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Wishbone

Facts

Aired: Oct. 9, 1995
Network: PBS
Target Audience: 6 to 11 years old

Review

Wishbone and his best friend Joe go everywhere together. In each episode, Wishbone relates what is going on in Joe’s life, to one of the classic works of children’s literature. The short-hair Jack Russell Terrier is the narrator of the story and also plays the role of one of the characters in the book. The show continually switches back and forth between "real life" and the book being highlighted in that particular episode.

At the end of the show Wishbone shows how a scene from that episode was made. For example, he talked about how the fighting scene from Robin Hood was completely plotted-out and rehearsed so that it would appear there were injuries, but no one would actually get hurt. This is a great way to let kids know that not everything you see on TV is real.

The show is done quite well. It really gets the message across that just because the words in the books were written a long time ago, it does not mean that they can’t relate to anything we would experience today. It shows the inherit similarities between human beings no matter what the date in history.

Unfortunately, the producers are a little off when it comes to the intended audience of this show. A target audience of children from about 10 to 14 years old would be ideal. This is the age group that the stars of the show are in, and the books that Wishbone talks about are a little too advanced for most 6 to 11 year olds. Books like ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and Robin Hood are not typically in the elementary school curriculum. However, for the older of the two age groups, WISHBONE is a wonderful introduction to childhood classics.

Point of Interest: Two paws up for the Jack Russell who plays Wishbone. This dog is unbelievably well mannered considering the elaborate costumes he must wear while playing the role from the book. Great job to him and his trainer!

Wishbone Online

http://www.pbs.org/wishbone/index.html
This is a nice page, but it’s not very colorful. It does, however, have the most adorable picture of Wishbone! Movement throughout the site is easy, and there’s a lot to check out. There’s even a page with Jack Russell Terrier facts on it.

 

All images used throughout this site are the sole property of their respective copyright holders and are used here without permission.


by Amber Renee Ford, University of Florida College of Journalism and Mass Communications
project for MMC 5015 Electronic Publishing, Fall 1998, Professor David Carlson
page last updated 12/03/98
E-mail Amber at arford@ufl.edu