Episode 1

Monday, 2 March 2009, 12:15PM on CITV

Who’s a super cool, rock phenomenon that’s poised to shake the world of music to its very foundations on Monday 2nd March 2009?

Bookaboo, that’s who!

Each episode, a famous face goes back stage to share a story with Bookaboo on his Bookabus – “a story a day or he just can’t play.” Bojo restored, this puppy can play and cheered on by his celebrity guest, he wows us all with the best canine drum solo ever heard.

It’s the first episode and Bookaboo, the famous rock puppy, is getting ready to go on stage, but yikes he has lost his bojo and cannot perform. Eagerly waiting for the concert to start is rock legend Meatloaf, who goes back stage to find out what the holdup is. Finding out Bookaboo has lost his bojo, Meatloaf jumps into action like a bat out of hell and brings out the Bookabag and The Lamb Who Came for Dinner by Steve Smallman and Joelle Dreidemy. Can Meatloaf help Bookaboo?

Celebrities set to share a book with Bookaboo include rock legend Meatloaf, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, Pub Landlord Al Murray and Spice Girl Mel C. Other famous faces include singer and Strictly Come Dancing star Alesha Dixon, Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, comedian Julian Clary and actor Robson Green.

With an increasing number of parents lacking confidence in their own literacy skills and one in five children leaving primary school unable to read, Bookaboo’s aim is to highlight the fun that can be had when a parent and their child share a book. Olympic Hero, Dame Kelly Holmes who admits she had trouble reading when she was younger said: “I wasn’t very good at spelling, so when you are reading a book, the book doesn’t make sense because you don’t understand the words and I just found it all a bit too much”. Kelly overcame her problems by continuing to read encouraged by the support of friends and family, Kelly will be reading Norma Snows.

The positive impact that reading books at home can have on a child’s learning, both socially and educationally, is well documented. Bookaboo encourages mums, dads, grandparents, godparents, siblings and family friends to pick up a children’s picture book and share it with their kids at home. Bat Out of Hell star Meatloaf reads the thrilling The Lamb Who Came for Dinner and offers the following tips for reading aloud: “You need to have fun with reading, you need to be a little animated and if its scary make them shiver under the covers. If its friendly and happy make them feel fuzzy and warm.”

Britain’s Got Talent judge and mother of one Amanda Holden reads That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown illustrating possessions and ownership. “Reading aloud to children is so important because it improves the bond between a parent and a child, a grandparent and child or even just a friend and a child; it’s a valuable time to wind down which improves imagination and language skills”.

Al Murray narrates the hilarious Pooh! Is That You Bertie? which will have children and adults laughing out loud; mum-to-be Mel C will be sharing, No Matter What, which tackles one of the hardest concepts for a child to comprehend by exploring unconditional love with a funny and honest approach.

This Morning presenter Fern Britton reads A Mummy For Owen which is based on the true story of a baby hippo who loses his mother in the Tsunami and was adopted by a new mummy – a 130-year-old male giant tortoise. Dad of two and GMTV presenter Ben Shephard shares Splat the Cat, a story about going to school for the first time and making friends. Strictly Come Dancing winner and singer Alesha Dixon explores the funny world of underwear in More Pants.

The boys are back in town, former England International and Arsenal goal keeper David Seaman pops in to read Whatever. Actor Robson Green is looking out for the anaconda in Class Two at the Zoo and comedian Julian Clary reads The Hairy Toe. Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen shares The Night Pirates, the enchanting adventure of a pirate life in the search for treasure.

Emma Tennant, Controller of CITV & ITV3, commented: “In an age when British school children are ditching books for computer games I’m extremely proud that CITV has had the opportunity to commission a programme like Bookaboo which will inspire families to give books another chance. The variety of talent involved really will make the show as accessible to as many parents and children as possible.”

Lucy Goodman, MD of Happy Films added: “It was fantastic to work with celebrities who were genuinely passionate about story time in the home. They took part wanting to help highlight just how much fun sharing a book can be, something they all felt was so important to a child’s development.”

Bookaboo was commissioned by Controller of CITV and ITV3 Emma Tennant. It will be directed and produced by Lucy Goodman for Happy Films. Emma Tennant is the executive producer for ITV.

Bookaboo starts on Monday 2nd March on the CITV channel and will be shown at 12:15, 15:20 and 17:50

About the author

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1