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Blue’s Clues

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, My Projects
Today was no ordinary day.

Today I heard from an old friend..Blue’s Clues’ SIDE TABLE DRAWER, also known as Aleisha LaNae’ Allen, M.S.!!

Throughout the years in kids’ media, we’re involved in so many interactions with actors, artists and all types of creatives. But when you reconnect with them down the road, and see where their lives have taken them..there’s nothing better!
 Here’s a kind note from Aleisha, who has apparently moved on from simply holding Steve/Joe’s notebook.
 Side Table Drawer Blue's Clues

Hello Angela,

My name is Aleisha L. Allen; I was the voice of Side Table Drawer for the Blue’s Clues Series! I hope all is well! 

I wanted to reach out to you because I graduated from Teachers College (Columbia University) this past May with an M.S. in Communication Science and Disorders (CSD)- Speech Language Pathology. Shortly after, I found out that you, too, attended TC! Similarly, we both studied subjects regarding Childhood Development!  

It was such a pleasure to be THE Side Table Drawer and always be there for Steve when he needed his “Handy Dandy Notebook”. It was one of my first reccurring roles, and one that is my favorite, as well as the favorite of so many. So, I owe you a HUGE “Thank You!”.    :-)

As a recent graduate, I am aiming to resume my acting, particularly voice overs, as well as culminate what I’ve learned about Childhood Language Development and talents to be innovative! The goal with having my degree is to bridge both of my careers in order to provide effective services for individuals with communication disorders.

Again, thank you so much. Congratulations on your successes and innovations, and I hope to hear from you soon.

 Screenshot 2016-06-17 11.42.49

Best Always!


Thanks so very much, for taking the time to reach out and say “Hi”, my friend, Side Table Drawer


“How Do You Make a Hit Children’s Show?” is the question I typically hear from parents, students, artists and writers as I meet them for the first time. While everyone’s got their own system to create educational media for children, I shared mine this week at The 4th Annual International Children’s Media Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, via live stream.

I was excited to journey outside my typical neighborhood with this project because a key to a better tomorrow lies within the education and happiness of children, on a global scale.

During the talk, I mentioned the importance of understanding one’s vision and the necessity of creating aspirational characters. Using Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why!, Creative Galaxy & Wishenpoof as tangible examples of how I implemented such features, I explained their characters’ development and how each show’s curriculum helped to enhance their stories. I typically allude to the secret sauce and timing when discussing my projects, which are both imperative to a “Hit Children’s Show”.

Screenshot 2015-11-25 09.54.42

 Special thanks to Hatice Şehime ÖZÜTLER (TRT Çocuk) for inviting me to share, amidst an educated panel, for this special project.

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Parenting, Super Why!


I really wish I could tell you that I break into song every time the mail arrives just like Steve/Joe from Blue’s Clues does. But well, I don’t.

I’d love to say that when one of my daughters has a problem, my usual response is to cheerfully chant, “When you have a problem, we look…in a book!” just like my characters from Super Why. But no, I don’t do that either.

So, what do I do?  And what have I learned from writing hundreds of preschool episodes for television?Super Why Reading Camp

Singing helps.

Seriously.  Singing anything.  We even sing when the mail comes on Blue’s Clues.  Because, well..mail is exciting when you are four!  And truthfully, most mail is exciting.  It’s like a little surprise present.  Singing about it makes it celebratory.


So why not sing about other things?  Sing when we are cleaning up, which preschool teachers have been doing forever! Sing when we are sad (Hello, Taylor Swift?).  Sing when we are excited (“I’m so excited!  And I just can’t hide it!”).  Sing when things don’t go our way (“You Can’t Always Get What you Want”).


Feel free to belt out a tune today. Just watch how it helps!


by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Parenting, Super Why!

Happy ThanksgivingA cornucopia of thanks to all of you that give Daniel Tiger, Super Why, Blue and the rest of our imaginary characters an open door policy into your home.

There isn’t a day that we take your trust for granted and we’re proud to meet the challenges of bettering the lives of children across the globe.

Happy Thanksgiving one and all!



by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, My Projects, PRESS

DTN nprSincere gratitude to NPR, in particular Erika Beras, behavioral health reporter at WESA-FM, for your NPR Morning Edition piece: Daniel Tiger: Won’t You Be His Neighbor which aired this morning.

