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Nearly seven years into the parenting realm, and being completely immersed in family media nearly 24/7, I've developed a pretty good gauge for what's gonna be big, and what will fall flat when it comes to children's programming. I've said for the past few years that I think we're living in the best time ever to be either a parent or a child when it comes to televised (including streaming) content, with increased competition from both new platforms and reinvigorated players in the game creating an environment where everyone is forced to "do better," and that's continued into 2016. From NBCUniversal's Sprout Channel (for whom I contributed to their since-shuttered Sprout Parents website prior to their buyout awhile back) comes a curious new show called FLOOGALS, and with its official premiere happening this Saturday, I'm telling you right now: This will be one of your preschooler's new favorite shows.

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We're keeping the preschool (and Sprout!) vibe going for two days in a row here on my annual 31 Days of Halloween with PAJANIMALS: SPOOKY COSTUMES, a new DVD from NCircle Entertainment. On this specially-priced DVD, Cowbella is nervous about trick or treating because she doesn’t like all the scary vampires and zombies she saw at a party.  A trip to Storybook Land reveals that those vampires and werewolves are just costumes that the big kids wear to have fun, just like her pretty princess costume!

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For the past six years, Sprout has been a fixture in our home. For a short time, prior to the channel's complete transition into a subsidiary of NBC Universal, I even did some writing for SproutOnline as a member of their "Kindness Crew" (posts lost due to their redesign, but rescued here & here). At the heart of Sprout is a little chicken named Chica, and she's been a big celebrity here in our house - big enough that I had a custom puppet replica made before Chica plush was officially available, and at one point I took Addie to meet Carly and Chica in-person. So what does this have to do with Halloween? This year, the folks at NCircle Entertainment have released THE CHICA SHOW: CHICA'S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE on DVD, and that new release lands here in my annual 31 Days of Halloween countdown...

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Today, The Jim Henson Company celebrates its 60th Anniversary on what would've been the 79th birthday of its legendary founder. With a legacy that now spans four generations of fans, The Jim Henson Company continues to produce excellent entertainment for children and families through programs like DOOZERS (based on the world established in FRAGGLE ROCK), DINOSAUR TRAIN, SID THE SCIENCE KID, PAJANIMALS and more - all under the leadership of his children, Lisa and Brian. While no longer produced under The Jim Henson Company, his iconic characters such as The Sesame Street Muppets and the familiar cast of THE MUPPET SHOW live on as well under Sesame Workshop and Disney. In honor of this legacy, THE ROCK FATHER Magazine and The Jim Henson Company are giving readers a chance to win a fantastic assortment of Fall and Halloween-themed items from some of Henson's current properties. One (1) winner will receive four (4) DVDs, two (2) Ready-to-Read DOOZERS books, and a hardcover from the ENCHANTED SISTERS!

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Poppy CatTHE ROCK FATHER is a paid member of the POPPY CAT U.S. Network...

The second season of POPPY CAT kicks-off tomorrow on Sprout, and with a seasonally-spiced theme, a preview of "Halloween Woods" lands here on THE ROCK FATHER for Day 24 of my annual 31 Days of Halloween. We checked out an advance of the episode this week (it's super-cute), and you could say that it was sort of inspiring for us, as the girls requested that Daddy draw them a Poppy Cat... so I did, entirely out of crayon...

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PBS KIDS VIPAt this point it's hard to believe that just five years ago, I'd never heard of CAILLOU. It was that one day when we were still living in an apartment with newborn Addie when we happened to come across the show on Sprout - her little baby eyes immediately drawn to the little guy. Like the "Charlie Brown" of a new generation, CAILLOU would soon be revealed to be a very divisive little guy, one as equally loved as he is loathed (a very trendy bandwagon to hop), but a fantastic, and educational show based on the series of books by Chouette Publishing. When our family moved and established what would become known as Rock Father HQ, CAILLOU became an even more regular thing, watched daily on PBS KIDS (and Sprout), and then again experienced through the books, toys and puzzles. Now, in celebration of the character's 25th Anniversary, PBS Distribution and DHX Media have released a special-edition of CAILLOU'S FAMILY FAVORITES, a DVD of classic episodes paired with a double-length soft-cover companion book housed in an attractive, flip-cover box (perfect for the upcoming Holiday gift season) with a foil-embossed logo.

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