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The Hoobs

Boo, get off the stage!

Michael Dixon and Mar Quinn (3-18-01) - Since not everyone gets to see UK's "The Hoobs" we decided to help with a review on the new kids series from Jim Henson Television. A lot of this information was obtained from the two wonderful Web sites: www.hoobnet.com and www.4learning.co.uk/hoobs.

The concept of the show is to teach kids, but this show is unique since it takes it a step further and helps children interact with their parents. The program encourages them to work with the kid after the show is over by checking out the Web site and doing the daily activity that corresponds with the topic of the show. The Internet is used in such a way that a child who does not have access won’t feel left out or deprived.

The 4Learning Web site states that the show is based on five educational philosophies based on five key aspects:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of the world including math
  2. Emotional, personal and social development
  3. Communication and language
  4. Expressive and aesthetic development
  5. Physical development and movement

The show’s format is pretty much the same everyday to make it easier for kids and parents to follow. For example, there is a question that is presented to the Hoobs everyday. Their job is to investigate and find out the answer to report it at night on the "news". In order to do their investigation, they usually have to get into their van and drive to where the humans live.

The Hoobs have their own language which at first is difficult to understand, but is very catchy after awhile. For instance, Hoobjuice means Hoob drink, Hoobledigger means hug, Hoobnet, the Web, Hoobybooboo means mistake, Twizzletuft are bits of hair or feathers on top of a Hoob's head, Twizzletuft Day is the day a Hoob first gets his twizzletuft cut, Wrinkly peep is an older person, etc.

The Hoobs Language

The Hoobs have their own language which at first is difficult to understand, but is very catchy after awhile.

Hoobjuice means Hoob drink

Hoobledigger means hug

Hoobnet is the Web

Hoobybooboo means mistake

Twizzletuft are bits of hair or feathers on top of a Hoob's head

Twizzletuft Day is the day a Hoob first gets his twizzletuft cut

Wrinkly peep is an older person, etc.

The following (from hoobnet.com) is an example of the Hoob language. For those who are not Hoob-savvy, we have the translation to follow.

Iver, Tula, and Groove are Hoobs who come from Hoobland, a sunny, colorful, bouncy world. They travel the universe in their Hoobmobile, a colorful, imaginative bus that they live in as well as drive. Each day, they are charged with the task of finding out the answer to a question about the world they are visiting. They then report their findings to Hubba Hubba Hoob back home in Hoobland, who is compiling the enormous reference database called the Hoobopaedia. This information is then broadcast to Hoobs everywhere via the Hoobnet.

Iver, Tula, and Groove are often aided in answering the question of the day by a visit to the Tiddlypeeps (children), who seem to be very helpful at answering questions. The Hoobs are always amazed and surprised by their findings, and are anxious to report the answer to the question of the day on Hoob News.

For example, today’s investigation was on fish. At first, Iver, Tula and Groove see fish swimming easily in the water and wonder how they do it. They then climb into the Hoobmobile to ask the Tiddlypeeps.

Whenever the Hoobs go to ask the Tiddlypeeps there is an awesome song about the Tiddlepeeps ("Off to See the Tiddlepeeps…" with a real catchy tune) who explain how to hold your breathe, use a snorkel, why fish have gills, what it’s like to eat seaweed, etc.

At the end of the show they broadcast the information they have via Hoob News: the show at the end of each episode, in which the answer to the daily question is revealed and then over the Hoobnet. For the majority of kid shows (Barney, Between the Lions, etc.) that’s the end until the next show, but not with The Hoobs. After the show has ended, the adults can then log onto the Internet, go to www.4learning.co.uk/hoobs then together go through the daily activities.

The following is an example from the 4Learning Web site today:

Choose one or two of these ideas to explore with your child:

  1. Have a close look at tropical fish in a tank, perhaps in a pet shop, or at a friend's home, or on a visit to an aquarium. What colors are the fish? Are there any with stripes or spots? How do the fish move? Where are the gills?
  2. Try some fishy movements in a safe space. Get your child to imagine they are a shiny fish swimming slowly with fishy tail wiggling, or darting quickly through underground rocks, or diving deep down to the sandy seabed. Explore movement and use fishy vocabulary, e.g. shoal, coral, swish, glide.
  3. Visit a local swimming pool and help your child become familiar with the water. Many local swimming pools offer baby and toddler classes which introduce children gradually to the water and prepare them for swimming.
  4. Help your child to become aware of the dangers as well as the enjoyment of water. Even a small amount of water in a pond or a bath can be hazardous. (Never leave young children unattended in or near water.)
  5. Plus many many more...

The parent can then either go through the activity sheet with the child on the PC or print it out and work on it together off-line.

The characters are very attractive and extremely appealing to very young children. Like the sets and the show in general, they are all very bright colors and appear to be very enthusiastic. From Hoobnet.com, the main characters are:

Iver – (male) is the mover and shaker of the Hoobs. Businesslike nature, but ready for fun at anytime.

Tula – (female) is a carefree, exuberant Hoob who seizes any opportunity to have fun. Optimist of the crew, everything is always ‘fine’.

Groove (male) is laid-back and never stressed out.

Roma (female) is the roving reporter for the Hoobs and is never actually on the Hoobmobile with the others.

Hubba Hubba (male) is the only Hoob we know who actually lives in Hoobland. He acts as a the search engine for the Hoob group. A parental figure, Hubba Hubba gives the Hoobs the confidence to explore the world safely and productively through play and experimentation.

Tootle, Twang, and Timp are the Motorettes - sassy, sparky musical creatures who work inside the engine in the Hoobmobile.

The puppeteers are mostly British and they include Don Austen, John Eccleston, Mark Jefferis and Gillie Robic.

That’s our two cents, take from it what you want. We just figured it would help the people who didn’t get to see the show understand the concept a little better.

 
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