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Super Why! Dr. Doolittle Episode
Review of "Dr. Doolittle" Episode
The “Dr. Doolittle” episode of Super Why! premiered on August 17, 2009 on PBS. The episode is inspired by the Dr. Doolittle books written by Hugh Lofting. The episode begins with Red getting a new puppy and having trouble figuring out what he needs when he is whining. The Super Readers get together to solve the problem of what the puppy needs. They decide to jump into the Dr. Doolittle book to find the answer.
In the Dr. Doolittle book they need to find eight letters to find out what the answer to what the puppy needs. The book is revealed to be the one they need because Doolittle is trying to understand what his farm animals want. Doolittle suddenly realizes he can talk to the animals. He discovers the animals want some exercise. Princess Pea then writes the word run with viewers being encouraged to help spell it, so that the animals can get out and run. Three super letters are then spotted (A, K, and E).
They next encounter Doolittle’s pet turtle. The turtle is hungry. Red comes to the rescue with her Wonder Words basket. A word pops out and viewers are encouraged to help sound out the word of what will help take care of the turtle’s hunger. After the turtle is fed some lettuce two more super letters are spotter (A and R).
Next they run into a question of What do these animals need? and the answer missing from the story. Doolittle talks to the pig and finds out that the pig is dirty and he is not happy. Viewers are then encouraged to help decide what the pig needs out of a list of tree things. The same is repeated to help out the cat and the dog. Out of the bath water the last three super letters are found (T, C, and E).
Now that they have all the letters they go back to the library to see the super story answer. The answer ends up being Take Care. It turns out that it is just take care of the puppy. Sorry, but it is kind of a big let down and totally obvious thing that even for kids seems like too simplistic of a problem solution.
Overall I think Super Why! is a decent show for kids to learn a little about reading from. However, this particular episodes is kind of a let down in problem solving with its solution. The show does do an okay job of capturing the essence of the what Dr. Doolittle is about in that he can talk to animals and bringing it into a younger kid format. The only issue, though, is that it represents the movie Dr. Doolittle who just suddenly has the magical skill and not the book version of Dr. Doolittle, who worked hard to learn the different animal languages to communicate with the animals. Perhaps, though, the episode can at least interest kids in reading the actual Dr. Doolittle books.