Dora Grabs a Peabody

Nickelodeon’s bilingual preschool toon Dora the Explorer is among the TV shows honored with a prestigious Peabody Award this year. The Awards, which recognize excellence in electronic media, were announced yesterday by the University of Georgia’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The Peabody winners are selected each year by a 15-member board of TV critics, broadcast and cable executives and experts in the arts. This year, the board chose 29 winners from more than 1,100 entries.

Dora the Explorer was created by Chris Gifford, Valerie Walsh and Eric Weiner, and has been a ratings winner on Nick Jr. and CBS since it debuted in 2000. The toon helps preschool viewers develop problem-solving skills in an interactive format. Dora is Latina and teaches children basic Spanish words and phrases, along with math and music skills and physical coordination.

The 63rd Annual Peabody Awards will be presented May 17 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York and will be hosted by NBC Today’s Katie Couric.