PBS’s New Animated Preschool Series Was Created by Sonia Manzano, AKA Maria From Sesame Street!
PBS KIDS is adding a new animated preschool series for toddlers and little kids to its lineup this fall, called Alma’s Way. The show from Fred Rogers Productions was created by Sonia Manzano, who is widely known and beloved for her role as Maria on Sesame Street. Alma’s Way is about a 6-year-old Puerto Rican girl who lives in the Bronx with her parents, Mami and Papi; younger brother Junior; her Abuelo; and their dog, Chacho – and it’s inspired by Sonia’s own childhood.
“I am so excited to be working with PBS KIDS and Fred Rogers Productions to introduce Alma, a strong and positive Puerto Rican girl who will empower young viewers,” Sonia said in a press release. “Alma’s way is to think things through, and we hope the new series will show kids that their thought processes are valid and give them the confidence to think critically.”
According to PBS, “Each episode showcases different aspects of Latino cultures through language, food, music, and customs. All viewers will see how other families are both alike and different from their own.” Music will also be an important part of the series, which will feature an original theme song written and produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bill Sherman.
“All children across America deserve to see themselves represented in stories that celebrate and give voice to their lived experiences.”
“The stories on Alma’s Way are designed to help kids learn to think for themselves and take into consideration the perspectives of those around them. As Alma thinks things through, she models self-advocacy, empathy and social awareness. She’s a smart kid with a big heart – we hope young viewers will think she’s way, way, way fun to watch!” said Ellen Doherty, Chief Creative Officer, Fred Rogers Productions. Linda Simensky, Head of PBS KIDS Content, added: “Alma’s unique humour and spirit are rooted in the everyday stories of her neighbourhood. All children across America deserve to see themselves represented in stories that celebrate and give voice to their lived experiences.”
The new series will premiere on PBS on Oct. 4 and will be available in both English and Spanish on all PBS KIDS platforms.