Second Bookaboo series gets the go-ahead

<p>A second Bookaboo series, the children&rsquo;s programme that features celebrities reading picture books to rock puppy Bookaboo, will launch in the autumn on ITV1 and cITV. </p><p>The shortlist of picture books selected for the 13-part series will be announced in June.<br /><br />It had been feared that a funding shortfall would scupper plans for a second series of Bookaboo, which is produced by Happy Films. Lucy Goodman, Happy Films md, said ITV and Happy Films remained as the main partners of the series but that other negotiations were underway, including possible international deals.<br /><br />Goodman is currently drawing up the shortlist of picture book titles for the next series. She said: &ldquo;I have seen some beautiful books but I don&rsquo;t have my full list yet. We are missing the kind of stories that are core to Bookaboo, those at the upper end of the age group of five to seven years, and stories that are gripping with jeopardy and tension, and with appeal to boys.&rdquo; Last year Egmont&rsquo;s <em>Night Pirates</em> and Hachette&rsquo;s <em>Class Two at the Zoo </em>filled this spot. <br /><br />Funny books also proved popular with adults, said Goodman. The programme that received the highest rating during the first series was Alesha Dixon&rsquo;s reading of <em>More Pants</em>. <br /><br />Last year&rsquo;s series received backing from book retailers but this year, supermarkets are also getting behind it, said Goodman. As a result, more paperbacks are likely to be selected for the programme.</p>