There's a new show for preschoolers in town and it takes place in the vibrant and colorful world of "Ms. Tab," better known as an actress, author and vegan food-lover Tabitha Brown.
In Tab Time, a 10-episode series streaming on YouTube Kids and on Brown's YouTube channel, Brown harnesses her talents as a cook, storyteller, mom and motivator to teach kids about living up to their limitless potential. And she does it with the help of animated characters and special guests in both a cartoon world where she takes kids on adventures to find answers to their questions and a brightly colored reality version of her home where she tells kids stories and teaches them to make healthy plant-based snacks.
But while each episode is packed with lots of colorful vibrant fun, there's a deeper meaning behind Brown's dive into the world of kids' programming: one that started with her own journey into freedom and self-love.
"I had to grow to understand that I'm not here to please others: I'm only here to be," Brown tells Yahoo Life. "It took me a long time to get to that place — not that I didn't have great parents that didn't teach me that — but the world can be a little crazy sometimes and you start buying into believing that you're not enough. I had to grow through that and understand that yes, I deserve to be in any room I walk in. I deserve to show up just as I am and I am enough."
As Brown worked through her own "journey to freedom," she says she heard a voice while praying that told her she should try to heal the world.
"I kept praying, 'How do I do that?'" Brown recalls. "And then, I heard a voice that said, 'It starts with children.'"
Brown, who has two children of her own with husband Chance Brown, says her thoughts immediately turned to co-producing her own kids' show, where she could help teach children about being open-minded, using their imaginations and being confident in their own abilities.
"They will have compassion for each other and they will help heal each other," Brown says. "That's how the world will be a better place."
One of the biggest messages Brown hopes to teach kids is that it's OK to go through life at your own pace.
"You'll know when you're ready for things," the author of Feeding the Soul: Because It's My Business says. "It's so important — a lot of times we will rush to do something even when we're not ready and that's how we make mistakes or we get hurt — so I always encourage my kids, just because someone else is doing it at your age doesn't mean it's your journey. You have to be willing and OK with walking your own journey."
While journeying with Ms. Tab through Tab Time, kids will put on their "imagination chutes," blasting into a cartoon universe where they'll answer questions about what makes plants grow, why music makes us feel different feelings, how to ask for help and more.
But what did the 42-year-old think of seeing herself transformed into cartoon form?
"I cried," she admits. "I loved it so much. It's such an amazing thing to see, because who didn't love Saturday mornings waking up and watching cartoons and seeing your favorite cartoon? Being able to be turned into a cartoon character — it gives me so much joy. And, she's cute. She has a whole perfect afro and her fingernails and jewelry, even her shoes, they make me happy."
And, while imagination chutes — imaginary portals through the clouds that transport kids to Brown's cartoon universe —may only exist on the screen, Brown recalls being a young girl and dreaming of being on television, something she feels she herself manifested through years of dreaming.
"Growing up as a little girl in Eden, N.C., the only thing we could do was dream because we didn't have access to anything else," Brown says, recalling how, as a child, she'd watch shows like The Cosby Show and Roseanne and wish she was an actress on the sets. "The dream of being on Roseanne — just recently I did an episode on The Conners — and I was on the set, which is the same set it was when it was Roseanne, and it was such a surreal moment. It was what I dreamt of as a child, wanting to be on that show, wanting to talk to Darlene and there I was in a scene with her having a conversation. It was mind-blowing, but that is the power of using your imagination to see yourself somewhere."
While not every child will "imagination shoot" themselves into the Conners' living room, Brown hopes they will learn that anything they dream of is possible. And, that they'll pick up her love of food through each episode's snack time segment.
"Every episode will have plant-based fun snacks kids will be able to make at home and be excited about it," Brown, who shares her love of vegan cooking on TikTok, explains, "It's important to show children that food can be fun and that fruits and veggies can be fun and as they grow, they'll remember that and maybe they won't be afraid to try their fruits and veggies."
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