Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Super Special Days
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55 of 58 found the following review helpful:
Great show for preschoolers Sep 04, 2008
By J. Hoffman
This Nick Jr show is great. My son likes it as much as Dora. Each episode is interactive (I think even more than other shows, like Dora)--Kai-Lan gets viewers involved with things like helping her count or pick out certain colors or shapes. A few physical movements (reaching for things, etc) are promoted too. But the primary plus is how it focuses on social and emotional development--one episode has a theme of managing anger, another of helping out your friends, etc. And the song that is interwoven throughout the episodes (the words change for each episode, but the tune is the same) is quite catchy. And I have learned a few Mandarin words!
Dragonboat Festival -- Rintoo gets angry when he loses a dragonboat race. Kai-lan helps him calm down so they can all meet Mr. Dragon at the end of the festival.
Beach Day -- On a trip to the beach, Tolee gets mad when the waves knock over his sand castle, so the others help him calm down and together they build a better castle.
Twirly Whirly Flyers -- While playing near an ant city with Twirly Whirly flowers, Tolee accidentally break the ants' bridge. Kai-lan and her friends help the ants repair it.
Everybody's Hat Parade -- Kai-lan and friends make hats and prepare for a special parade, but Rintoo is upset when Hoho copies his design, and Kai-lan must find a way to calm him so the parade can go on.
45 of 47 found the following review helpful:
Crazy good for your kid to learn how to deal with frustration Oct 12, 2008
Until now, if you were, say, a 1st-generation Chinese parent who wanted their 2nd-generation, fully-immersed kid to watch Chinese DVDs targeted at English-speaking kids, you had to suffer through a few noble but failed attempts: Bao Bei the Panda is a notable example, Jade goes to Kindergarten is a little better.
This is great for Chinese language, though not for the vocabulary, but mostly because they use crazy-hard words like "Xue" and other tongue-rolling Chinese sounds and my kid picked it up spontaneously. Of course, we thought she was swearing at first, but turns out she was saying the word for shoe (or more appropriately, the word for slippers/sandals).
Anyhow, that's not the best part of these videos, which is a refreshing surprise. While Dora, Diego, and Blue all teach your kid to basically follow a three-part mystery, and prepare them for a lifetime of watching CSI or Law & Order, Kai Lan and her friends teach them much more valuable lessons.
What seems like Chinese Dora is not that at all -- it's really geared at teaching how to deal with tough situations for kids, like when it's raining, or if they're angry about something, etc. The only other children's series I've seen come close to this is Thomas the Tank Engine (where the trains often wind up embarassed at their behavior when frustrated) and Sesame Street (where it often takes a human being to point out to Elmo or Zoe that they're being unreasonable. Again). But Kai Lan convinces her friends to calm down, find things to do when it's raining, etc. (Notably, some episodes are better examples than others; I went to iTunes to grab the episodes not on this DVD).
If you're debating whether or not to get this DVD, just get it. There's so much to be said for it, and very little to be said against it. It stands up to repeated viewings (because Chinese is so difficult to learn to American ears), and the stories are actually emotionally educational. At first blush, it's a wannabe Dora. But after you watch it a few times -- and if your kid has two eyes and two ears, they will force you to watch it more than a few times -- you'll realize that Kai Lan has created a super special place of her own in the pantheon of kids' TV programming.
25 of 30 found the following review helpful:
Great show but warning on some of the behavior of the characters May 10, 2009
By Michael Chung
In Ni Hao Kai-Lan Super Special Days, I like the idea of a Chinese kid's show teaching a few Chinese words here and there, but the goal of the show is not to teach a new language. It's about a Chinese girl and her adventures with her friends and family while introducing a few Chinese words. It's similar to Dora and her adventures while teaching a few Spanish words.
My kids (twin boys-5 years, girl-3 years), especially my daughter, enjoy the show very much. There are lessons to be learned about being polite, calming down when you're angry, helping friends, being creative, and having fun. However, because there's a lesson to be learned, one of the characters has to act naughty before he learns to behave....that's where the trouble begins for me.
Of course this could happen in any child's video, but for some reason my kids mimic all the bad behavior exhibited in the Ni Hao Kailan videos. For example, in the Dragonboat Festival, Rintoo is "so mad" when he doesn't win the boat race. He goes around saying "I'm so mad" and kicks the boat. Luckily he does learn to calm down and eventually wins a race, but my children now often say "I'm so mad" and kicks things. Rintoo also has a fit on Beach Day when his castle gets destroyed. Once again my kids act that out as well. In Everybody's Hat Parade, Rintoo gets angry when his friend copies his hat design but eventually learns it's a compliment. Unfortunately now my kids sometimes say "he's copying me" when they get the same flavor ice cream or something else where there are only a few choices.
Needless to say, this behavior is annoying and I can only attribute their learning it from watching the Ni Hao Kailan show because my kids are generally well behaved. This problem may be isolated to only my kids, but I wanted to give parents a warning because of my experience.
I don't let the kids watch the show as often now, but when I do I try to emphasize the good behavior. I like the show because the lead character is a girl and can be a role model of little girls. However, for me the bad behavior in the show negates most of the positive messages.
I did buy the next DVD called "Celebrate with Kai-Lan" and the bad behavior continued. I'll address that in a short review for that DVD.
I will probably buy future Ni Hao Kai-Lan DVDs but will screen them carefully before showing them to my kids.
10 of 11 found the following review helpful:
My Daughter's Favorite Show Sep 04, 2008
I think it's cute, and my daughter actually interacts with it. She really can't get enough of it. It endorses emotional intelligence while teaching some Mandarin words. I keep hearing my daughter saying "dig" or "Thank you" or "push" in Mandarin. Kai-Lan is always careful to stop and figure out why her friends act the way they do and takes the time to help them to solve their problems. I love it because she loves it, and I think they are doing a great job. I wish they'd make some toys, though.
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
a native's point of view Nov 20, 2011
By amazon's fan
I'm a native Mandarin teacher for young pre-schoolers up to high school students. Per my students' recommendations, I was excited to see the show.
The good news is...it's very well done and is an attention-catcher for young learners.
My biggest issue is...how educational it is for kids who spend time watching it?
Each episode mentions a few words that do not correlate to one another, like Hello and Grandpa. And when the other animals that come into the scene, they were clearly all named with American names, except this monkey "Hoho," which sounded very funny to me. Ho-Zi is monkey. If "Hoho" had been named "Ho-Er" instead, it would have been much more appropriate.
Also, too much English in the show that could have been easily replaced with some Mandarin words.
The sound of the Mandarin words are not clear or slow enough for new learners. When a language teacher teaches new words, it is very important to dissect the sounds slowly and clearly. When I watched the show, I didn't feel that the pronunciation was even standard or clear enough.
So, my opinion is this show is really more entertaining than educational.
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