Dora the Explorer: A Fun Companion for Kids
By Jared Winston
Dora the Explorer is a cartoon show that airs on the Nickelodeon channel, featuring stories about Dora Marquez, a young Hispanic girl who ventures forth on adventurous quests. The Dora the Explorer show is aimed for a younger audience, from six to ten years old, although children that are four or five years old also seem to enjoy the show. Dora speaks both English and Spanish, and helps viewers learn the use of simple words in Spanish, so it's not uncommon to see young viewers of the Dora the Explorer show who are able to understand basic Spanish words… and some of them are even able to use full simple sentences correctly!
Of course Dora is not alone during her adventures. The show features many other characters, the most important of them being a talking monkey named Boots. His name comes from the red boots he likes to wear, and being Dora's best friend he joins her on every single adventure she gets into.
In every episode of Dora the Explorer, a sneaky masked fox named Swiper tries to steal an item from Dora or her friend Boots, usually jeopardizing the successful completion of the day's quest, so Dora and her friends end up having to recover the stolen item in order to finish the quest. Sometimes, the recovery of the stolen item is the quest in itself.
The only way Dora and Boots can prevent Swiper from stealing something is repeating the phrase "Swiper, No Swipping!!!" three times. If they don't repeat this phrase three times, then the evil fox will steal the item and say "you were late" to Dora and her best friend, throwing the item far away.
Other characters of the Dora the Explorer Show are Dora's parents, "Papi" (Spanish for "daddy?) and "Mami" (Spanish for "mommy"), and also her "abuela" ("grandma"). They speak both Spanish and English, of course. Another cool character is Diego, who is Dora's cousin. Diego is a boy who rescues animals that are in danger and often accompanies Dora on her adventures. The Diego character became so popular that he even got his own show, called "Go, Diego. Go."
A bunch of bilingual animals, like "Señor Tucán" and "Isa, the Iguana"; and some talking items, like Dora's Backpack, complete the character list.
Dora the Explorer is a show that encourages viewer participation: Dora often asks the audience if they have seen Swiper, or asks them to count the numbers along with her. This is perhaps what makes Dora the Explorer such a great educational show, enabling small children to learn the basic concepts of mathematics (mostly counting), to recognize different kinds of music, and to use simple but useful Spanish words at a very low age.
The Dora the Explorer Show became a regular series on Nickelodeon in the year 2000, and is still being produced. The show is not only aired for the US, but also for a lot of countries around the world. So far, Dora the Explorer has been translated to Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Dutch and many other languages.
Copyright © Jared Winston, 2006. All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
From Dora the Explorer bedding to Dora the Explorer birthday decorations, it's pretty clear that young children have become fascinated by this entertaining and highly educational young girl. Learn more about Dora the Explorer at our fansite dedicated exclusively to her.
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