Picks and Pans Review: The Year's Best New Kids' Shows
>• Longtime favorites Diego, Elmo and SpongeBob are still going strong, but the latest crop of shows aiming to grab your kids’ eyeballs introduces some new faces—along with a few familiar ones.
DINOSAUR TRAIN (PBS)
Like most of PBS’s kids’ lineup, this series sneaks in a little learning—like how to tell a Pteranodon from a Troodon—amid the fun. Plus, there’s a subtle-but-sweet adoption message.
JUNGLE JUNCTION (DISNEY)
Strictly for the preschool set, this series combines kids’ love of animals and vehicles with critters on wheels—many of whom speak in British accents. Harmless, if a wee bit odd.
THE GARFIELD SHOW (CARTOON NETWORK)
The lasagna-obsessed comic-strip cat that many parents grew up reading over their cereal gets to woo a new generation. (No newspaper necessary, sadly.)
THE SUPERHERO SQUAD SHOW (CARTOON NETWORK)
The best of the bunch (especially if you’ve got hero-crazed boys), this playful take on Wolverine and pals thankfully tones down the violence.
THE FRESH BEAT BAND (NICKELODEON)
This is one of those kids’ shows in which everyone talks REALLY LOUDLY and no one blinks. Parents, be warned: The songs stick in your brain like half-chewed gummy worms to carpet.