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Plato reading 'The Book of Virtues'Plato the Buffalo - Wise, fatherly buffalo featured on the children's animated series ADVENTURES FROM THE BOOK OF VIRTUES/PBS/1996-97. Based on the best selling anthology by William J, Bennett, the series is set in the mythical Plato's Peak. The show's hero and heroine, 11-year-old white boy Zach Nichols (Pamela Segall/Andrew Francis) and a 10 year-old Native American girl Annie Redfeather (Kath Soucie) travel to Plato's Peak to get advice from Plato the Buffalo when they face moral dilemmas.

Listening to their problems, the well-traveled Plato (Kevin Michael Richardson) consults his collection of great stories that are contained in a large brown book called the Book of Virtues.

Each episode illustrates a single virtue through stories from Greek mythology, the Bible or European, African and Native American folklore.

The series addresses such virtues as wisdom, leadership, integrity, work, friendship courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, self-discipline, moderation, humility, gratitude, compassion, responsibility, loyalty, respect, faith and generosity.

For instance, when Zach breaks one of his father's cameras, and concocts a story to escape blame, Plato reads the legend of "George Washington and the Cherry Tree" to emphasize the importance of honesty.

And, when Annie accepts Zach's challenge to a bike race, which results in an accident that wrecks her new bike and the cakes she was suppose to deliver, Plato offers up the tales of "Icarus and Daedalus," "King Alfred and the Cakes" and "The Chest of Broken Glass" to get Annie thinking about responsibility.

Other animals featured on the program include Aristotle (Jim Cummings), a bookish prairie dog; Socrates (Frank Welker), a bobcat; and Aurora, a wise hawk.

William J. Bennett, the creator of the series justifies the series concept by saying "The way to respond to poor television programming is two things, turn it off or try to put something good on. And what we've tried here is to put something good on."


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