National Geographic Kids Entertainment and PBS Kids(R) Team Up to Launch 'Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies' Web Site: Preschoolers Learn About Natural World Through Interactive Web Content from New Hit Series

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"Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies," the popular new PBS KIDS show from National Geographic Kids Entertainment, featuring Vanessa Williams as the voice of Mama Mirabelle, (check local listings for airdate), has launched its Web site on http://www.pbskids.org/mamamirabelle as an interactive companion to the animated preschool television series. Designed by NDi Media, the site emphasizes hands-on learning by providing an immersive experience, allowing children to explore the richness and beauty of nature by interacting with animals from around the world through stunning wildlife videos from the award-winning National Geographic and BBC archives.

The site gives preschoolers an opportunity to enrich their literary skills as they learn concepts and build vocabulary. In doing so, the basic premise of 'learning about animals' evolves it into a truly rich, interdisciplinary experience for young children.

    This rich and entertaining multimedia experience encourages preschoolers to learn about their world through the show's characters and themes as it recreates the African savanna as a living, evolving environment, and provides parents and caregivers with ways to enrich children's learning and fun with suggested activities.

As preschoolers enter the site, they receive a warm savanna welcome from Mama Mirabelle, the elephant. She presents each visitor with a special egg to care for during their time on the African savanna that slowly hatches to reveal an animal.

Kids can choose from Max the elephant, Karla the zebra or Bo the cheetah -- animal hosts with personalities, vocabulary and issues that mimic those of real-life preschoolers -- to be their guide on a play date on the grassy fields of the savanna. Children can explore this kingdom by clicking on the animated animals, triggering stunning wildlife videos that explain the importance of the animal to the environment and its behavior.

In addition to videos, kids can choose from a number of engaging games, including:

-- Photo Safari -- take photos of animals on the move for your own safari album;

-- Savanna Symphony -- participate in a concert with your savanna friends;

-- Where in the World -- help Mama's friends from around the world get home.

-- The Fun Stuff section allows kids to watch an episode; dance along to an animal video; play an interactive animal charades game; or print out activities such as mask-making, card matching games and coloring sheets. Music videos highlight rhythms, instruments and vocalists from around the world and are based on preschool themes.

Adults can explore the resources in the Activities section for hands-on ideas to extend learning away from the computer, such as learning how to make an animal encyclopedia or bake fossil cookies.

"'Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies' uses the animal world to enrich preschoolers' understanding of how both animals -- and by extension themselves -- behave and live," said Donna Friedman Meir, president, National Geographic Kids Entertainment. "The site gives preschoolers an opportunity to enrich their literary skills as they learn concepts and build vocabulary. In doing so, the basic premise of 'learning about animals' evolves it into a truly rich, interdisciplinary experience for young children."

"The Web site for 'Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies' does an excellent job of complementing the strength of the series: using real life images and footage to show preschoolers how animals exist in a wide variety of environments," said Sarah DeWitt, senior director of PBS Kids & Parent Interactive. "The educational content and kid-friendly design are a perfect fit for pbskids.org."

About National Geographic Kids Entertainment

National Geographic Kids Entertainment brings the renowned National Geographic brand to children's entertainment through the development, production and distribution of quality animated and live-action, entertainment-driven programming that excites kids to explore their world. For more information, visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com.

About NDi Media

NDi Media creates outstanding entertainment properties for children of all ages. NDi has produced a portfolio of distinctive multiplatform properties and original characters which it licenses to broadcasters, web portals, gaming and video-on-demand distributors. To learn more, visit http://www.ndimedia.com/demo.

About PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO!

PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, are committed to providing the highest quality non-commercial content and learning environment for children across the country. With additional PBS resources to complement its programming, including PBS KIDS online (pbskids.org), PBS KIDS GO! online (pbskidsgo.org), PBS Parents (pbsparents.org), PBS Teachers (pbs.org/teachers), PBS Ready To Learn services and literacy events across the country, PBS is providing the tools necessary for positive child development. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 355 public television stations, serving nearly 73 million people each week and reaching 99% of American homes.

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Elizabeth Nickless
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