Puppets and animation will be used to make kids enthusiastic about reading in Wilbur, a new Discovery Kids preschool series set to debut on April 16 at 11 a.m. during the channel’s Ready Set Learn! block. The show will then air at 7:30 a.m. on TLC beginning April 23.
Wilbur was created by Jill Luedtke, Kim Anton and Tracey Hornbuckle, three mothers who saw a need to promote early literacy skills among very young children. Each episode of Wilbur will feature two original storybooks and music designed to convey the message that books are fun. The series employs the patented ‘Shadowmation’ technique that allows full-bodied puppets move in an three-dimensional virtual world, as seen in shows such as It’s a Big Big World and Bear in the Big Blue House.
The title character in Wilbur is a calf who is joined in his storybook adventures by barnyard buddies Dasha, an inquisitive duck; Ray, a flashy and opinionated rooster; and Libby, a sweet two-year-old lamb. Wilbur knows that books are full of ideas and that they can help him and his friends solve the problem.
Wilbur is a production of Mercury Filmworks, in association with Chilco Prods., EKA Distribution, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Discovery Kids. Amy Sprecher, who brought the property to Discovery Kids, and Erin Wanner serve as exec producers for the network. Marjorie Kaplan is the exec. in charge of production.