As most of you know, I am always reading. And because Weiss absolutely LOVES Sesame Street, I got the new book, "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street." It had received good reviews, and I agree: I cannot put it down!!! Being a former teacher, during my training, most of the educational material would praise Sesame Street and what it has done for children's television programming. It was originally conceived for urban minorities (hence, the more urbanized setting and the colorful cast). I love it because Weiss is learning from the characters, he is being exposed to people who are different from him, different languages, and even children with disabilities. AND Sesame Street is not unbearable for adults to watch; I get a kick out of the humor adults can catch, the celebrity guests who modify their music to teach a concept to the kids (a few seasons ago, Norah Jones was on and sang "Don't Know Y"), and the continually bantering duo of Bert and Ernie.
So I knew I would just HAVE to get my children to watch Sesame Street! And now, Weiss is obsessed with Elmo and his new favorite, "Yellow Bird" (aka Big Bird). (He cycles through favorites---one week it will be Cookie Monster, another week it is Bert, etc. His mainstay, however, is Elmo.) I do know he is learning from the shows (we don't really watch TV, only DVD) because he can count to ten, recognize all of the numbers from 1 to 10 and knows some letters at this point. He has most of his colors nailed, and we are working on shapes. I give much of this credit to Sesame Street shows AND products. He has some Sesame Street place mats with numbers and colors, and he looks at these several times each day. I really enjoy seeing him learn at this age.
I have always been a Jim Henson fan; as a young child, I loved the Muppets (Miss Piggy especially) and "Fraggle Rock." Unfortunately, the television stations in West Texas did not offer PBS, so I never really saw Sesame Street unless it was in a book or on VHS. (We finally got PBS when we got "Primestar" satellite---do any of you products of the 1980s remember this??? However, by that time, I was too old to enjoy learning from Sesame Street.) If you are a Sesame Street fan or want to know more about the "hows" and "whys" during its making, read this great book.