Writer Angela Santomero, center, visits with fans at Caneel Bay Resort’s Kid’s Club.
Caneel Bay Resort’s youngest guests got a treat last week when the head writer of the wildly popular television program “Blue’s Clues,” Angela Santomero, stopped by the resort’s Kid’s Club.
Santomero is the creator, Executive Producer and Head Writer of the award-winning preschool television programs, “Blue’s Clues” on Nickelodeon, “Super Why!” and her new program based on the work of Mister Fred Rogers, called “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” on PBS.
She hosted a book signing and reading on Wednesday, March 20, at the newly-renovated Kid’s Club Turtle Town.
Santomero has visited Caneel in the past and was thrilled to spend time with some of her biggest fans last week.
“We’ve been down a few times and I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet the kids,” said Santomero. “I always love to meet the kids and get some feedback.”
After earning her master’s degree in child development and psychology with emphasis in instructional technology at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Santomero was approached by Nickelodeon to create a children’s game show, she explained.
“That was the original idea, so we were always focused on audience participation,” said Santomero. “But we wanted to set ourselves apart and look different which is why we have the animation and the live actor.”
Blues Clues has been running on Nickelodeon since 1996 and has only gained in popularity by setting itself apart with strong visuals and strong positive messages.
“Our mission is to inspire, challenge and build self-esteem for kids between 2 and 5 and 3 and 6,” said Santomero. “We want to help them to learn and grow.”
Santomero’s second show, “Super Why!” premiered in 2007 and continues to air to rave reviews on PBS. Her latest show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is an homage to and a spin-off of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
“I have always been a crazy Mr. Rogers fan,” said Santomero. “We became friends through Blue Clues and after he passed away, I wanted to do something to promote his legacy.”
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is based on the next generation of characters found in Mister Rogers’ original show. The title character is the preschool son of the original Daniel Striped Tiger, and he even wears a sweater and sneakers.
Other characters from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe like Katerina Kittycat, O the Owl and Prince Wednesday, all with their preschool children, can be found on Santomero’s newest show, which debuted last year.
With Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Santomero is focusing more on teaching social skills, she explained.
Up next for the successful preschool program writer is a math series for Amazon called “Sara Solves It,” which will be available on Kindle and other e-readers this year.
While Santomero’s shows use different characters, they all strive to achieve the same goal, she explained.
“We want to change the world one preschool show at a time,” said Santomero.