If you’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Rastamouse yet, he’s a new crime-fighting mouse (like we need another one of those, eh? Eh?) who has his own series on Cbeebies, starting this week. Here’s the official blurb on what he’s about, from Cbeebies themselves:
Stop-motion series featuring Rastamouse, Scratchy and Zoomer, crime-fighting special agents who solve mysteries and play in a reggae band.
I’ve been mulling it over for a few days now, and my opinion of Rastamouse (or should I say, what little of it I’ve seen so far) has gone through several evolutions… I’m not sure I’ve even formulated my overall opinion yet, but a few things struck me that I thought I’d share – mainly because I’m keen to hear other people’s opinions on it too:
Firstly, I think it’s great that the BBC are once again branching out and sticking their ‘inclusiveness’ hats on by showing a show featuring cultural groups you don’t see as often (if at all) on kids TV. Cbeebies in general do quite a good job of this, along with the excellent efforts they make to be inclusive to people with disabilities. So another ‘inclusive’ program definitely works for me.
The thing that worries me a little, tiny-weeny bit though, is the language used in Rastamouse, and what effect it might have on a young child’s developing language skills. I should clarify that by ‘young’ I don’t mean 4, 5, 6 or even 7 year old kids (the limit of Cbeebies target audience, if the birthday song is to be believed…?) – I mean children my son’s age, of 3 or under.
And by language I don’t mean swearing – I’m assuming there won’t be too much effing-and-jeffing in the Easy Crew… I mean stuff like the following – all lines of dialog from the only episode I’ve seen so far:
“This is cool! But the only ting missing is…me breakfast!”
“Why you always tinking about your stomach, bwoy?”
“You hold de rhythm until me get back”
Now, I want to make VERY clear that I’m not trying to be a grammar nazi, a language snob or – worse still – a racist here. I’m just unsure of whether watching this is going to help my two-year-old son’s rapidly-developing language skills, at such a crucial (pun intended) stage of their development.
I *will* admit that I can be a tiny bit of a grammar snob at times – I can’t stand words like ‘innit’, for instance, and don’t want Robert (my son) to start using them if at all possible. But you can usually be reasonably sure that young children’s TV shows are going to steer a straight course where grammar and language are concerned.
As you can probably tell, I’m wrestling with this one quite a bit, so I’m completely prepared to a) be proven completely wrong, b) realise it’s not actually an issue and relax or c) stop caring. Ha ha! But I’m keen to know what other parents think about this sort of thing. Am I the only one worrying about it? Should I just chillax a bit, grandad? : D Let me know in the comments!