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Sobre l'autor

David Kamp is an author, journalist, humorist, lyricist, and charter member of the Sesame Street-viewing audience. A longtime contributor to Vanity Fair, he has profiled such cultural icons as Johnny Cash, Sly Stone, Lucian Freud, Bruce Springsteen, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Among his books is the mostra'n més national bestseller The United States of Arugula. He lives with his family in New York City and rural Connecticut. mostra'n menys


Obres de David Kamp

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The Best American Magazine Writing 2005 (2005) — Col·laborador — 54 exemplars


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Nom normalitzat
Kamp, David
Data de naixement
Llocs de residència
New York, New York, USA
Vanity Fair



Lots of fun! I kept thinking, "ah yes, I was that variety of rock snob in my twenties", or thirties, forties, etc. A matter of some little pride that my current faves were only briefly mentioned in blurbs for other artists.
encephalical | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Jan 24, 2024 |
Sunny Days: The Children’s Television Revolution that changed America by David Kamp is a 2020 Simon & Schuster publication.

What a fun and informative look back at a special time for children’s television. Because I was right at the perfect age for this creative, and educational explosion of children’s programming, I can’t say I was aware of the behind-the-scenes history of these programs or how they were received by children and their parents.

This book takes us through the early days of children’s educational programming, introducing us to beloved people like Fred Rodgers and Jim Henson before they were household names. The politics, the funding, the complaints and praises- the staples of these programs, how they came into existence and the impressive impact they had on children and our society, is a fascinating journey to take.

I will confess that some portions of the book, especially in the beginning, was a little dry, but it became more and more interesting as it went along.

Because Big Bird appears on the cover of this book, one might presume the book is hyper-focused on Sesame Street, but it isn’t. The book covers many other educational programs- including Schoolhouse rock- which I LOVED- I still know all the words, if that tells you anything.

Personally, Captain Kangaroo was the program I was able to watch most often due to our inability to pick up more than one or two TV stations in the rural area I lived in. Occasionally, I could get ‘Electric Company’ to come in, but I don’t recall being able to watch Sesame Street until later- when I was probably too old for it- but still watched it on occasion, anyway.

Mr. Rodgers was also difficult for me to see very often- but later in life- younger cousins and my own children, who adored Fred Rodgers, gave me a second chance to fully enjoy his lovely, gentle way of teaching children.

Despite being aware of these programs -some of which I sampled growing up- and then fully enjoyed later with my own children, I never fully grasped the impact these shows had on our nation overall. Children were not the only ones who benefited from these programs- adults learned to read because of them, as well!!

Yes, these shows opened an entirely new world for children. It was healthier than watching blatant advertising geared towards kids or watching silly shows with no valuable content. These shows dared to introduce diversity and realism, appealing to kids from all walks of life and for the most part, these progressive steps were embraced by parents from all political stripes, while teaching children important lessons and preparing them for school and for success, no matter their personal backgrounds.

While I don’t always agree with everything these shows teach and have questioned some issues addressed from time to time-especially considering the age of the viewing audience, I have to look back now and think- What a great achievement!!

Sadly, times have changed, politics has affected federal funding, which has waxed and waned since the late seventies, but the effects these shows had on our country has been a long lasting one and continues to impact future generations, even though the formats have changed and we’ve lost so many of the important figures that helped create positive, educational options for children.

This is a wonderful bit of history to explore, it’s full of nostalgia and feel-good inspiration, I wish we could have bottled it up back then! It’s a spirit lifter, but it also shows we have some key elements missing today that need to make a comeback…

4 stars
… (més)
gpangel | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Oct 5, 2021 |
As the subtitle suggests, Sunny Days chronicles the children’s television revolution that took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Television was still a fairly new medium and up to that point, kids’ shows had been shouty, slapstick shows like Howdy Doody or Soupy Sales. It had not occurred to anyone that television could be used to educate children. Educational programming began with the inception of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Sesame Street. Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was a gentle program, focused on children’s feelings and their inner selves, while Sesame Street was a fast paced program focused on preschoolers, specifically disadvantaged preschoolers, learning their letters, shapes and numbers. From there, children’s television took off with other shows such as Schoolhouse Rock! and Free to Be You and Me.

A good portion of Sunny Days is focused on Sesame Street, which makes sense because they started it all. I didn’t realize how much painstaking research went into developing the show before it started filming. It’s no accident that it’s so successful and that it actually does teach children. It’s amazing how progressive it was in the beginning years. I don’t think a children’s show could get away with showing a mother actually breastfeeding her child in today’s world, like Sesame Street did when Buffy nursed her son Cody and explained what she was doing to Big Bird. They also broke ground in terms of how diverse the cast was.

Even though most of the shows in this book other than Sesame Street were just a few years before my time, I still thoroughly enjoyed this history of children’s television. I bookmarked several things that I’m going to search for on YouTube so that hopefully I can see them for myself. The only problem I had with Sunny Days is that there are so many people – producers, writers, creators, etc. who are mentioned throughout that it was hard to keep track of who was who. I would have loved a list of people and their job descriptions for reference.

Even if you’re a young whippersnapper and you didn’t grow up watching these shows, I think you’ll still enjoy this book – especially if you have an interest in pop culture. Recommended.
… (més)
mcelhra | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Aug 6, 2020 |


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