Who Inspired That Cartoon?

We know our kids’ favorite cartoon or storybook characters. We can list their names, tell their jokes, possibly even remember what they are usually wearing. But, do we know what inspired these lovable characters? Some of us might assume that the illustrated object of our child’s affection was created in a darkened computer studio somewhere in Hollywood, where children are simply test subjects and demographics. This might be the case for some children’s media, but a little research shows that many of today most loved characters were created for or inspired by real boys and girls just like our own.

Some examples:

Olivia the Pig- This rambunctious piglet makes mischief and fun everywhere she goes. Her creator, Ian Falconer, created the character as a gift for his brand new baby niece. The book was eventually picked up by a publishing house that had been impressed by Falconer’s work with The New Yorker. Today, Olivia is the star of various picture books, board books and gifts. Olivia toys can be purchased at many toy stores across the nation and she has her own animated television show on Nick Jr.!

Charlie and Lola- This is yet another television show adapted from popular children’s picture books. The characters are Charlie and his younger sister, Lola. Much of the stories surround the duo’s relationship and the everyday scenarios that most brothers and sisters encounter. The author, Lauren Child, was inspired to create the series of books after meeting a young, inquisitive stranger on a train in Denmark!

Thomas the Train- Although not based on an actual child, this very popular character comes from a series of train stories told, originally, from father to son at bedtime. Those stories—published as The Railway Series books—were developed into a British television show that eventually made its way through various adaptations and into the Thomas and Friends series that we all know and love.

 

It appears that inspiration is all around us! It might only be a matter of time until your lovable child becomes the next star of his own television series!

Gifts For A Little Ballerina

Around their third or fourth birthday, many little girls start to show an interest in being a ballerina. Maybe they see the live dance recital of an older friend or see dancers in a movie. Perhaps their favorite storybook or cartoon character is a ballerina. Regardless of how it happens, it won’t be too long before your little girl is twirling in tutus and asking to take ballet classes. So, when the time comes, and when a birthday or other gift-giving holiday is approaching, consider these gifts for your little ballerina:

Olivia Dream Theatre playset.

Ages 4+.

Find other Olivia toys here!

 

 

Angelina Ballerina Puzzle.

Ages 3+.

Find other Angelina Ballerina toys here!

 

 

Dora The Explorer Be a Ballerina! Book.

Ages 4+.

Find other Dora the Explorer toys here!

 

 

The Wiggles Dorothy the Ballerina shirt.

Sizes 2T-4T.

Find other The Wiggles toys here!

 

 

Sesame Street Zoe Ballerina Princess doll.

Ages 3+.

Find other Sesame Street toys here!

 

 

So, whether you’re celebrating your little girl’s third birthday, her first ballet recital, or just indulging her new passion for tutus, you have plenty of options for the perfect ballerina gift!