Your questions

Why are Caillou’s parents so perfect?

Parents-CaillouWe develop books that take place first and foremost through the eyes of a child, rather than reflecting reality as seen by adults. Thus, all Caillou books are told from Caillou’s point of view.

Caillou’s Mommy and Daddy are not really the epitome of good parents. Caillou is at a stage in his development when parents are models to be imitated; in his idealized world, his parents are perfect. He is so busy learning to become a person that he doesn’t question the world around him.

Caillou’s adventures are written for children, but they can also serve as a guiding light for parents. Caillou’s adventures give parents insight into the psychological and emotional development of their children.

 

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Where does the name Caillou come from?

W_bouge_culbuteChristine L’Heureux named the character to honour Françoise Dolto’s work and contribution.

The word “caillou” in French means pebble, which was used in a ritual created by Dr. Françoise Dolto. Reflecting her philosophy of respect for the child as a person, she asked children to give her pebbles as a symbolic payment for her consultations, thus giving children complete freedom of choice regarding their treatment.

The appropriateness of the name was confirmed by an incident that took place at the very beginning of the project. Christine knew she had made the right choice when when she heard a neighbour calling her child, “Kayou, time to come in.”

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Why is Caillou bald?

caillou-baldCaillou was initially created as a baby of nine months. When it was time for him to get older, the addition of hair made him unrecognizable. So we decided that Caillou would never have any hair, and he went on to become popular as a little boy who is bald.

Caillou’s baldness may make him different, but we hope it helps children understand that being different isn’t just okay, it’s normal.

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Why is Caillou grumpy so often?

Caillou-GrumpyNot everything is easy in the life of a child. Like adults, children go through difficult periods, but they lack the communication skills to articulate everything they feel. Caillou’s experiences are an attempt to translate the inner life of a child and his varied and sometimes contradictory feelings.

In this very specific slant, the texts approach problems and conflicts typical of child development from a child’s point of view. By encouraging communication between parent and child, the Caillou books help parents deal with subjects that could otherwise become sources of frustration for children and grown-ups.

Ultimately, Caillou overcomes challenges by acquiring the ability to deal with his frustrations.

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Why does Caillou live in such a traditional home?

W_scene_chambre_01Families come in many shapes and sizes, yet Caillou’s creators deliberately chose a traditional family environment. He is surrounded by his mother, father, little sister and grandparents.

This choice, in an era when many children see their families break apart, comes from the need to present, in a simple context, the mother and father figures that all children need to fully construct their identity. The Caillou books portray universal models so that the universal nature of children’s needs may be addressed.

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How do you explain Caillou’s success?

CAILLOU_AROUND THE WORLD_WebHe’s a young human hero
Young readers identify with Caillou because he is just like them. Children enjoy the Caillou books because Caillou accurately reflects their own feelings and experiences.

A reflection of real life
The work of Françoise Dolto is pivotal to all the Caillou stories, which help children understand what they are experiencing. Through day-to-day situations, the books aim to communicate the emotions young children feel so intensely.

He’s a faithful friend
Caillou grows alongside his young audience and accompanies them on their exciting journey as they learn about themselves and the world around them. Caillou is the only series on the market that is adapted to children in each age group from birth to age six and features a human hero.

A child speaking from a child’s point of view
Caillou’s point of view, rather than the reality seen by parents and educators, is the basis for each book. If Caillou’s parents sometimes seem to possess only good qualities, it’s because a child of Caillou’s age still sees his parents as models to be imitated; young children normally idealize the external world.

A simple colorful world
The bright colors and simple illustrations of Caillou’s world naturally appeal to young children and quickly capture their attention. They help children concentrate on the story, making it easier for them to understand.

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