Adastra Development is currently creating and developing traditional linear television properties, in animation, live action and mixed content. With hundreds of hours of television production under her belt, Mellie Buse, as a creator/writer never takes her producer hat off which makes for a very streamlined approach with a singularity of vision right through the development process and into production. Martin Franks, along with live action directorial experience, brings digital “know how” to the company. So there is now a strong focus on digital content and a raft of innovative short form properties for digital platforms are currently in development and production. Adastra Development is excited about the prospect of taking content direct to the audience in this way.
Magic2Media Ltd has been established to service all the new digital IP’s.
As well as the new digital initiative, Adastra Development continues to create IP for linear broadcast. Currently in development is MONKEY IN A LITTLE COAT, an original pre-school animation series about a monkey – in a little coat. We are working with Cloth Cat Animation and currently in discussions with potential partners.
The series was inspired by a news story that broke some years ago in Canada when a Monkey, wearing a little coat, was found in Ikea in Toronto.
In addition to “Monkey” we have three other animated shows in development and two live action/mixed content pre-school properties.
As part of the development of Bitziboos, we worked with Language Consultant, Charlotte Raby. Here is what she has to say about the show.
Talking the Talk!
The Educational rationale of Bitziboos
The main aim of the series is to encourage language development in very young children. Yes. It’s all about communication. It’s all about the talk. But it isn’t didactic. It’s fun. This is learning by stealth. Children’s author and educational consultant, Charlotte Raby, has been very involved in the development of Bitzyboos to ensure that we deliver content that is as educational as it is entertaining and that Bitzyboos follows the most recent research about language development in young children.
The Bitzyboos are four curious and playful characters. They learn through playing, singing and doing things over and over again, much like your child.
In order to make the series authentic and relatable to our target audience we have spread the ages of our Bitzyboo characters accordingly. Each Bitzyboo is able to speak at the level of a child their age. So Ookieboo is the youngest and talks expressive “baby” talk; Dobbyboo is next and he uses a few words; Loubyboo talks in short phrases, and Bluboo, the oldest, can form whole sentences. We “scaffold” the language so that your child will learn new concepts through repeated use of new words and by building from a single word to a phrase and then a sentence. The vocabulary is continually reinforced by our young presenters who interact with the Bitzyboos, much like a parent interacts with a young child. We make sure your child understands what the word means by contextualising the new vocabulary in songs, rhymes, movement and interactions between the characters and presenters. In this way your child will learn new words and their meanings in a fun and engaging manner. The approach works equally well for children for whom English is an additional language.
The language acquisition is wrapped up in everyday situations that our young audience will recognise and identify with – nap time, making things, cooking, painting, singing, playing with toys, reading stories – and in each programme the Bitzyboos learn about something new – colours, animals, growing, counting, shapes as well as social emotional lessons like sharing. We have chosen concepts that fit in well with the UK Foundation Stage Curriculum and that we know children enjoy finding out about. We know that children learn best when they are relaxed and want to join in so Bitzbyboos wheels in a Trojan Horse full of active fun and nobody notices that it’s underpinned by solid, well researched language learning.
Charlotte Raby has written many titles for teachers about early reading and writing as well as literacy programmes for Oxford University Press, Scholastic and Cambridge University Press. She has worked with Pie Corbett and Ruth Miskin in developing their teaching programmes for children in primary schools, and has worked with hundreds of schools across the UK and around the world helping them improve the teaching of literacy. Charlotte has written many early reading books for all the leading educational publishers as well as many parent and child activity books. She is Director of Reading Fairy, which runs classes in early reading, and is currently writing a story for Young Adults set in the woods.
As well as a strong focus in the Children’s arena, the company is also working with partners to create content for other demographics.