Picks and Pans Review: What My Kids Are Watching

UPDATED 11/13/2006 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/13/2006 at 01:00 AM EST

Are you feeling as if your kids—and you—have sat through an endless loop of the same 12 episodes of (choose all that apply) Sesame Street/Blue's Clues/Dora the Explorer? Check out these new shows, guaranteed not to grate on grown-ups.

Curious George (PBS Kids) This gentle show—narrated by actor William H. Macy—goes down like a glass of chocolate milk: sweetly addictive for kids, wholesome enough for parents not to mind. Just be prepared for some monkey see, monkey do: My 4-year-old wanted candy after George indulged.

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Class of 3000 (Cartoon Network) No question, the funkiest theme song of any kids' show on the air. Cocreator André "3000" Benjamin (OutKast) lends his voice as a star turned music teacher for a group of rubbery-looking students. The show may get older kids grooving, but mine were a tad bored.

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Handy Manny (Playhouse Disney) "Let's get to work—muy rapido!" says Handy Manny (voiced by Wilmer Valderrama), a kind of younger, Latino version of Bob the Builder (minus the heavy machinery). A cute show that's perfect for tool-crazed tykes—and muy handy for sipping your coffee in peace.

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The Upside Down Show (Noggin) Me, I'm not a Little Einsteins mom. Sure, it'd be nice if TV taught my kids to appreciate classical music. But even better is the sound of a bellylaugh coming from the couch, and this show—starring Aussie comedians David Collins and Shane Dundas—is pure slapstick fun.

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