Barney & Friends “Big Brother Rusty: China” Episode
"Big Brother Rusty: China" Episode Wrap Up
The "Big Brother Rusty: China" episode of Barney & Friends first premiered on PBS on September 8, 2009. This episode starts with them playing I Spy. It leads to them singing a song about shapes. As they finish the song Baby Bop and BJ arrive with BJ not wanting to have a tea party with Baby Bop. The others do want to join because they are going to fly the kite they made, which is something BJ would much rather do. Rusty does not want to do either, as he is reading up on China.
Baby Bop asks why he is reading about China. Rusty is reading about China because his parents are adopting a girl from China to be his little sister. BJ offers to help teach Rusty how to be a big brother, which leads to him breaking into song. After the song two of the kids go off to fly a kite.
Barney suggests they look at the computer for Rusty to learn more about China. This includes a map of China, showing the Great Wall, and a Panda. Barney then shows some things from China that are in the Caboose. This includes kites and a lion statue.
Barney then suggests taking a trip to China with a little imagination and Barney’s Travel Book. They arrive in China for the Chinese New Year celebration just in time to see the lion dance, which brings luck and happiness. Barney then introduces them to a friend in China and she explains about the red envelope gift for good luck and food for prosperity, such as almond cookies and lychee nuts. Baby Bop thinks it is like a tea party, which leads to a Barney song about a tea party with scenes of other kids.
Next they are invited to help make lanterns. Barney shows how to make lanterns out of red paper, which is the color of good luck in China. While they decorate their lanterns a song is sung about making things and shows scenes of kids making different things.
It is then time for the puppet show. Barney is asked to help tell the story. The puppet show is about a nightingale and her brother telling her to always sing the opposite of what she was singing. The emperor did not like what the nightingale sang until she went back to her original song. BJ then gets mad at Baby Bop for being loud at the puppet show, which leads to him breaking her lantern. She then gets mad and they sing a song about her being mad and calming her down.
BJ then apologizes for being bossy to BJ. Rusty learns about siblings not always getting along, but they still love each other. There is then a song about family before they go back to the Caboose. Their friend in China gives Rusty a lantern with the word Sister in Chinese and another with the word Love in Chinese. She also teaches them how to say Thank You in Chinese.
Back at the Caboose Rusty meets his new sister Mayling. He gives her the sister lantern. The episode then ends with the traditional “I Love You” song. The last scenes are of Barney showing pictures of the Chinese New Year’s festivities in China.
Overall this is a fun episode for Barney fans to learn more about another culture from. Sure preschoolers can learn way more about China and Chinese culture from Nick Jr.’s Ni Hao, Kai-lan show, but it seems that the show appeals more to girls than boys. This particular episode is also a good intro to Chinese culture and is a little more appealing to both genders. The episode also teaches about being good big brothers and just general sibling relations.