I can’t begin to explain how grateful we are for our 36 million video streams per month!

While high ratings and streams aren’t frowned upon around here, it’s truly because they serve as a testament that parents yearn for quality, “good for you” programming for their children.

For many of us, such positive reviews help make the labor and the difficulties of work, take a backseat.

Thank you to my incredible Out of the Blue Enterprises family, as well as our team over at The Fred Rogers Company, PBS Kids, 9 Story EntertainmentVoodoo Highway Music & Post.  The magic that is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood couldn’t happen without each one of you!


Have a listen to the NPR piece Daniel Tiger: Won’t You Be His Neighbor right here & let us know what you think about the show by commenting below:

And a special shout out for Blue’s Clues as well! #happymamma


I recently talked to Seattle’s GeekWire boys, Todd Bishop & John Cook, about Creative Galaxy (Amazon Prime Video). They had some interesting questions about the unique, non-broadcast process and what makes the world of Creative Galaxy inspire a love of arts and creativity within children.

In an age that unfortunately contains more than our fair share of sub par content and an abuse/overuse of technology, we cut through the clutter during this GeekWire podcast segment and dive right into how we can properly embrace and utilize new media for our kids development and enjoyment. And yes, you’ll find a shout out or two for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Blue’s Clues

Click below to enjoy the show & let me know if you have any questions please.

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Parenting

Back to School

Throughout the years, the back to school theme has made its into many of my preschool TV scripts. Probably my favorite one is the Blue’s Clues script I wrote when Steve (our main character) goes back to school, leaving for college in 2002..YIKES! Feel free to not do the math here. Blues Clues Logo

We wrote 3 episodes leading up to the introduction of the new host, Joe and Steve’s going back top school. This way, when Steve left for college, Blue and the kids at home were already comfortable with the idea of Joe. The key was getting the audience used to the change before it actually happened. Who knew that, still today, many parents are up in arms about the change?! But back to my point, which is that the process was pivotal.

I try to always look at everything from the kid perspective. So, every fall I have a few back-to-school prep steps that seem to help the kids with the transition.

I hope that these 5 Tips will help you through a seamless transition:

Start the back-to-school routines a week before school starts: We go to bed on “school time”, start doing some “homework” and try to keep our nights low key. This especially helps with the stress of the mornings, when school starts back up.

Get the wipe on/wipe off calendar ready: We keep track of everything two months at a time. My kids are encouraged to add to the calendar as well. However, they think: “If it’s on the calendar then we do it!”..hence all of the waterpark and trampoline room notations

Blues Room Back to School

Put a bulletin board up in plain sight:  We use this for all of the paperwork that goes back and forth (permission slips, projects, field trips). Sounds simple but it’s amazing how quickly our papers get lost or overlooked without it.

Have a spot for the inevitable miscellaneous stuff: We empty a whole drawer in the kitchen for each of my girls for them to put all of their “stuff” in. We keep art projects (big paper plate man? Cute! On the fridge then in the drawer!), homework that has been returned, anything that comes home in the “folder!” Then we organize it into a big bin, labeled with each child’s name, at the end of each month. This keeps everything in one place while we’re busy during the school year.

Schedule Playdates: If my girls are feeling anxious about seeing old friends, playdates with our school friends are imperative. It also gets them excited about seeing the rest of the gang at school.

Please let us know what tips have helped you & your family get over the September Blues

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Parenting


Happy Birthday to my (newly) 10 year old! There are no more children with single digits in my home [sigh].

But while there’s a lot I miss about her younger years, there’s so much I have to look forward to on the road ahead.


Thank you for your inspiration and for being the incredible person that you are! Enjoy 10!

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, My Projects

Creative Galaxy

Creative Galaxy (the animated & interactive, art adventure series, designed to inspire kids’ creative thinking through crafts, story, music & dance) has received the green light from Amazon Studios for series production!

The Creative Galaxy series will be offered on Amazon Studios’ subscription video service at the end of this year.

It’s really rewarding to hear that customers loved Creative Galaxy. It’s been a passion project for me to bring the best arts & creativity to kids with Amazon and I’m so excited that kids are going to be able to enjoy a full season of the show early next year!

