Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America

Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America

From bestselling writer David Kamp, the engrossing, behind-the-scenes story of the cultural heroes who created the beloved children’s TV programs Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Free to Be...You and Me, and Schoolhouse Rock!—which collectively transformed American childhood for the better, teaching kids about diversity, the ABCs, and feminism through a fun, funky 1970s lens.

In 1970, on a soundstage on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a group of men, women, and Muppets of various ages and colors worked doggedly to finish the first season of a children’s TV program that was not yet assured a second season: Sesame Street. They were conducting an experiment to see if television could be used to better prepare disadvantaged preschoolers for kindergarten. What they didn’t know then was that they were starting a cultural revolution that would affect all American kids. In Sunny Days, bestselling author David Kamp captures the unique political and social moment that gave us not only Sesame Street, but also Fred Rogers’s gentle yet brave Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; Marlo Thomas’s unabashed gender-politics primer Free to Be...You and Me; Schoolhouse Rock!, an infectious series of educational shorts dreamed up by Madison Avenue admen; and more, including The Electric Company, ZOOM, and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. It was a unique time when an uncommon number of media professionals and thought leaders leveraged their influence to help children learn—and, just as notably, a time of unprecedented buy-in from American parents.

Kamp conducted rigorous research and interviewed such Sesame Street figures as Joan Ganz Cooney, Lloyd Morrisett, Sonia Manzano, Emilio Delgado, Loretta Long, Bob McGrath, and Frank Oz, along with Free to Be’s Marlo Thomas and The Electric Company’s Rita Moreno—and in Sunny Days, he explains how these and other like-minded individuals found their way into children’s television not for fame or money, but to make a difference.

Fun, fascinating, and a masterful work of cultural history, Sunny Days captures a wondrous period in the US when a determined few proved that, with persistence and effort, they could change the lives of millions. It’s both a rollicking ride through a turbulent time and a joyful testament to what Americans are capable of at their best.

Title:Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America
ISBN:null
Format Type:

    Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America Reviews

  • jocelyn

    3.5 stars...

  • Jessi

    I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.This book was incredibly informative while also being completely heart-warming. It took what could have been really ...

  • Beth

    This was so uplifting and joyful I could hardly stand it! I couldn't read three pages without looking something up on YouTube like Schoolhouse Rock's 3 Is a Magic Number or Morgan Freeman as Easy Read...

  • Kev Willoughby

    A walk back through Memory Lane with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the very first television shows the people of my generation will ever remember watching. As said in the well-written introducti...

  • Jee Hooked On Bookz

    Be ready to be inspired by ‘Sunny Days’!We went to Sea World because my daughter loves Sesame Street. And I too, fell in love with it through her eyes and enthusiasm. I get even more excited than ...

  • Jan

    I did NOT want this book to end AND it was perfect. So much cultural, musical, and political history here! I was most surprised by the music! Luther Vandross has his first national exposure on Sesame ...

  • JZ

    It’s a love story to the street on which so many American children grew up. It is also a call to action for us to collectively make the most of new technologies instead of succumbing to their baser ...

  • Harry Jahnke

    Fascinating stuff! A lovely look at the past with an optimistic look for the future. ...

  • Jacob Ryckman

    Non-fiction is not normally my thing, but...goodness gracious this book warms my heart.In part, I think it has to do with the fact that programs like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers always have a special...

  • Avid

    4.5 stars. I remember being told one day in preschool (they called it nursery school at the time) to be sure to watch this brand new show they were putting on just for 4-year-olds, beginning that afte...