Sources and references

On the Peppa Pig controversy:

‘Why is Peppa Pig banned in China and Australia?’: Metro

‘Peppa Pig banned from Chinese video site’: Guardian

‘Why China censors banned Winnie the Pooh’: BBC News

‘In China, Peppa Pig is a street couture icon’, Kenrick David, Sixth Tone

‘Something is wrong on the internet’: James Bridle, Medium

‘Assault ‘n’ Peppa: Kids left traumatized after sick YouTube clips showing Peppa Pig with knives and guns appear on app for children’: Sun

YouTube’s crackdown on ‘disturbing’ kids’ content was reported by Variety less than two weeks after Bridle’s original article:

‘The end of watching TV as a family’: Sean Coughlan, BBC News

Research from 2004-5 showing very young children using digital devices can be found in a report by Jackie Marsh et al., Digital Beginnings:


On Watch with Mother:

Buckingham, David, Davies, Hannah, Jones, Ken, and Kelley, Peter (1999) Children’s Television in Britain: History, Discourse and Policy London: British Film Institute

Home, Anna (1993) Into the Box of Delights: A History of Children’s Television London: BBC Books

McGowan, Alistair, ‘Watch with Mother”, BFI Screen Online:

Oswell, David (1995) ‘Watching with Mother in the early 1950s’, in Cary Bazalgette and David Buckingham (eds.) In Front of the Children: Screen Entertainment and Young Audiences London: British Film Institute

Oswell, David (2002) Television, Childhood and the Home: A History of the Making of the Child Television Audience in Britain Oxford: Oxford University Press


On Sesame Street:

The quote from Joan Ganz Cooney comes from R.M. Polsky’s account of the programme’s early years, Getting to Sesame Street (New York: Praeger, 1974).

Examples and summaries of CTW’s research on Sesame Street can be found in:

Fisch, Shalom and Truglio, Rosemary (eds.) (2001) “G” is for Growing: Thirty Years of Research on Children and Sesame Street (Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum)

Fisch, Shalom (2004) Children’s Learning from Educational Television: Sesame Street and Beyond (Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum)

Among the many critiques of Sesame Street, the sharpest is probably Heather Hendershot’s piece ‘Sesame Street: Cognition and communications imperialism’, in Marsha Kinder (ed.) Kids’ Media Culture (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999)

John Holt’s early criticisms of Sesame Street were contained in an article entitled ‘Big Bird, meet Dick and Jane’ (Atlantic Monthly, 227(5): 72-78). Stuart Hall’s observations (which also include a comparison with Play School) were in an Open University TV programme Social Integration 1: Children’s Television, made in 1982. This is available on YouTube at and is also summarized in Anthony Bates’s book Broadcasting in Education (London: Constable, 1984).

Helle Strandgaard Jensen is currently conducting research on the international marketing of Sesame Street. Her work can be found in:

Jensen, Helle and Lustyik, Katalin (2017) ‘Negotiating non-profit: the survival strategies of the Sesame Workshop’, Media International Australia 163(1): 97-106

Jensen, Helle (2018) ‘Like it or not: how Sesame Street influenced European television’, in Adrian Schober and Debbie Olson (eds.) Children, Youth, and American Television (London: Routledge)

The BBC’s refusal to buy Sesame Street is discussed in the publications by Buckingham et al., Home, and Jensen above. A further comparison between Sesame Street and Play School (and its successor Playdays) can be found in:

Davies, Maire (1995) ‘Babes ‘n’ the hood: preschool television and its audiences in the United States and Britain’, in Cary Bazalgette and David Buckingham (eds.) In Front of the Children: Screen Entertainment and Young Audiences London: British Film Institute.

On Play School, I have also drawn on:

Holmes, Su (2016) ‘Revisiting Play School: a historical case study of the BBC’s address to the pre-school audience’, Journal of Popular Television 4(1): 29-47


On Teletubbies:

Some of the material here is taken from a much longer essay ‘Child-centred television? Teletubbies and the educational imperative’, which I wrote for my edited book Small Screens: Television for Children (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 2002). It can also be found here:

I have also made some use here of Jonathan Bignell’s article ‘Familiar aliens: Teletubbies and postmodern childhood’, Screen 46(3): 373-388 (2005).


On Barney and Friends and Blue’s Clues:

Links to a range of anti-Barney ‘humour’ can be found via this Wikipedia page:

Karen Lury has a brief section on Blue’s Clues in her essay ‘A time and place for everything: children’s channels’, in Small Screens: Television for Children.

There is an extensive body of psychological research on Blue’s Clues, mostly seeking to demonstrate its ‘cognitive impact’. See, for example, Daniel Anderson et al. (2000) ‘Researching Blue’s Clues: viewing behavior and impact’, Journal of Media Psychology 2(2): 179-194.



For a useful study of the changing market, see Jeanette Steemers (2010) Creating Preschool Television: A Story of Commerce, Creativity and Curriculum London: Palgrave MacMillan.

I wrote about the rise of ‘edutainment’ for children some years ago in the book Education, Entertainment and Learning in the Home, co-authored with Margaret Scanlon (Buckingham: Open University Press, 2003).

Marsh and Bishop’s research is in:

Marsh, Jackie and Bishop, Julia (2014) Changing Play: Play, Media And Commercial Culture From The 1950s To The Present Day, Buckingham: Open University Press