About the Show

The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special
Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck
Mutual Respect and Understanding Curriculum
International Girls on Sesame Street
Sesame Street Season 48

The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special

Sesame Street’s 48th season begins with an all-new primetime special, starring Elizabeth Banks and filmed in three vibrant New York City neighborhoods.

While taking her friends on a magical hot air balloon ride, Abby Cadabby loses her wand to a curious bird, voiced by Banks. Without Abby’s wand, they can’t get back to Sesame Street. A chase ensues!

Pursuing the bird in their hot air balloon, Abby and the gang visit new neighborhoods and discover new foods, music, and languages. Best of all, they make new friends who help them find the missing wand and show them the way back home. Who knew there was so much to discover just around the corner?

The Magical Wand Chase is deeply connected to this season’s respect and understanding curriculum, using the tapestry of the city to show kids that kindness is universal and new friends can be found anywhere. (It also marks the first time the show has shot a feature-length special on location since 1994!)

Season 48

Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck

Get ready to hit the road with Cookie Monster in an all-new segment!

“Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck” is a dynamic new way for kids to learn where their favorite foods come from. In each five-minute installment, Cookie Monster and his new pal Gonger receive a video call from a child who orders a favorite dish. Partway through preparing each recipe in their fully-loaded food truck, Cookie and Gonger realize that they’re missing a key ingredient. They jump behind the wheel and leave Sesame Street to gather the missing ingredient right from the source.

The truck drives away to visit a cranberry bog, a pasta factory, an apple orchard, and more. Farmers and artisans show Cookie and Gonger how their star ingredient is grown or produced, help restock the food truck, and send the friends on their way.

Back on Sesame Street, Cookie and Gonger get started on the order. Once complete, each dish is “launched” to the caller via the food truck’s patented catapult, “landing” safely on the caller’s kitchen table.

Select “Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck” Segments

  • Apples, Episode 4801
  • Cranberries, Episode 4802
  • Pineapples, Episode 4805
  • Avocados, Episode 4811
  • Angel Hair Pasta, Episode 4812
  • Tortillas, Episode 4816
  • Maple Syrup, Episode 4821
  • Milk, Episode 4828
Seasone 48

Mutual Respect and Understanding Curriculum

At Sesame Workshop, promoting kindness is fundamental to who we are. Our mission is to provide kids with the tools to engage with an increasingly challenging world in healthy and positive ways. As we enter the second year of Sesame Street’s kindness curriculum, we’re focusing on fostering mutual respect and understanding, especially across cultural, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Along with academic skills like literacy, mathematics, and science basics, prosocial behaviors like perseverance, empathy, and compassion are integral to kids’ success in school and beyond.

According to the national kindness survey Sesame Workshop commissioned last year, three quarters of parents, teachers, and caregivers believe that kindness is even more important to children’s futures than academic achievement. The harmful effects of intolerance can be felt in neighborhoods all over the United States and beyond, even by their littlest residents.  Preschoolers are not color-blind – they use visual cues to categorize everything in their world, people included –  and the reluctance of parents and teachers to discuss race and culture sends the message that it’s an unspeakable topic, which can lead to negative feelings and associations (Bronson, 2009). Sesame Street has always been proud to help kids navigate this space, with a diverse human cast and lovable monsters in every shape, size, and color of the rainbow living side-by-side.

For young children, becoming culturally competent means learning to value others, recognizing similarities between themselves and their peers while also appreciating the differences. At this age, most kids are also developing the cognitive flexibility to see situations from others’ points of view – a key component of empathy – which this curriculum supports and reinforces. Cultural competency also means learning to value the self; our characters model positive self-esteem as they take pride in their unique talents, characteristics, and cultural backgrounds. Difference is something to celebrate from this season’s very first episode, when friends and neighbors come together to share their traditions at a Thanksgiving feast, Sesame Street-style.

It’s also important for kids to see that disagreements are natural, even among friends. This year’s curriculum provides kids with age-appropriate strategies for self-regulation, mindfulness, and conflict resolution to help them overcome a variety of challenges. By modeling the value of respecting others and recognizing their points of view, we hope to guide both kids and caregivers toward building a more caring, compassionate, and kind world.

Sesame Street International Girls

International Girls on Sesame Street

Faraway friends are visiting Sesame Street with a powerful message for kids and families.

In a special four-episode event, Sesame Street Muppet girls from the show’s co-productions in India, China, and South Africa will be integrated into storylines that share their unique cultures with Elmo, Cookie Monster, and all their friends. Cultural exchange and understanding have been part of Sesame Workshop from the very beginning; we’ve been developing local versions of Sesame Streetsince 1970, with original characters played by local performers and curricula tailored to the specific needs of children in each region. This new run of episodes marks the first time that an ensemble of international Sesame characters has visited the U.S. production.

