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Preschool Clues

Raising Smart, Inspired, and Engaged Kids in a Screen-Filled World

Foreword by Daniel R. Anderson



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About The Book

The award-winning creator of Blue’s Clues, Super Why!, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood shares the secret sauce behind her shows’ powerful, transformative results in the form of eleven research-based, foundational “clues” to ensure that preschoolers flourish academically, socially, and emotionally during this critical time.

The preschool years—when children are between the ages of two and five—are the most influential, important years in a child’s life. Studies show that pausing to interact, playing to solve problems, diffusing with humor, and using repetition are the hidden clues conscious parents use to raise successful kids and help them learn critical thinking skills, foster empathy, and nurture their sense of self-worth.

Angela C. Santomero, MA, the award-winning creator of children’s television phenomena knows this better than anyone and has spent decades working to instill confidence in her young viewers. In Preschool Clues, she breaks down the philosophy behind her shows—educating, inspiring, and empowering kids—into concrete strategies that parents and educators can incorporate into their family and classroom to set their preschoolers up for success, such as:

-Intentionally pausing to foster bonding, independence, and resilience
-Developing empathy and confidence through soliciting preschoolers’ help
-Becoming “fluent” in the language of preschoolers: Play
-Igniting your preschooler’s curiosity
-Being an involved co-player everyday
-Designing a healthy media diet

In Preschool Clues, Angela shares the latest research from top thinkers in child development and education. Through her practical, straightforward advice and inspiring, conversational approach, you will not only understand exactly what your children are learning from the shows they watch and why these shows are so effective, you’ll know exactly how to apply these same proven approaches in your daily life and with the same powerful results.

About The Authors

William Taufic

Described by Joanne Rogers as “a modern day Fred Rogers,” Angela Santomero is the cocreator of Blue’s Clues and the creator of Super Why!Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodCreative Galaxy, and Wishenproof. Her work has been cited in numerous publications including Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller, The Tipping Point. She lives in New York with her husband, daughters, and their two dogs. Her first book is Preschool Clues.

Photograph by Kip Beelman

Deborah Reber’s teen books include Doable, Language of Love, Chill, In Their Shoes, and Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: The Real Deal. She is also the founding editor-in-chief for Heart of Gold, an online destination for teen girls passionate about entrepreneurship, social activism, and volunteerism. She recently moved to Amsterdam with her family. Find out more at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Touchstone (April 3, 2018)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501174339

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Raves and Reviews

"Angela is carrying on Fred's legacy with her work in children's media -- like a modern day Fred Rogers." – Joanne Rogers

“Angela Santomero is a bigger showrunner than Vince Gilligan, David Milch, and Judd Apatow combined — to a kid. The creator of Blue Clues, Super Why!, Creative Galaxy — and yes, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood — is the driving force behind the best educational programming for children.” –

“In this practical and research-based guide, Santomero, Blue’s Clues cocreator and creator of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and other children’s TV shows, helps parents of preschoolers understand how to use media effectively and age appropriately… Parents will find plenty of fresh ideas for raising “smart, inspired, and engaged” preschoolers in this wise and enthusiastic text.”—Publishers Weekly

"Leave it to the genius behind Blue’s Clues and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Angela Santomero to translate her knowledge of child development research into the ultimate parenting book. It includes guiding principles and hundreds of easy and fun everyday activities parents and teachers can use to raise children to be thoughtful, caring and truly engaged learners!”Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs

“Angela Santomero reveals the elements that make her shows both entertaining and educational, and clues parents to do the same in their everyday moments with young children.”–Joanna Faber and Julie King, authors of How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen

“Children are active and children are curious. Angela Santomero, who has harnessed their curiosity with brilliant children’s television, has brought her creative instincts and solid developmental science to bear on how we can join and parent children in their world which so seamlessly spans the physical and the digital. With this active verb-driven, warm and humorous guide, she offers clues to understanding and enjoying our young children while directing their endless energy toward their best selves."Michael Rich, MD, The Mediatrician Director, Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH), Boston Children's Hospital Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

“Fans of Blue’s Clues and Santomero’s other popular children’s shows will enjoy her practical advice and conversational tone. Educators and parents will likely find a takeaway or two in this breezy, informative read.”—Library Journal

“[Santomero] incorporates numerous examples of day-to-day interactions with toddlers as well as handy charts and bulleted lists that get to the heart of each chapter, condensing the important information into bite-size bits for the busy parent… An entertaining and educational analysis of how toddlers learn."—Kirkus

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More books from this author: Deborah Reber