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NPR Kids Culture Series

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Children are huge consumers of culture, gobbling up TV shows, books, games, apps and movies for hours every day -- but deep critical looks at the images and ideas they come away with are few and far between. There's little discussion about what kinds of cultural messages the creators thought they were sending, or what kinds of conclusions your child could draw about race, class, gender roles and religious values.

NPR's Arts Desk puts a new critical focus on media for children with an extensive series that takes children and the ideas they encounter seriously. The segments go beyond ratings and sorting things into age-appropriate baskets and instead turn to thoughtful exploration of media for kids. Look for stories from Bob Mondello on the dominance of PG-rated movies, Laura Sydell on video games, Mandalit del Barco on licensing tie-ins for kids' movies, and Sonari Glinton on Matchbox cars.

Kids Culture Series

Children's Book Publishing
Morning Edition; Monday, June 17th
Scholastic profile. NPR's Lynn Neary reports.

How You Share
All Things Considered; Monday, June 17th
Today's teens have tons of ways to share their pictures and gossip. NPR's Sami Yenigun talks to teens about how they decide how to communicate via tech methods like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and texting. And the new trending use for Twitter? Planning for gatherings and parties where teens see each other face-to-face.

Race In Children's Shows
All Things Considered; Monday, June 24th
In animation, color (think the purple Muppets) and animals (think Mr. Pig) stand in for race. NPR's Claudine Ebeid reports.

Why Hello Kitty?
All Things Considered; Monday, June 24th
Hello Kitty has been huge in the U.S. for 40 years -- and she looks the same as she did in the '70s. Why is Japanese "cute" still cute? NPR's Zoe Chace reports.

The series airs across NPR's newsmagazines and includes digital coverage at NPR.org in June.