Who is Caillou ?
Caillou is born
The character Caillou was created in 1990 as a nine-month-old baby without a hair on his head. He owes his popularity to the combined talents of author and publisher Christine L’Heureux and illustrator Hélène Desputeaux.
From the very first Caillou book, Christine L’Heureux’s goal was to help children develop their own unique personalities while learning to live in harmony with the world around them. She wanted to create a human figure for children’s books, a departure from the common practice of using animals as the main characters in books for babies and young children.
The theory was that by making Caillou human, children could more easily identify with Caillou because they are so much like him. As a result, they feel close to him and can better see themselves in each Caillou story.
The concept behind Caillou
The Caillou books are inspired by the work of French psychoanalyst Dr. Françoise Dolto (1908-1988). Recognized worldwide for her studies on child development, Dr. Dolto succeeded in making her theories accessible to the general public. Her solutions all revolve around a single fundamental premise: respect for the child as a person.
Is a child’s life really carefree?
For the most part, adults believe that young children live a carefree life. Actually, Dr. Dolto learned, by studying children talking among themselves, that children in fact suffer from and experience difficulties in everyday life, just like adults. But children do not possess the communication skills that adults take for granted to resolve these difficulties. Learning how to deal with everyday life experiences throughout childhood is what the Caillou books are all about.
Dr. Dolto believed that while identifying and verbalizing a problem cannot make it disappear, the communication of a problem relieves anxiety, making it less likely to hinder a child’s development. The child becomes happier and his quality of life improves considerably as a result.
The beginnings of communication
The Caillou books are meant to serve as intermediaries between children and their parents or other adults who play a significant role in their lives - for example, grandparents, teachers, day care workers, or preschool teachers. Every Caillou book is designed to encourage communication between children and adults and to help youngsters grow in harmony with themselves and the world around them, giving children much-needed opportunities to discuss their emotions.
Life, step by step
In the books, Caillou grows alongside his young audience and becomes a faithful friend to young children as they discover life. With them, he explores objects, words, and actions, as each book leads children to new discoveries and helps them form connections to the world around them.
Why is Caillou so special?
A young human hero
Young readers identify with Caillou because he is just like them. They 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.
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 parent’s helper
Caillou stories foster parent-child interaction. His adventures serve the needs of parents because they present a character that is in constant interaction with his parents. The stories also help parents to better understand the psychological and emotional development of their child.
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.