Small children automatically are in the habit of personifying the world. Cartoon characters are to them like people, and depending on what a character looks like and how it acts, can become significant role models or sources of information for children who enjoy being entertained by them. If a character who delights a small child expresses a certain quality, such as friendliness and inquisitiveness about the world around him, the child will absolutely be more likely to emulate that quality and try to be like the character.
Years of research conducted by well-known psychologists such as the late Dr. Robert Coles have proven that kids learn through story, most significantly the narratives that are lived out by their parents. Other stories, however, also are strong factors in a child’s development, including those that are carried out in cartoons, children’s ebooks and on television. This is why a violent cartoon, no matter how unrealistically or innocuous it may seem to parents, is really dangerous for children, no matter who wins in the end.
Professor Beetoven, on the other hand, and his cast of friends provide positive role models to children as they engage in adventures in learning. Their exploits, such as in the kid’s ebook, The Pacific Ocean, are always filled with good humor, friendliness, patience, humility, and with an excitement about finding out about the world. When kids see cartoon characters who may sometimes have to struggle (just like children do) overcome their impatience, or laziness, or frustration, they are given a clear picture of what is possible for them as well. This is an extremely important and positive message for small children to pick up on, and Professor Beetoven, while not capable of replacing a parent, can be a strong reinforcing factor in inculcating positive behavior in the lives of children?