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New Episodes of ‘Elinor Wonders Why’ Debut March 15-18 on PBS KIDS

The 2D animated series encourages kids to ask why while teaching them to use scientific observation to figure things out.

New episodes of Elinor Wonders Why premiere March 15-18 on PBS KIDS. In a week full of discovery, Elinor, Ari, and Olive are back with new adventures as the trio learns how butterflies drink nectar, why fish don’t freeze in the winter, how some owls make their home in the desert, and more! 

The 2D animated series centers on the adventures of Elinor and her pals - Ari, a funny and imaginative bat and Olive, a perceptive and warm elephant. Young viewers explore Animal Town along with Elinor and friends. There they meet all kinds of interesting, funny, and quirky characters, each with a lesson to share about respecting others, the importance of diversity, caring for the environment and working together to solve problems. 

Elinor models the foundational practices of science inquiry and engineering design in each episode, using her powers of observation and willingness to ask questions. When she encounters something she does not understand, like why birds have feathers or how tiny ants build massive anthills, she perseveres until she figures it out. In discovering the answers, Elinor often learns something about nature’s ingenious inventions and how they can relate to aspects of our designed world, as well as what it takes to live in a community. 

Here's the all-new episode line-up:

March 15:

“Butterfly Babies” - The kids are observing butterflies and caterpillars when they realize that they’ve never seen a baby butterfly. How can this be?! They decide that they just need more observations and head off to investigate, but they still don’t find any baby butterflies. They do come across many caterpillars, though, and to their surprise, they witness the metamorphosis - from caterpillar to chrysalis, then from chrysalis to butterfly. Then, they realize a caterpillar IS a baby butterfly. Amazing!

“Elinor’s Circus” – Elinor, Ari and Olive decide to put on a circus for all their friends. They each have acts that involve balancing, but unfortunately, they’re not great at it. They seek out some tips from their friend, Siggy the squirrel, who is great at balancing. Siggy explains that a tail like his can help you balance but extending your body or using long poles will help, too. Bravo, the show is saved!

 March 16:

“Zig Zag Plant” - A mystery is afoot at Elinor's school when one of the class plants grows in an unusual shape. Instead of growing straight up like the other plants, this plant is growing in a zig-zag pattern. Elinor and her friends investigate what could have happened to this plant to make it grow like that. After learning that most plants always grow up towards the sky, the kids piece together the clues and discover that this plant spent some time on its side, and then some time right side up, resulting in the zig-zag pattern! The kids love the shape of this plant, and name it "the Zig Zag Plant."

“Butterfly Drinks” - Insect Day is coming up at school and Elinor couldn’t be more thrilled to finish her home-made butterfly costume. However, she quickly runs into a problem, because she can't drink anything when her hands are busy being the wings in her costume! Elinor sets out to solve the problem with her dad by learning how real butterflies drink. After some careful watching, she realizes that a butterfly doesn’t even have a mouth, but a proboscis, which looks like a long straw, and that's how they drink nectar from a flower! This gives Elinor the idea to add a super long drinking straw to complete her costume.

March 17:

“Frozen Fish” - After the lake freezes over, Elinor and her friends wonder what happens to all of their fishy friends during the wintertime. How can they survive? Do they freeze? After Ranger Rabbit cuts a hole in the ice to check on the fish, the kids gaze down through the thick ice and learn that the whole lake isn’t frozen after all. The ice is only at the top, and there’s still liquid at the bottom where the fish live comfortably when the lake freezes in the winter.

 “Pirate Treasure” - While the kids are playing pirates in search of treasure, pirate Ari realizes that he forgot where he hid their treasure. But no worries because the kids are pirates, and pirates always figure it out. Unfortunately, it's not that simple, and they can't even draw a map, because Ari can’t remember exactly how to get to the treasure. Luckily, their friend Philbert the Squirrel helps them out by teaching the kids about landmarks and how to use them to find your way. So, the mighty pirates finally find their loot.

March 18:

“Burrowing Owl Girl” - Elinor is very excited, because she’s visiting her grandparents in the desert. While out exploring with her grandmother, the always curious Elinor comes across a peculiar looking owl that is smaller than any other owl she's ever seen. Even more peculiar, this owl is out during the day! How can that be? After some careful observations, she realizes she DOESN'T know everything there is to know about owls and learns that the owl she spotted is a burrowing owl, which lives in the desert and runs around during the day. Elinor is reminded that nature is full of surprises!

“Olive’s Tree” - Olive shows her friends her favorite tree in the forest. The next day, however, they’re sad to see that the tree has fallen over. The three little scientists set out to find out why, and soon learn that Olive’s tree has simply entered the final stage of its life cycle. Trees go from a seed, to sprout, to sapling, to full mature tree and finally, to a wildlife tree, which is a tree that has fallen over. Even though the tree has fallen, Olive is comforted to know that it will still be around for a long time, providing a home to many creatures in the forest.

Source: PBS KIDS