Pūkeko Pictures has unveiled deals with several international broadcasters and publishers for its new CGI preschool series Book Hungry Bears, as well as details on ten brand-new picture books to be featured in the show.
Per the broadcast deals, TVNZ and ABC Australia have signed up to air the series, which is co-produced with Canada’s Breakthrough Entertainment and Hengxin Shambala Kids in China. Book Hungry Bears has been commissioned by Canada’s TVOkids and TFO, in association with Knowledge Kids.
Publishing partners in Canada that have come on board to supply picture books for inclusion in Book Hungry Bears include Scholastic Canada, Pajama Press, Kids Can Press, Tradewind Books, Inhabit Media, Editions D’eux and Owl Kids Books. Pūkeko Pictures has also signed deals with Macmillan Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Children’s in the U.S.; Walker Books and Child’s Play in the U.K.; Harper Collins in Australia; and Gecko Press and Duck Creek Press for New Zealand, as well as two Martin Baynton books from Scholastic NZ titled Why do you Love Me and Daniel’s Dinosaurs.
In addition, Pūkeko Pictures’ own slate of ten original picture books have been written and illustrated by a group of award-winning creatives, including Kimberly Andrews, Sacha Cotter, Josh Morgan, K.S. Kulak, Paul Beavis, Roxane Gajadhar, Fifi Colston, Rob Foote and Terri Rose Baynton to feature in episodes of Book Hungry Bears. They will cover themes such as acceptance, diversity, the transient nature of things and blended families.
The slate of new books was developed by the company’s chief creative officer and acclaimed writer Martin Baynton, who also created the series.
Each adventure in the show finishes with the bears successfully finding, and settling down to enjoy together, a storybook that underscores the themes of the episode. The bears’ adventures take place in a crafted world of paper and cardboard that every family can recreate on their kitchen table.
Baynton said: “Children’s love of stories and pictures books is universal, as well as being an important step in development, and sharing the reading experience with grown-ups or peers helps kids form bonds and facilitates emotional learning. This show brings together my love of compelling narrative and passion for creating content that supports kids in their emotional journeys as they make sense of the world around them.”