|First appearance||Caillou Makes Cookies (October 2, 1997)|
|Created by||Christine L'Heureux
|Voiced by||Bryn McAuley (1997-2000)
Jaclyn Linetsky (2000-2003)
Annie Bovaird (2003-2013)
|Relatives||Parents: Mommy/Doris and Daddy/Boris
Grandparents: Grandma and Grandpa (first names unknown)
Caillou (translated pebble or stone in French and nicknamed The Prince of Imagination) is the main fictional character in the Canadian animated television series of the same name. Caillou was first voiced by Bryn McAuley from 1997 through 2000, then Jaclyn Linetsky in 2000 through 2003, and then, due to Jaclyn Linetsky's death, Annie Bovaird from 2003 through 2013. Caillou was first shown in the episode "Caillou Makes Cookies", which aired in 1997. The DVDs with puppets and Jaclyn Linetsky were compilations from 2003 through 2006, and one of them are in memory of Jaclyn herself. The new DVDs from 2006 through 2010, were from Paramount Home Entertainment.
Caillou's name comes from the French word Caillou, meaning pebble, and from a ritual created by Dr. Françoise Dolto (1908–1988). 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.
Caillou is an average, imaginative four-year-old boy with a love for forms of transportive machinery such as rocket ships and airplanes. A dreamer, Caillou is prone to frequent dream sequences in some episodes visualizing his daydreams and hopes, and many episodes chronicle his normal daily experiences with his parents, friends, and neighbors. Caillou particularly loves his stuffed dinosaur Rexy and teddy bear Teddy, along with his pet cat Gilbert, all of whom are depicted as puppets in segments featured in the earlier episodes.
The character 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.
Caillou's name comes from the French word caillou, meaning pebble, and from 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.
Because they believed that it was important for babies to play with books, they created “Baby Caillou”. This imprint had a new logo and was characterized by a soothing pastel palette, setting this collection apart from the primary colors for which their other books are so well known. The baby Caillou titles are currently only available in Canada. In the first season of the show, Caillou was only 4 years old (3, shortly) and wore a gray shirt. He first appeared in the show as a 3-year-old in the first episode "Caillou Makes Cookies". He later wore a yellow shirt in the more recent seasons of the show, since season 2.
- Caillou on PBS Kids
- Caillou on PBS Kids (French)
- Caillou on Sprout
- Chouette publishing (publishers of Caillou)
- Official Caillou Website
- Caillou at the Internet Movie Database
- Caillou at TV.com
- Hélène Desputeaux official site