Ni Hao, Kai-lan



11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7
Nick Jr.

This refreshing new animated series from Nick Jr. not only teaches preschoolers a few words of Chinese but also offers lessons on how to be polite and take care of one another when the occasions calls for it.

"Ni Hao, Kai-lan" is a gentle, soft-spoken series that is at the same time playfully interactive. There's charm galore here.

It's a sing-along, play-along affair, a kind of television playdate where young kids get to meet new animated kids and animals and have Chinese phrases taught to them in the most unobtrusive way.

The overriding story line is politically and culturally savvy, focusing on a 5-year-old and her intergenerational family. Kids in the audience learn about Chinese holidays, customs and phrases easy to say.

The 20-episode series is colorful, upbeat and an all-around wholesome adventure. There's not a lull anywhere.