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What makes the best Christian TV for kids? My thoughts on Christianity Today

I recently wrote a piece for Christianity Today! Here are my initial thoughts on what makes good Christian TV for kids. Read the full article here!

I picked up the first book reluctantly. Was I really going to spend my children’s nap time reading children’s fiction? But The Wingfeather Saga had been recommended to me by so many fans that I eventually joined the throngs of Christian adults and kids who’ve enjoyed the series.

From the start, author Andrew Peterson captivated my imagination, building a world I could recognize while pushing the limits of familiarity. Aerwier has a bookshop with a nerdy owner; the three Igby siblings enjoy exploring its packed shelves. So normal! But just across the street is a city prison run by lizard monsters called Fangs. Not so normal.

The Wingfeather books have since been adapted into an animated series; the second season premiered at the beginning of this month, with new episodes released weekly. I remember the Christian animations from my childhood—Bibleman, Psalty the Singing Songbook, and VeggieTales —as either simplistic retellings of Bible stories or moralizing lessons. These shows did a fine job of teaching me what God expected. But they didn’t captivate me with the idea of following Jesus.

The animated Wingfeather, by contrast, is lighthearted and sincere, witty without resorting to gimmicks. It cultivates endearing characters without creating familiar Christian caricatures.

What makes a good Christian children’s show? Here are four things The Wingfeather Saga does well that I hope would be true of any Christian program that I watch with my kids.

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