Picture Pages

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Animated intro, featuring a caricature of Bill Cosby.

Picture Pages is a 1978–1980 American educational television program aimed at preschool children, presented by Bill Cosby—teaching lessons on basic arithmetic, geometry, and drawing through a series of interactive lessons that used a workbook that viewers would follow along with the lesson.[1]

Picture Pages was created by Julius Oleinick and started on a local Pittsburgh children's show in 1974 with the Picture Pages puzzle booklets given away at a supermarket chain. It debuted as a national segment of the Captain Kangaroo show in the '70s (then directed by Jimmy Hirschfeld[2]), in which Captain Kangaroo would do the lessons on his "magic drawing board". Bill Cosby took over hosting the segments in 1978, presenting the lessons with a marker named "Mortimer Ichabod Marker" (M.I. for short), which was topped with a cartoon figure that played musical notes whenever he drew with it.[3]

When the Captain Kangaroo show left CBS in 1984, the segment was adopted as part of Nickelodeon's Pinwheel program until that show was cancelled in 1989. The segment was also used as an interstitial program into the early 1990s. The Cosby era of Picture Pages was shown in repeats until 1990.

The show also aired in Canada on the YTV cable network.


  1. ^ Woolery, George W. (1985). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part II: Live, Film, and Tape Series. The Scarecrow Press. pp. 393–394. ISBN 0-8108-1651-2.
  2. ^ "Jimmy Hirschfeld". Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-12-26. Retrieved 2005-12-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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