Written by Caballero Oscuro
One of the newer shows in the PBS kids lineup is also one of their best from both educational and entertainment standpoints. Super Why! follows the adventures of four Super Reader friends who band together to solve storybook puzzles based on familiar titles such as Little Red Riding Hood. Although the show is only two years old, it has garnered significant recognition such as the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award and National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Preschool Children’s Series. It’s presented in an appealing format that will allow discerning parents to happily join in the viewing experience, unlike some other painful shows out there (I’m looking at you, Dora).
Each episode opens with the star character, a little boy named Whyatt, encountering a problem that needs solving with the help of his three friends: Alpha Pig with Alphabet Power, Wonder Red with Word Power, Princess Presto with Spelling Power. Whyatt, aka Super Why, has his own Power to Read and the characters frequently address the viewer for assistance as well, making your child Super YOU with the Power to Help. The four friends have their own vehicles called Why Flyers that allow them to enter the storybook of their choice where they interact with the characters while searching for Super Letters to help them solve the word puzzle of the day which also ties into the problem resolution.
The presentation of the program really shines, as it’s rendered in a colorful widescreen CG world that really pops in HD. It doesn’t feel like a cut-rate production in any way, and in fact can go toe-to-toe with the best of anything else on Nick Jr. or the Disney Channel. The character designs are well done and the vocal talent is perfectly matched to their animated avatars.