Pūkeko Pictures has entered into a co-production pact with Canada’s Breakthrough Entertainment and Hengxin Shambala Kids in China for the brand-new preschool series Book Hungry Bears.
The CGI series has been commissioned by Canada’s TVOkids and TFO in association with Knowledge Kids. The show was created by Pūkeko Pictures’ co-owner and chief creative officer, Martin Baynton, who has authored more than 30 children’s books, including Jane and the Dragon and the Fifty the Tractor series.
Book Hungry Bears, which is produced with the financial participation of Shaw Rocket Fund and Canada Media Fund, follows four bears who love picture books and go on adventures in their paper world to find new ones to read. Each episode ends with the bears finding a story to tell and sitting down to read it.
Baynton said, “As the foundation of literacy, picture books are an essential step in helping a child enjoy and understand the construction of narrative. The simple act of sharing a story facilitates many ways of thinking—play, wonder, experiment—and we can establish relationships through the shared experience. Rather than conventional reading, Book Hungry Bears focuses on this bond of emotion, learning and ideas.”
Ira Levy, executive producer for Breakthrough Entertainment, said, “It’s an honor and privilege to be working on such an amazing series with Pūkeko Pictures and Hengxin Shambala Kids. Book Hungry Bears is a wonderful, colorful and beautiful way to introduce young children to storytelling. At its core, it captures that magical moment when preschoolers connect to their world through the simple act of having a book read to them by a parent, relative, teacher or friend.”
Marney Malabar, director of kids’ TV at TVO, said, “Supporting literacy and the love of reading from the early years is one of the cornerstones to becoming a lifelong learner. TVOkids is proud to be a partner on Book Hungry Bears, to reinforce important moments that build foundational literacy, and to delight our young audiences with the art and wonder of storytelling.”