When did “The Mickey Mouse Club” get replaced with “Glee?” It’s getting more and more difficult for American parents to shield their children from negative influences and raise them with traditional American values. Barnes & Noble offers thousands of titles, yet children’s books are right next to romance novels; and while the remote control gives kids access to hundreds of channels, Nickelodeon is just a few clicks away from Cinemax.
In children’s entertainment today, American parents are unable to find books, games, and television shows with the right messages. They want stories that promote traditional values, show morality and teach patriotism. There may be plenty of books about sharing and why it’s okay to cry, but none about bravery or respecting your elders. What happened to American children’s’ entertainment?
A year ago, a group of Hollywood writers, producers and actors came together to address this issue. As grandparents, parents, or soon-to-be parents, we all agreed that we needed to give our younger generation wholesome values and teach them to have pride in their country.
When I was a kid, there was nothing better than being an American, and now our children are being raised to apologize for their country.
That’s how Cherry Tree was born. Passionate about channeling our professional experience and influence into something positive for America’s kids, we created a children’s entertainment brand with values that we could stand behind. We chose the name because the story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree was the first American children’s story we heard as kids, and it remains one of the best to this day.
We’ve been working on our stories for over a year. Using the same model we use to write television shows, we brainstorm fun and entertaining characters and develop plots as a group. Once these stories are completed, we share them with kids, our harshest critics, whose input helps us revise them again and again. These books reflect our values, our morals and the stories we grew up hearing.
As a child, my parents brought me to work to teach me where money came from–that life lesson helped inspire one of our stories, “The Money Tree.” I listened in amazement while my grandfather told me about serving in the Navy on the beaches of Normandy–we wove those tales of bravery into our series about rabbit soldiers, “Special Hops.” Sadly, these wholesome American stories that we pass on to our children rarely find a way into today’s children’s books or television shows. Until Cherry Tree, no entertainment brand has stood for American values or patriotism.
Cherry Tree intends to revolutionize not only the type and tone of children’s stories, but also how children read those stories. All of our books are available on the free Cherry Tree iPad and iPhone app because we believe that American families shouldn’t be left behind by technology. Today’s kids want fun, interactive, digital content, and today’s parents want stories with traditional messages–Cherry Tree combines the two.
Cherry Tree isn’t just about books. As we grow, Cherry Tree will prove to be a safe world for families to get games and interactive features as well. Just as families can choose to watch Fox or MSNBC, Cherry Tree gives parents a channel for their children where they didn’t have an option before.
We invite families to come check out Cherry Tree. And if you are already a Cherry Tree family, stick around; we’ll be releasing a lot more content in the months and years to come. You can also download a free Cherry Tree app.
Big Journalism’s Dana Loesch talks to actor Allen Covert about his participation in the Cherry Tree line.