Creative Galaxy

We need more innovative kids programming that puts a strong emphasis on creativity & education. I’m proud & honored to be collaborating with Amazon to make these shows for kids.

Thank you, thank you EVERYONE that viewed & commented over at Amazon Studios on Creative Galaxy & Sara Solves It! And regarding Sara, rest assured, she hasn’t been shelved. So stay tuned!!



Angela's Clues

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on”  – Albert Einstein

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Stuff We Love

App-Screenshot-iPadMy super friend Traci Paige Johnson, a graduate of Northwestern University, joined me in 1994 to create Blue’s Clues which ran for 10 years on Nickelodeon. Traci’s unique style of cutout animation became the signature look for Blue’s Clues & beyond. Today she is the co-owner/ founder of the media company, Yummico.


How was creating Blue’s Clues different than creating Yummiloo?

When you and I created Blues Clues, we had Nickelodeon (with their resources and money) behind us. In contrast, I created Yummiloo with scotch tape and rubber bands – not literally, but certainly in spirit. I came up with the idea and did the design & animation with my husband in our basement. Yummiloo has been a bootstrap operation from top to bottom.


Was there a specific instance with one of your boys that gave you the idea that “we need something about food for kids?”

I actually do remember a very significant ‘aha’ moment. When my 3 yr old, Emmet, was around one & a half, I was feeding him and he refused to eat his broccoli. Tired and frustrated, I reached into his toy bin and pulled out a little plastic gorilla. I spontaneously play-acted the gorilla swinging over to his plate, roaring: “YUM… broccoli!” Then I had the gorilla pretend to eat it. I hadn’t planned to do this beforehand, I was just improvising in the moment. But it worked! The gorilla’s interest in the broccoli changed Emmet’s attitude, and he began to eat it too. I took note. Modeling and play, when introducing new foods, is a powerful combination.

Aside from this one particular instance, I’ve felt a general frustration with the way we, as a culture, present food to kids. There are so many things out there that are working against parents who are trying to get their kids to eat right: the ubiquity of unhealthy treats, of relentless commercials, and of kids menus stuffed with only chicken nuggets and white pasta. We parents need all the help we can get.

Yummiloo came out of this frustration, and out of a realization that there wasn’t a nutrition series for preschoolers involving good stories and pre-school relatable characters. I’ve done a lot of research on this issue and it all states that the “window of opportunity is open” in preschoolers and this is the time to introduce a variety of foods. They want to model good behavior and want to do what’s good for their bodies. Yummiloo’s mission is to make “real food” as irresistible to kids as “fake foods”. I want to take the tools of visual media (like those employed in advertising) and use them to get kids to want to eat right, to want broccoli and apples and be a true “food adventurer” setting the foundation of healthy eating for the rest of their lives.Plum


You and I share a vision that shows for kids should be richly textured, smart, interesting and layered. How is Yummiloo all those things?

Yummiloo is a world that kids will want to jump into… and it’s made entirely of real, healthy food. The messages and curriculum aren’t “skill & drill” but are couched organically into the story. There’s hide and seek for the youngest viewers while teaching about composting for the older set. We’ve built the message of modeling healthy food into Yummiloo’s very design. It’s “delicious media…good and good for you.” Like all the shows we create, it inspires kids even AFTER the screen is turned off.

Yummiloo is so beautiful! As an artist, what was your process in designing it?

Honestly, I was really inspired by the power of advertising – by the way a gorgeously photographed burger in a TV commercial can make you want to eat a burger (or pizza, ice cream, etc). I wanted to take the tools and techniques of Madison Avenue and employ them in the creation of a world made entirely of healthy food. To do this, we went to the market to get the freshest foods available; we lit and photographed them to bring out their color, their shape – and their overall ‘yumminess’; then we brought them into the computer. These photographed foods were the foundation, the inspiration, out of which the world took shape.


Have you heard any feedback from kids? Are they asking to eat more broccoli trees?

Funny you should ask – we just got a post from a mom whose thee year-old asked for a plum while in the produce section of the supermarket… and she had never had a plum before. It’s in its early days, but kids seem sparked. They’ve really responded to the world and enjoy pointing out the foods they see hidden in the landscape. I’m encouraged. This is the perfect age to get kids excited about fresh foods.