The long-running PBS Kids series FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman has been off the air for a few years now, much to the dismay of wannabe Fetchers everywhere. Geek kids found a lot to love in the one-of-a-kind show. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, Ruff Ruffman was the animated canine host of his own game show that was part cartoon and part reality. The real-life kid contestants, called Fetchers, participated in challenges that often involved scientific processes and creative problem solving.
My daughter is a fan of FETCH! thanks to the PBS Kids app and reruns on our local PBS channel, so she was ecstatic to hear that Ruff Ruffman would be making a return this year–in the pages of new books from Candlewick Press.
FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: Doggie Duties and FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: Show’s Over feature the show’s lovable characters Ruff, Blossom, and Chet in adventures that are simultaneously entertaining and educational. Both books are early reader chapter books aimed at kids age 6-9.
At the end of each book, kids will find science activities related to the story. Show’s Over features a study of buoyancy well-suited to my 4-year-old; she enjoyed crafting aluminum foil boats in different shapes to see what floats best. (Luckily, the book does provide some scientific explanation for what we were seeing in our experiment, unlike my previous failure explaining buoyancy.) In Doggie Duties, kids and parents can create a detailed water filtration system out of many items found around the house.
As excited as we were to see Ruff Ruffman in action again, it was disappointing to discover that the books are re-tellings of existing FETCH! episodes (minus the contestant challenges). Hopefully if the series sees a revival in book form, original stories and experiments with my daughter’s favorite dog-and-game-show-host will one day follow.
Doggies Duties is available today in paperback and hardback; Show’s Over makes its debut in April.
GeekMom received promotional copies for review purposes.