In this week’s post I’m going to do something I don’t often do: plug a kids’ TV show.
The show is Wishbone, an American half-hour live-action children’s show produced from 1995 to 1997. It was originally broadcast on PBS and won four Daytime Emmys, a Peabody Award, and honors from the Television Critics Association. (You can still find both seasons on YouTube.)
The show’s title character is a lovable Jack Russell Terrier. Wishbone lives with his owner Joe Talbot in the fictional town of Oakdale, Texas. He is a well-read, pleasant and brave dog who sees parallels between classic literature and the dilemmas he and his human friends face every day—and we see him, in his imagination, playing roles in these stories.
Larry McMurtry, who has written more than 30 novels, is big on Wishbone, praising the “huge success [of the show]…in which a small debonair dog finds his way into the great stories of literature: The Odyssey, Don Quixote, Dickens, Stevenson.”
McMurtry continues: “The concentration with which children watch Wishbone should go a ways toward reassuring those who feel that literature is losing out in the competition for the attention of the coming generation.”
The show also inspired several book series. Altogether, more than fifty books have featured Wishbone, which continued to be published even after the TV series ended production. In 1998, the TV movie Wishbone’s Dog Days of the West was aired.
So check it out! It’s one way to introduce kids to some of the great works of literature.