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Sunny Days: The Children's Television…
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Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America (2020. Auflage)

von David Kamp (Autor)

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594355,924 (3.93)2
Mitglied:pineappleshrub
Titel:Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America
Autoren:David Kamp (Autor)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 352 pages
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Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America von David Kamp

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  joyblue | Aug 15, 2021 |
As the subtitle suggests, Sunny Days chronicles the children’s television revolution that took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Television was still a fairly new medium and up to that point, kids’ shows had been shouty, slapstick shows like Howdy Doody or Soupy Sales. It had not occurred to anyone that television could be used to educate children. Educational programming began with the inception of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Sesame Street. Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was a gentle program, focused on children’s feelings and their inner selves, while Sesame Street was a fast paced program focused on preschoolers, specifically disadvantaged preschoolers, learning their letters, shapes and numbers. From there, children’s television took off with other shows such as Schoolhouse Rock! and Free to Be You and Me.

A good portion of Sunny Days is focused on Sesame Street, which makes sense because they started it all. I didn’t realize how much painstaking research went into developing the show before it started filming. It’s no accident that it’s so successful and that it actually does teach children. It’s amazing how progressive it was in the beginning years. I don’t think a children’s show could get away with showing a mother actually breastfeeding her child in today’s world, like Sesame Street did when Buffy nursed her son Cody and explained what she was doing to Big Bird. They also broke ground in terms of how diverse the cast was.

Even though most of the shows in this book other than Sesame Street were just a few years before my time, I still thoroughly enjoyed this history of children’s television. I bookmarked several things that I’m going to search for on YouTube so that hopefully I can see them for myself. The only problem I had with Sunny Days is that there are so many people – producers, writers, creators, etc. who are mentioned throughout that it was hard to keep track of who was who. I would have loved a list of people and their job descriptions for reference.

Even if you’re a young whippersnapper and you didn’t grow up watching these shows, I think you’ll still enjoy this book – especially if you have an interest in pop culture. Recommended. ( )
  mcelhra | Aug 6, 2020 |
In the early 1970s a group of people got together to create an experiment known as Children's Television. Their primary goal was to see if television could be used to better prepare disadvantaged preschoolers for kindergarten. They developed a number of shows designed to help children learn. They did this at a moment of monumental political and social change in the United States. They started a cultural revolution in which children were treated like thinking, reasoning individuals.
Kamp covers the history of those involved in creating this great experiment - the television executives, writers, actors, publishers, musician, directors, and producers. The shows that are discussed include: Captain Kangaroo, Mr Roger's Neighborhood, Sesame Street, The Electric Company, The Magic Garden, New Zoo Revue, Schoolhouse Rock, Free to be.., and my favorite, Zoom.
My favorite part - besides the chapter about Zoom - was learning about Ursula Nordstrom. Nordstrom is first mentioned in a chapter that discusses how children's television shows of the time lagged behind children's publishing in treating children as people. Ursula Nordstrom was a publisher and editor in The Department of Books for Boys and Girls at Harper & Row. Her goal was to publish books that "gave children credit for innate intelligence' and she liked to 'cultivate authors who took seriously the interior lives of children" She liked to say that she was publishing "Good books for bad children" while the rest of the industry was publishing parent approved bad books for good children. Among the books she is responsible for publishing are Harriet the Spy, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Giving Tree.
One sad note -- which I was unaware of, because I don't have children- is that Sesame Street has been bought by HBO and can now be seen exclusively on that cable pay-network. This potentially takes Sesame Street away from many of the disadvantaged preschoolers it was initially created to help. Children whose families can't afford HBO or a streaming service may never get to see Sesame Street.
I listened to this on audiobook. The narrator, David Sadzin, did an excellent job.
I bought this book after seeing a story in the paper based on the chapter about Zoom. The book did not disappoint, it held my interest throughout - and in audiobook format, that is unusual for me. Recommended. ( )
  VioletBramble | Jul 12, 2020 |
I bought this book without even doing my usual sampling preview, once I discovered it was not only about all of my favorite childhood TV shows, but was also written by the same author of THE UNITED STATED OF ARUGULA, one of my favorite metafood books.

It's about the wild creative atmosphere around educational children's programming in the late 60s and early 70s. Sesame Street, of course... Roosevelt Franklin... some Mr. Rogers... but I really liked all the coverage of the lesser-known local favorite, Magic Garden. And the shout-out to Joya's Fun School! I really liked Joya.

This book really pushed a lot of my memory buttons, but I think the weirdest trigger memory of all was when they covered "Berna-dette's" Zoom intro. Honestly whenever I hear the name "Bernadette" I tend to flash back to that intro; all I remembered was she did something with her arms while they played a kind of celeste-sounding musical bit. I didn't remember her being Chinese, or that the arm thing was supposed to give the illusion that she had no elbow joints or something. But they really spent a lot of time on it in the book, and now I know ALL about it. And it sent me back to watch some of the original Zoom show intro numbers, and OMG were they bad.

Speaking of bad, then there was the New Zoo Revue. I was very, very little when I used to watch and enjoy this show; and while probably none of the kiddie shows that I watched were true favorites with the parents and older brother in the house, I remember everyone PARTICULARLY hating on the New Zoo Revue. "They can't even sing," my mother protested, and I was little enough that this puzzled me. "They CAN sing," I argued. They were right there on the TV singing. But even in my memory I remember some really awful singing, something along the lines of "With Doug, and Emmy Jo, every day's a different shooooooow!" half-shouted and half-sung in a monotone.

Good times! Oh wait, I guess GOOD TIMES will be a different book altogether. ( )
  Tytania | Jun 15, 2020 |
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