The books of Richard Scarry have been enjoyed by children around the world for 40 years. Thanks to Cookie Jar Entertainment and CBS, a new cartoon series, Busytown Mysteries, can be seen on weekend mornings. Each program is 30 minutes long and features two 11-minute stories. I confess a fascination with the Lowly Worm character, who wears a hat and single shoe as he hope around in his worm body.

I have always loved mysteries, from Nancy Drew to Sherlock Holmes. The Busytown Mysteries episodes that we previewed taught observation and deductive reasoning in a way that a preschooler can understand. This series isn’t just fluff: fun, engaging, but beneficial, too.

Busytown Mysteries also has an interactive website with 14 games and activities specifically designed for preschoolers. “What do you want to be? A tiger, bear, or bunny?” has been a hot question with my younger set.

When asked what are their favorite things about the website, these were their replies:

4-year-old daughter: “Going places in the cars.”

6-year-old daughter: “Decorating cars and painting.”

[In the interest of transparency, I was the tiger and drove the pencil car when I tested the site.]

My kids have really enjoyed this series and the website, too. Check the schedule here for listings in your area.

[DVD provided for review.]

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