China, Canada join Pūkeko Pictures series

NZ animators Pūkeko Pictures have inked a deal with Canada’s Breakthrough Entertainment and China’s Hengxin Shambala Kids as co-production partners on a new preschool series, Book Hungry Bears.

The 52×11’ series has been commissioned by Canada’s TVOkids and TFO, in a is created by and based on an original idea from Pūkeko Pictures’ co-owner and Chief Creative Officer, Martin Baynton.

“As the foundation of literacy, picture books are an essential step in helping a child enjoy and understand the construction of narrative,” he said. “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 honour and privilege to be working on such an amazing series with Pūkeko Pictures and Hengxin Shambala Kids. Book Hungry Bears is a wonderful, colourful 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.

An Australian broadcaster is yet to be announced.

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