These international visitors and storylines are deeply important to Season 48’s mutual respect and understanding curriculum. Building on Season 47’s kindness theme, this season works to foster cultural competencies – interpersonal tools and skills that can help kids understand their own cultures, respect and appreciate others’ cultures, and recognize similarities between the two. Young children notice racial, cultural, and other differences as a matter of course, but they need context to understand their world and be better neighbors. In our increasingly connected and challenging world, “tolerance” is not enough; that’s where cultural competencies come in. By modeling curious and respectful interactions with people of different backgrounds, the Sesame Street crew shows kids that similarities are easy to find and differences are worthy of celebration.

It’s no coincidence that all the visiting characters are girls, either. Girls’ education is at the heart of many of Sesame Workshop’s global productions. Characters like Chamki (India), Lily (China), and Zuzu (South Africa) serve as positive role models for girls and boys alike, challenging the social norms and stereotypes that prevent girls from reaching their potential.

Episodes Featuring International Girls and Storylines

  • Book Worming (Episode 4813) – 2/10/18
    Elmo’s friend Zuzu is visiting Sesame Street from South Africa. After reading all about her home in the Book Nook, Elmo and Alan throw Zuzu a welcome party with South African food, music, and traditional clothing. At the party, Zuzu says she read up on Sesame Street, too.
  • Chinese New Year (Episode 4814) – 2/17/18
    It’s Chinese New Year on Sesame Street! To learn how some people celebrate the holiday in China and around the world, Nina helps Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, and Grover build their own dragon costume.
  • Chamki Visits Sesame Street (Episode 4815) – 2/24/18
    Big Bird is getting ready for a visit from Chamki, his pen pal from India. Grover, Elmo, Rosita, and Cookie Monster build a giant bird feeder to help her feel comfortable on Sesame Street. When she gets there, the gang finds out that – even though she and Big Bird have a lot in common – she’s not a bird at all!
  • Street Food (Episode 4816) – 3/3/18
    Lily, a four-year-old tiger cub from China, joins Chamki, Zuzu, and all their new friends for an international food festival on Sesame Street. The group learns about traditional dishes from Japan, South Africa, India, and China. Rudy is reluctant to try the unfamiliar foods, but he’s pleasantly surprised when Elmo, Abby, and Chris encourage him to taste a few.

Select Episode Descriptions

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A Very Sesame Street Thanksgiving
4801 A Very Sesame Street Thanksgiving

Sesame Street is getting ready for a Thanksgiving feast. When Rosita worries her Abuela cooked something that her friends would find strange, Big Bird, Alan, and Nina explain that all families have their own wonderful family traditions.

4802 Cinderella’s Slippery Slippers
4802 Cinderella’s Slippery Slippers

Cinderella, played by Lucy Liu, doesn’t want to be a princess anymore – she wants to ditch her fancy shoes and play! With a trip to the shoe store for some comfy sneakers, Rosita helps Cinderella realize that she can be a princess and play with her new friends.

4805 Martian Mission
4805 Martian Mission

Martians land on Sesame Street to figure out what the people of Earth are like. Elmo shows them that despite speaking many languages, having different skin colors, and coming in lots of shapes and sizes, all kinds of people can be friends.

4806 Clothing Drive
4806 Clothing Drive

When Rudy outgrows his favorite sweater, Nina suggests holding a clothing drive in the neighborhood. Everyone’s extra clothes can find a new home with neighbors who need them. Rudy’s sweater goes to a little girl who is very excited to wear it.

4809 Our Family’s Way
4809 Our Family’s Way

Abby’s family is having dinner at Elmo’s house. Elmo and Abby discover that even though their families do things differently, they can have fun working together to get the meal ready.

4810 The Last Straw
4810 The Last Straw

When Ernie makes too much noise during Bert’s naptime, Bert angrily leaves in search of a quiet place to sleep. While they’re apart, Bert and Ernie think about how their actions made the other feel. They apologize to each other, learning that even though they had a fight, they can still be friends.

4812 Hair Training
4812 Hair Training

Prairie and her friend Gabrielle are practicing a dance, but their hair doesn’t move the same way. Nina helps them realize that the dance is even more fun when they each let their hair do what it wants to do! Elmo and Big Bird join in and let their fur and feathers fly free.

4818 It’s Dance Your Favorite Dance Day
4818 It’s Dance Your Favorite Dance Day

Nina knows dances from all around the world, and on “Dance Your Favorite Dance Day,” she teaches her friends on Sesame Street the moves to all their favorites.

4828 Oscar the Kind
4828 Oscar the Kind

When Oscar the Grouch gets sick, he doesn’t feel grouchy anymore … he feels kind! Elmo and Baby Bear see how easy and fun it is to be kind to others.

4832 Abby and Zoe Love Karate
4832 Abby and Zoe Love Karate

Nina teaches Abby and Zoe all about karate. After learning how to focus and practice, Abby and Zoe manage to kick a ball off a stand with a special karate kick.

4835 The Count’s Counting Error
4835 The Count’s Counting Error

Upset by his first-ever counting mistake, the Count tries to find another job. He soon finds out that many other jobs include counting, too.