” but how many people can say “Gen Wa Lai?”
     Usually on the show only short phrases are said and repeated, so it is easy for the viewer to digest, but sometimes the characters say full sentences in Chinese to each other without an explanation of what they are saying. However, Nick Jr. does a great job at posting flash cards online so that children and their parents can follow along with the Chinese spoken on the show.
     In short, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is a delightful show with relatable and adorable characters. Unlike most shows for children, Ni Hao Kai-Lan is enjoyable for kids and adults. Ni Hao, Kai-Lan teaches children to be cultured, which is very important in today’s society, The show also teaches children a second language and how to solve their own problems. Ni Hao Kai-Lan is a must see show for any child.
     One recommendation for viewers of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is the children’s show, Team Umizoomi. Unlike Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Team Umizoomi deals with shapes and patterns, but has interesting and loveable characters just like Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.

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About Dana Henderson