Children’s author Jo Kemp believes not. When she began her career in Manchester and wrote the original scripts for Chorlton and the Wheelies and Jamie and the Magic Torch  in the late 70’s she adopted a gentle, narrative style with little regard for political correctness and both series attracted a cult following. She continued in this style when she wrote Boodle Books published by Thurman who were responsible for Mr. Men.

Fast and furious programmes then took the market and the more traditional approach to storytelling took a back seat other than timeless classics and well-marketed formulaic concepts, but there was always a need for something different.

Boodle Books  had a temporary reprise when they were re-launched as  Hoo Ha House but the time and circumstances still weren’t right. Together with the Writers’ Guild, Jo reclaimed the rights along with some 23,000 residual books which she distributed at her own cost free of charge to local schools, hospitals and Barnardos.

At her son Luke’s insistence, due to his belief in the stories he’d grown up with, he convinced Jo not to leave it there and that the best vehicle to get the stories out would be via Social Media.

Crowdfunding was a viable option for raising capital and so rather than suffer the loss of editorial control they decided they had the combined knowledge and expertise to produce/market the project themselves and by utilising  KickStarter, funding could be available.

However, backers would need proof of concept meaning the first five films would have to be self-funded and having run her own film production company employing at one point, around 30 people to produce over a hundred episodes of Raggy Dolls, Jo was understandably skeptical.

However, Luke’s tenacity convinced her that with the advances in technology he could shelve his job as a freelance web developer and devote himself entirely to the project.

Luke directs and animates, Jo found a new vocation as Voice Over and the first five films with associated promotion were completed in under six months. BoodleBobs, with ninety or more characters will also appear in a lineup of songs across the 26 stories. It’s all original content that isn’t dumbed down and is written to also appeal to adults.

After all the noise there’s a growing demand for quiet, one-to-one traditional storytelling that extols these old-fashioned values while embracing new media.

Five of the twenty six books/videos plus an animated signature-music video are on the BoodleBobs YouTube Channel .  And a free Ebook is available from the BoodleBobs website. Work has already started on the next five stories so it’s now a matter of time to see if this mother and son duo can capture their audience and win support for BoodleBobs.


The Times (September 24 2005)

 Kickstarter Project



HooHa House List of Books

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