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Growing Small Potatoes for CBeebies, by Josh Selig, Little Airplane Productions

Josh, Little Airplane Productions Josh, Little Airplane Productions | 14:43 UK time, Monday, 18 April 2011

small potatoes in lava lamps

 

Why would a grown man spend over two years of his life making a preschool series about a band of four singing potatoes?  Hmm.  This is a good question and I have been struggling all day to come up with a suitable answer.

I am Josh Selig, founder and president of  Little Airplane Productions. Parents of preschoolers may recognise us as the creators of "3rd & Bird" among others.  But with "Small Potatoes," our newest show on CBeebies, we have taken a sharp turn into the surreal. 

"Small Potatoes" follows the musical career of a band of four adorable potatoes who are modelled (very loosely) on the four lads from Liverpool.  We chose potatoes for this series because there is something very universal about a potato.  Potatoes are, arguably, the least glamorous of all the vegetables.  They put on no airs and yet they can do quite extraordinary things given the right conditions and the right opportunities.  And everyone likes a potato.

In fact, we could think of no better metaphor for a young child than a cute, round potato.  One of our songs actually addresses how potato-like we humans are: "Short potato, tall potato, light or dark, we're all potatoes at heart."

But the real answer to the question, "Why a band of singing potatoes?" is that we found the idea to be very funny.  And the families who watch the show seem to find this idea very funny, too.  So, even though it is unlikely that children will be able to add or subtract any better after having watched "Small Potatoes," there is a good chance that it will make them laugh.  And I suppose there are worse ways that one could spend a few years of one's life than writing songs and animating characters that make children happy.  In fact, it sounds like a very good use of one's time.

I should also mention that I am very grateful to Cbeebies for supporting our efforts on this series and for providing encouragement and gentle guidance every step of the way.  Thank you, CBeebies!  And we hope everyone enjoys our show!

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Just spent the last hour watching the three short Small Potatoes clips on the cbeebies site with 4yr old daughter and 11 week old son. My 4 yr old says she 'likes it' and wants a cuddly toy of Chip! We must agree with Josh's comment above that principally, the program makes us laugh - there is something intrinsically funny about singing potatoes. But also, I love the way the potatoes talk openy about their emotions - to me it seems their childlike chatter will really help my little girl understand and verbalise her own emotions. Many thanks! We like it!

  • Comment number 2.

    Hey Everyone!
    I was wondering if you could help...
    My niece is a huge fan of small potatoes, and after listening to the theme song a million times, I'm sure I reconise the tune from another song?! Can anyone help me out? As I try to think, and all that comes into my head is "small potatoes"

  • Comment number 3.

    Small potatoes is the best thing I've seen yet on Cbeebies in the last two and a half years since our daughtervwas born. A massive well done. Whilst at work yesterday my husband text to say that he and my daughter had just watched an amazing and hilarious new programme, which they were very eager for me to watch when I got home! I wasn't disappointed. I've even watched today's episode before my daughter. Love the crowd surfer at the concert. I had guessed the link with third and bird as I recognised the voices. Thanks for giving us this adorable programme.

  • Comment number 4.

    hello from melbourne australia where the small potatoes have hit the 'abc kids' tv. i started watching this channel about a month ago and my 15 month old son and i are now HUGE fans of small potatoes. this is by far the cleverest and charming thing i have seen on the tele in a long time and i can't wait till a dvd or something is released so my husband can join the small potato mania in our household. he has seen one episode [edited] and is totally hanging out to see more. GREAT GREAT GREAT work thank you for your genius gorgeous themes and interesting tunes. so nice to listen to kiddies music that is well written :) and PLEASE can you let me know when a dvd or something is released!

  • Comment number 5.

    Absolutely love everything Little Airplane Productions do. One question though, when on earth will we ever see a compilation CD of songs from Small Potatoes or even something from 3rd and Bird. I know my daughter would absolutely love something like that in the car.

  • Comment number 6.

    My little girl,my teenager and I love small potatoes its great for the little ones and amusing for the adults that have to also watch. Just wish there was a CD available for the car, its not on the cbeebies cd either.

  • Comment number 7.

    Pardon the pun, but those Small Potatoes are hot! They're the new star attraction of this Sydney household. Bravo to the team - beautiful work. Our 3 year-old stops whatever he is doing when he hears the theme song start. We even plan some of our morning and evening activities around show times. The Wiggles should be very afraid.

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi my little girl loves small potatoes and it is only on abc4kids twice a day just wondering if this show is on dvd at all

  • Comment number 9.

    is there anywhere to buy small potatoes birthday party stuff its the only show i son really loves and he is going to have a small potatoes birthday party but so far i cant find anything

 

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