At a Washington, D.C. event, we saw a PBS display in the lobby, reminding Roger that the next season of Downton Abbey is only two months away (can it be that we’re on the third season already?) and alerting me to the fact that PBS has produced another Christmas special featuring The Cat in the Hat. This one is The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas!
PBS stations around the country are advertising the first airing dates on PBS KIDS, which will begin around November 21 and continue through December 2012. In this adventure, the Cat in the Hat takes Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home. The Thingamajigger breaks down, and they depend on a variety of animals–African bush elephants to bottlenose dolphins–to journey home. The press release promises “pull-out-all-the-stops musical numbers that will have families singing and celebrating all season long.” I can’t imagine anything as memorable as “Cat, Hat. In French–Chat, Chapeau.”
Barnes and Noble and other bookstores are advertising a new Little Golden Book titled, A Very Crabby Christmas, featuring the Cat in the Hat. Here’s the the plot. “The Cat in the Hat has just received a special invitation! He and Sally and Nick have been invited to Mervin the Crab’s Crab Christmas Ball on Christmas Island. But soon after the Thinga-ma-jigger lands on the island, chaos ensues when Crab Nine (aka Sandy) goes missing. Is Sandy lost or injured? Will the ball go on as planned? Only readers of the book will find out!” Strangely, the advertisement says that this story is loosely based on the new movie, but I don’t see much similarity.
In 2010, PBS released The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! holiday episode “Reindeer Games,” which helps children learn the science behind how reindeer use antlers to dig in the snow and find food. On the PBS website, children can play several interactive literacy, science and math games related to the popular series.
Old school to the core, I prefer the original Cat in the Hat books that were published in the 1950’s and early 60’s, including the original television special that aired in 1971. I can’t fault the current generation of children, though, for loving the big black and white cat as much as I did!