TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Bookaboo TV Poster Image
Celebs join rock-star pup for delightful story times.

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Educational Value

There's nothing to be learned in the traditional sense from the show's content, but the central message is clear: Reading together is a fantastic way to pass the time with someone else. In many cases, you can also learn something valuable from the characters' experiences in the books.

Positive Messages

Communication is a major theme. Kids see Bookaboo and his special guests enjoy the simple task of reading together and the imaginative nature of telling or listening to a story. The show's repetitive format (Bookaboo can't go on stage until he's had a book read to him) reflects the benefits of routine. Many stories have obvious messages that will resonate with kids and parents.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bookaboo loves stories so much, he drops everything when it's time to listen to a new one with a friend. He's engaged from the first page and chimes in with questions and comments throughout. The guest readers put real effort into making the stories fun to listen to, using accents and inflections to differentiate among characters.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bookaboo pairs a puppet dog and numerous celebrity guests for read-aloud sessions that are very entertaining. Adults will enjoy seeing the likes of Emily Van Camp, Selma Blair, and Bruce Greenwood pop in to interact with Bookaboo and read him a story, usually with personal touches such as accents and gestures. The show's animation brings the featured stories to life in creative ways, aptly enough to keep parents just as interested as kids. Besides showcasing the joys of reading and sharing books with special people, Bookaboo's insistence on hearing a story before he takes the stage reminds kids of the value of keeping to routines.

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What's the story?

In BOOKABOO, a world-renowned rock-star puppy can't take to the stage without listening to a story from one of his famous guest readers first. As he gets ready for a concert, Bookaboo (voiced by Marcus Clarke) greets a new visitor who comes bearing the telltale red Bookabag and a new book. The two settle in, and a lively story time ensues. When the final page is turned, Bookaboo knows it's time to pick up the drumsticks and head to the stage to entertain his fans with his bandmates, Growler (Frank Meschkuleit) and Paws (Matt Ficner).

Is it any good?

Everything there is to love about reading aloud is reflected in this darling series that's as sweet as it is simple. There's the excitement of delving into a new story, the way it inspires imagination, and, of course, they joy of spending time together. The caliber of guest readers may not wow kids in the audience, but it certainly helps make the show really fun for grown-ups to watch as well, counting Stana Katic, Paula Abdul, and Tamara Taylor among the drop-ins.

What will wow kids and adults alike is the way the series turns the books' illustrations into moving animation that really propels the stories while staying true to the originals. Couple that with celebrities with stage training and a knack for expression, and you'll find Bookaboo an exceedingly enjoyable and worthwhile show for you and your little ones.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about books and reading. What are some of your kids' favorite stories and book characters? How do books challenge our imaginations differently from TV? Does Bookaboo do a good job of bridging the two mediums?

  • Kids: Which routines are inarguable in your family? How does having routines help us plan and prepare? Is reading on your "can't miss" list?

  • What are some of your family's favorite things to do together? How do you bridge the age gaps among siblings and between parents and kids? Which common interests do you have?

  • How does Bookaboo promote communication? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

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Character Strengths

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