Who knew "Dinosaur Train" could travel under water?
That's exactly where Mr. Conductor leads Buddy the Tyrannosaurus Rex and his adoptive Pteranodon family in the 1-hour special "Dinosaur Train Under the Sea," from The Jim Henson Company, airing Friday, August 20 on PBS stations (check local listings).
CC and I caught an early glimpse of the episode, which didn't shy away from answering the obvious question: Uh, how are they going to get there?
You'll have to watch to find out, but their journeys take them to various places and times -- the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods to be exact -- where they meet a fun selection of prehistoric predators.
Their new friends include Elmer Elasmosaurus, a long-necked marine animal that sports a new way to catch fish, and Carla Cretoxyrhina (pictured above), a friendly shark with an intimidating dad.
Although the special is 1 hour, it's broken up into four manageable segments, each highlighting a different animal. Buddy and the Pteranodon tykes Tiny, Shiny and Don ask relevant questions about their new friends, providing fun learning opportunities for kids.
Dr. Scott the paleontologist also offers insight into what dinosaurs ate and looked like -- and how some of them resemble modern-day animals.
I had fun just practicing the names with CC, who asked questions and said she really liked the show.
While it's great having Buddy, the Pteranodons, Dr. Scott and real children repeating the names of the featured dinosaurs, it's sometimes a little confusing -- and I imagine for kids especially -- when Mr. Conductor shows off his smarts by naming several dinosaurs at a time on his trusty pull-down screen. When names are that difficult to say, I think sticking with just one is fine.
But CC and I had fun watching -- as well as saying Cretoxyrhina three times fast.
The "Dinosaur Train Under the Sea" DVD ($14.99), from PBS Kids and Paramount Home Entertainment, arrives on shelves August 24, but I'm giving away 1 copy here.
The DVD boasts lots of extra episodes, as well as games, coloring pages and a Dinosaur Reference Guide.
To enter, just leave a comment here telling me your or your child's favorite dinosaur. (U.S. residents only)
Good luck, and I'll announce the winner Friday, August 27!