When you visit Panwapa, a new Web site for kids created by the Sesame Street Workshop, you'll join the creatures that live there on their exciting journey around the world. Learn about this culturally diverse island, become a global citizen, and meet kids from other countries with Azibo the monster as your personal tour guide! Here, Azibo tells Parent & Child about life on Panwapa Island and how fun it can be to make new friends.
Parent & Child: Where is Panwapa Island, and can children visit you there?
Azibo: We love children to visit us! They can do it through the Internet. And since we are a floating island, you have to find us first — that's one of the fun parts!
P&C: How did you end up on Panwapa Island?
Azibo: Well, I was looking for a place to live that would let me see the whole world without ever leaving home! And because Panwapa floats all over the globe, it's perfect for me. I took a train, bus, donkey cart, and boat to get here.
P&C: When you first arrived, Koko, Tungar and Bill — the penguin, tiger, and bug who are now your friends — were scared of you because you are a monster and not animals like they are. Now that you've all gotten to know each other, it seems you are having a great time together! Who is your best friend on the island?
Azibo: Well, my first friend was Athena, the wise owl. I guess that makes her my oldest friend on Panwapa Island. But now, I feel like everyone is my best friend.
P&C: Athena is such a wise owl, always sensing trouble and helping everyone out. Who else do you go to for advice?
Azibo: That's a very hard question. Bill has a lot of information, but I often ask Koko about things that confuse me because she seems to know the difference between what is important and what isn't. I don't know how she knows, but she does.
P&C: What advice do you have for children who move someplace new and don't feel accepted right away?
Azibo: Wow. That can be a pretty lonely feeling. My advice is to find a way to let others get to know who you are. Show them what you like — like Frisbee, maybe, or drawing. But be as patient as you can, because it can take a while to make friends.
P&C: Is it hard to play and be friends with Baabra the sheep and her children because they can only speak Sheep?
Azibo: At first it was, but now we have figured out a way to speak to each other through our smiles and eyes and hands — body language. Sometimes when we don't understand each other, it's funny.
P&C: Everyone is so different on Panwapa Island. They look different, like different things, and even speak different languages! What new words, games or traditions have you learned from them?
Azibo: Wow, I could go on forever on that one! There's the marble game that Athena taught me where we try to move the marbles from bowl to bowl using only two chopsticks. My favorite new word is meeah meeah bah. That's sheep for 'I'm a funky monster.' I mean look at me: meeah meeah bah!
P&C: In your song you sing about everyone being different and also being the same. What do you and your friends on Panwapa Island have in common?
Azibo: We all love singing, playing sports — especially football — and laughing and being silly. Being silly is definitely what we like doing best.
P&C: In Tungar's story of how the members of Panwapa Island came together before you arrived, he said that everyone used to stick to themselves until they discovered they all liked music. Now you are even part of the sing-a-long! When did you learn to sing?
Azibo: I have always loved to sing. It makes me feel happy. Singing in a group makes me so happy I want to dance.
P&C: When you aren't helping out your friends or trying to learn Sheep or Owl language, what do you enjoy doing on Panwapa Island?
Azibo: I love playing tag and hide and seek, building sand caves, checking my Panwapa mail on our Web site to see who has visited me, and collecting rare animal cards.
P&C: Panwapa cards have pictures that show us some of the cardholder's favorite things. What is on your Panwapa card?
Azibo: Oh, that's my favorite thing to talk about! Because it's about my favorite things! I like noodles, football, the saxophone, origami, turtles, and the Lulua mask.
P&C: Please share any further stories, jokes, tips or information you think our readers might like to know.
Azibo: Just remember, whenever you can, try and be a good neighbor. Oh, and what did the hat say to the tie? "I'll go on ahead, and you just hang around!"