I was invited to screen an episode of Go, Diego, Go! with my friend and her family about an armadillo race. I couldn’t wait to go and I am so glad I did.
The episode is called Armadillo’s Rainforest Race, but if you wanted to read the book you’ll have to look under “R” for The Rainforest Race. It’s a pretty epic battle between the random jungle animals Diego hangs out with in Guatemala.
But not a battle to the death (well, if this wasn’t a cartoon it would be a race to the death). Just a race up mountains and through valleys with trees that throw nuts at you and then you have to hide from hungry wolves and also you have to dodge some treacherous holes. All in all, a pretty crazy race.
Do you think the armadillo wins the race?
The entire point of the episode was to teach us about the armadillo, who everyone generally overlooks because he doesn’t have a lot going for him. You know, he’s kind of small, kind of slow, kind of boring.
Well if you think armadillo’s are no big deal, think again! Turns out though the armadillo is pretty cool so I’m glad I was able to address my subconscious prejudice against the armadillo and treat him with the respect he deserves.
But if I had a scorecard for the armadillo, I’m not sure how well he’d do. Just saying.
My favourite part about the evening was when Diego would ask us, the audience, to help the animals get through the tough parts of the race. He would ask us questions, then wait for a response. Then he’d show us an action to help the animal and would wait for us to do it.
Since Diego is a cartoon, he couldn’t really see us all staring awkwardly back at the screen while he waited for us to yell “Yeah!” back at him and do the actions at his prompting. I love that the kids couldn’t care less about participating in the cheesy group bits. LOVE it. Made my night.
Here’s what I learned about armadillo
- Name is Spanish for “little armoured one”
- Have sharp claws and are great diggers
- Live off insects, grubs, invertebrates
- Big eyes, poor vision
- Have scaly/horn-like armour
- Roll up in a ball when threatened
- Can stay underwater for six minutes
- Found in southern USA and South America
I feel so enlightened.