Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
This PBS Kids series is a delightful take on teaching kids about history by focusing on the people who made history. Stories follow young Xavier, his sister Yadina, and friend Brad, as they encounter problems, then search for solutions at a Secret Museum. This museum gives them the ability to travel through time and meet historical figures, but here’s the twist: They meet them when they were kids, too! It’s a novel and relatable way to teach kids about the virtues and character traits it takes to succeed.
They meet famed female aviator Amelia Earhart in Kansas, circa 1904, for a lesson in overcoming fears. Amelia’s determination inspires Brad to take the training wheels off his bicycle. When Xavier’s sister is bored with her toys, they time-travel to 1817 and meet author Charles Dickens to learn that using your imagination makes everything more fun. Another poignant episode features young Helen Keller and her teacher Anne, circa 1887, and together they inspire Yadina to be persistent and seek new learning strategies as she struggles to read.
According to press information, this program is intended to “[show kids] they can be change-makers through the relatable stories of history’s most iconic figures.” The take-away message for kids is as clear as the lyrics in the rousing theme song: Every single boy and girl / has what it takes to change the world! With witty scripts, charming relatable characters and imaginative art direction, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum is solid gold.
Gina Catanzarite ©2020 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 14 Emmy® awards, 37 Emmy® nominations, a Matrix award, 3 Golden Quill awards, 2 Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.