One cold, house-bound weekend when we had exhausted every board game, my Dutch friend Inez turned our family on to the Thunderbirds—the mid-60s British science fiction show created by a husband and wife puppetmaster team, who pioneered a sophisticated brand of live-action marionette puppetry called “Supermarionation.” A kind of mashup of James Bond and Mr. Rogers, the series follows the death-defying escapades of Jeff Tracy, whose International Rescue organization has him and his sons flying in “Thunderbird” machines in order to save the day. Kids will love the intricate plots, the fantastical gadgets, and the heroic acts. Parents will get a kick out of the fashion, the music, and virtuostic puppetry. Apparently they are going to create a new series in the UK this year, which hopefully will make it to the US shortly thereafter. You can buy the whole series (12 volumes) on Amazon. I’m getting this for some of our close friends’ kids birthdays–the series is on sale for $43 right now.