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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

WordGirl: My New Favorite PBS Show

Over the winter break, I discovered a new show and it quickly became my favorite show on PBS. The show is WordGirl, a show about Becky Botsford, a fifth grade girl who is secretly WordGirl, a superhero that fights crime around the city. Becky has a pet monkey Bob, and WordGirl has a monkey sidekick Captain Huggy Face. Though Becky looks and talks like WordGirl, and Bob looks and acts like Captain Huggy Face, somehow people never figured that out. WordGirl was from the planet Lexicon and was adopted by the Botsfords when her spaceship (piloted by Captain Huggy Face) crashed onto the Earth. The Botsfords, though living with Becky and Bob and never seen them appear together with WordGirl and Captain Huggy Face, do not know their secret identities.

Why do I love this show so much? For one thing, it has my favorite formula: silly crisis and silly solution. Well, silly for the sake of being silly is also not that impressive. The writing is quite creative, and in fact, quite clever. And they constantly make fun of themselves, which I also love. The narrator also talk to WordGirl a lot. The characters are quite silly too. Just reading the character descriptions about the villains alone on Wikipedia cracks me up:

The Butcher: A criminal with the ability to shoot any type of meat out of his hands. He has the strange habit of mixing up words (such as saying “sunbeam” instead of “supreme,” or “robbify” instead of “robbery”) or even whole phrases (“So, WordGirl, we meet again for the first time!”). This is a play on his name, as he tends to “butcher” the English language. The Butcher’s powers are nullified by tofu. In one episode, after tiring of being defeated by WordGirl, the Butcher chooses a very unlikely ally to help him out, a kitten. Because WordGirl has a love for cute animals, she was powerless against The Butcher and Lil’ Mittens (the kitten).

Granny May: A senior supervillain who pretends to be a sweet, deaf, elderly grandmother in order to deceive those she burglarizes. Her main weapons are knitting needles that shoot yarn, petrified purse mints that burn the eyes, strong-smelling perfume which acts as a sort of stink gas, and her giant but timid grandson Eugene; she can also produce a cutting-edge steel suit of armor with a jetpack to wear.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me wonder…
What? Who came up with all this? It’s so damn brilliant!

Here’s a taste of one of my favorite episode. You can find more on Youtube.

Now let’s all watch the show (provided that you are age 6 and up) and learn some new words.

Word up!!


  1. January 22nd, 2009 | 6:03 pm

    I’ll definitely have to check this one out. I need to learn some new words.

  2. January 23rd, 2009 | 1:39 am

    You must. It’s brilliant.

  3. January 23rd, 2009 | 2:53 pm

    I’ve never seen it but it sure sounds like a lot of fun. Silly, nonsensical shows and literature are really good for helping children develop language skills, so this is probably a great one for the little ones 😉

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..Flash Your Fiction: Writing Exercises

  4. January 23rd, 2009 | 5:34 pm

    Most people haven’t seen it, because the show is relatively new. In fact, most PBS stations don’t syndicate it yet. I happened to get it on one of our PBS channel and it has to be digital television also, not analog. It’s not seen by a lot of people yet but I think this show has so much potential. There’s a lot of wordplay too which is great for children’s language development.

    Also I happen to love nonsensical stuff. For example, I love Monty Python sketches more than many sitcoms out there.

  5. November 22nd, 2010 | 8:35 am

    My kids love Word Girl. They are 4 and 6 respectively and thoroughly enjoy the wordplay and energy that the show delivers. Good stuff!

    Nick Roberts’s last blog post..Happiness is a choice

  6. November 22nd, 2010 | 6:14 pm

    And I watch it for the same reasons… I guess. 😀

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