ITV is backing the National Year of Reading campaign for literacy with a new children’s TV programme and book club.
The 13-part “Bookaboo!”, for CITV, is a mixture of animation and live action, featuring drumming “rock puppy” Bookaboo, who is unable to perform his solo unless someone reads him a story. In each 10-minute episode, a guest celebrity will read a picture book to help Bookaboo regain his drumming courage.
The series, which launches in December, will be accompanied by the Bookaboo Book Club, live events and instore promotions, with booksellers and supermarkets set to support the club with stickering and point-of-sale promotions.
“Bookaboo!” director and producer Lucy Goodman of Happy Films hopes the new series will inspire confidence in children and parents to read together, and that it will give the picture books market “a helping hand”.
She will select books in the next few months, and is keen to consider first-time illustrators and authors. “I hope it can be a bit of a platform for new illustrators and authors, and that it will become a lasting part of ITV’s schedule,” she said.
Emma Tennant, controller of CITV, added “Bookaboo!” could “provide a much needed antidote to the recent decline in reading”.