Broadcasters bite into Book Hungry Bears

Several publishing partners have also boarded the preschool series from Pukeko Pictures, Breakthrough Entertainment and Hengxin Shambala Kids.

New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures has locked in new broadcast deals for its CG animated preschool series Book Hungry Bears.

Co-produced by Toronto-based Breakthrough Entertainment and China’s Hengxin Shambala Kids, the 52 x 11-minute series has been picked up by TVNZ (New Zealand) and ABC Australia. Book Hungry Bears was commissioned by Canada’s TVOKids and TFO, in association with learning channel Knowledge Kids and originally pitched at Asian Animation Summit in 2014.

Created by Martin Baynton, co-owner and CCO of Pukeko Pictures, the show follows ursine friends (as the title suggests) who love books and go on adventures in search of a story they can share.

The series is also produced with financial participation of Shaw Rocket Fund, Canada Media Fund (CMF) and in association with Knowledge Kids. The other co-producers joined the project this April, after Pukeko and Hengxin Shambala Kids signed a deal to co-produce Kiddets, the first kids TV copro between New Zealand and China. Breakthrough also previously signed a memorandum of understanding for Book Hungry Bears while on Canadian Heritage’s first-ever cultural trade mission to China in April 2018.

Ahead of the series’ premiere, several publishing partners have also come on board to include their respective picture books in the show, including Canadian publishers Scholastic Canada, Pajama Press, Kids Can Press, Tradewind Press, Inhabit Media, Editions D’eux, Owl Kids Book; US publishers MacMillan’s Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Children’s; in the UK Walker Books and Child’s Play; in Australia Harper Collins; and in New Zealand Duck Press, Gecko Press and Scholastic NZ.

This story originally appeared in Kidscreen