A new chapter in preschool entertainment with Book Hungry Bears

Pūkeko Pictures has inked a deal with Canada’s Breakthrough Entertainment and Hengxin Shambala Kids in China to come on board as co-production partners on the brand new CGI picture-book preschool series, Book Hungry Bears 52×11’ which has been commissioned by Canada’s TVOkids and TFO, in association with Knowledge Kids.

Here come the Bears! The Book Hungry Bears! Hungry for Books and stories to share!  Our Book Hungry Bears – Crystal, Boomer, Melody and Scout – LOVE picture books.  Every day they go on adventures in a beautiful paper world in search of a book they can share, catching books which flit and flutter like birds amid the paper trees in their magical world.

Every adventure finishes with the bears successfully finding a story book to share.  They cuddle up close and settle down to enjoy the story, always checking first: ‘Is everybody “close and comfy”?’  The bears 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.  Every tree, bush and flower the bears hide behind, every squirrel and rabbit they meet, has been created from card or paper in simple forms that all children will recognise.

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.

Martin 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 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.

About Pūkeko Pictures

Pūkeko Pictures is an independent entertainment production company focused on the development and production of world-class, multi-platform entertainment for a global audience. Pūkeko Pictures was formed in 2008 by Sir Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Martin Baynton, and is located in Wellington, New Zealand. With a connection to the world famous Weta Workshop (Avatar, King Kong, Lord of the Rings), Pūkeko Pictures is uniquely positioned in the creation of world-leading entertainment, harnessing the best in global talent and world-class production processes. Weta Workshop is not to be confused with Weta Digital, the VFX company owned by Peter Jackson.

About Breakthrough Entertainment

Breakthrough Entertainment is an award-winning producer and distributor of original, premium content for audiences around the world.  It is also one of Canada’s most established and respected production companies.  Founded 35 years ago, it is the partnership of Executive Producers Ira Levy, Nat Abraham and Michael McGuigan.  Breakthrough’s library now boasts 50-plus feature films and 3,000 television episodes which air on major networks and digital channels worldwide. 

A pioneer in children’s programming, Breakthrough began with “Dudley the Dragon” more than 30 years ago.  Recent titles in children’s programming include the live action/animation series “The Adventures of Napkin Man”, the animated series “Wandering Wenda” based on the books of acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood and the Emmy Nominated American series “The Big Fun Crafty Show”

And multi award winning Anne of Green Gables trilogy, starring Emmy award winner Martin Sheen.  The Anne movies which sold worldwide, premiered on PBS in the United States.

About Hengxin Shambala Kids

HSK is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hengxin Shambala Culture Co., Ltd. It is one of the most competitive and promising companies in the children’s culture industry of China. Powered by a comprehensive IP promotion system combing content distribution, product development, L&M, theme parks, live events, stage shows for kids, marketing and product distribution, the company tailors its unique marketing strategies to each property and commits itself to putting these strategies into practice, thus facilitating the growth of the whole industry.