Playhouse Disney is serving up some education and advice about food allergies in and episode of JOJO'S CIRCUS, airing Aug. 8, 2005, at 8:30 am on the Disney Channel. JoJo, star of the Playhouse Disney hit, can't resist eating just a few of the season's best merryberries, although she knows she is allergic to the special summertime treat, in the episode entitled "Tinkled Pink.ï¿½
Soon after eating just a few of the merryberries, JoJo's nose swells and honks and her skin turn pink and tingly, right in the midst of a Circus Town picnic. Skeebo's mom, Dr. Seltzer, treats JoJo with an antidote. In a pointed lesson for preschool age viewers, the doctor shares with JoJo and her friends some of the common symptoms of food allergies and how kids must remember to follow instructions from their parents and doctor about not eating the foods that cause them trouble.
In the "spotlight moment," a staple at the end of every episode, JoJo shares with viewers what she learned. "If you are allergic to a food, never eat it because it can make you really, really sick, and don't be afraid to tell someone if you have an allergy," she shares.
Starring are Madeleine Martin (currently on Broadway in THE PILLOWMAN) as the voice of JoJo; Rob Smith as Goliath, Keeler Sandhaus as Skeebo; Patrick McKenna as Captain Seltzer and Kathryn Greenwood as Doctor Seltzer.
Advising on this episode's storyline was educational consultant Amy Flynn, who has her Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from New York's Bank Street College of Education. Flynn, a mother herself of a five-year-old, works closely with parents and children helping them to understand their individual needs at the Bank Street Family Center, including increasing concerns over food allergies.
"Food allergies are serious and potentially very dangerous for young children,ï¿½ according to Flynn. ï¿½It is often difficult for the preschool age child to understand why a food that other children may eat and enjoy could be harmful or dangerous for them. Food Allergies may make children feel excluded from their peer group at meal times. It is important to give children the language to express their frustration and confusion about their allergies so they can feel in control and articulate the reasons why they can't eat a certain food to others."
The episode was written by Doug Wood while story editor is Jeff Kindley. The directors are John Schnall and Tim Snyder. Exec producers are Jim Jinkins, David Campbell and Adam Shaheen. JOJO'S CIRCUS is produced by Cuppa Coffee Prods. and Cartoon Cola, a Cartoon Pizza Co.