Pukeko, Breakthrough & HSK Bring ‘Book Hungry Bears’ to TV

Pūkeko Pictures (New Zealand) has brought on Breakthrough Entertainment (Canada) and Hengxin Shambala Kids (China) as co-production partners for the new CGI picture-book preschool series Book Hungry Bears (52 x 11’), which has been commissioned by Canada’s TVOkids and TFO, in association with Knowledge Kids.

The Book Hungry Bears — Crystal, Boomer, Melody and Scout — love picture books. Every day, they go on adventures to catch one of the books which flit and flutter like birds amid the paper trees in their magical, paper world. Every adventure finishes with the bears successfully finding a story to share. They cuddle up close and settle down to share their delight and engagement with the book as they ask each other questions, point to the illustrations and get caught up in the story. The bears’ adventures take place in a crafted world of paper and cardboard that every family can recreate on their kitchen table.

Book Hungry Bears is created by and based on an original idea from Pūkeko Pictures’ Co-Owner and Chief Creative Officer, Martin Baynton, an internationally renowned writer and illustrator of more than 30 children’s books, including Jane and the Dragon and the Fifty the Tractor series.

“As the foundation of literacy, picture books are an essential step in helping a child enjoy and understand the construction of narrative,” said Baynton. “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 – Kids TV, 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.”

Book Hungry Bears is produced with the financial participation of Shaw Rocket Fund and Canada Media Fund and produced in association with Knowledge Kids.