June recently discovered Dora the Explorer and has been in a full-on Dora fever for a few months now. It all started when I rented a couple of DVDs for her at the local library over Christmas break. (For those of you who don’t know, Dora is a popular Nickelodeon Latina character who goes on adventures with her buddy, a monkey named Boots. Dora is bilingual. She relies on her talking backpack and talking map to find her way to specific destinations while overcoming obstacles.) June became transfixed. She started talking like Dora and imitating whole lines of dialogue from episodes. She started calling Jake “Boots” and wants us to call her “Dora.” I’m “Bag.” (Don’t ask me who that is but it least it sounds marginally better than, say, “Sod.”) She wears her backpack around the house spewing lines. She and “Boots” go on “adventures” around the house the second “Boots” walks in the door from work. Her teachers told me she slips into her Dora character at Montessori, encouraging classmates to say “Backpack!”
Although I hate the thought of my kid turning into a drooling Dora zombie while I suffer from low grade Dora fatigue — “Dora the Explorer! Swiper, no swiping! Swiper, no swiping!” — I actually kind of like this character. I mean, at least compared to other popular kiddie characters – I’m looking at you, Caillou! – Dora is alright. Dora is cool. She’s a girl after my own heart.