Odd Squad

Ages: 5 - 8Producer: The Fred Rogers Company

Odd Squad‘s secret government departments, cunning agents and ingenious inventions are cleverly calculated for viewers ages 5-8.

Mysteries and other-worldly occurrences occupy the Odd Squad agents, including Olivia and Otis, and their boss Ms. O. Their weapon-of-choice to solve mysteries and foil the bad guys? – mathematics. This live-action half-hour succeeds largely thanks to the kid actors, who adopt just the right tongue-in-cheek tone to pull off the odd premises. In one episode, the town gets covered in jam. In others, an illness called the Sillies afflicts the gang, and a blob infestation invades Odd Squad headquarters. Perhaps the solution lies in configuring shapes in a particular pattern. Or maybe the agents need to excel at spatial relations, or number operations, or measuring and comparing clues, or recognizing patterns. Despite the fanciful storylines, the skills demonstrated are clearly transferable to real life. For instance, in one story, agents are lost in a forest and they use a map to identify landmarks and navigate to safety. Special effects are used judiciously, and the production relies on smart visuals to make the math lessons concise and coherent.

Both witty and challenging, the series promotes STEM and the Maker Movement through puzzles, whodunits, and age-appropriate plotlines. Expect curious and adventurous kids to get on-board with the Odd Squad intrigue.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2019 Parents’ Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.