Designed for preschoolers, the Caillou television series is composed of 30 minute episodes divided into three 7 minute adventures. In each adventure, Caillou discovers the big, wide world, experiences new things, shares his imaginary adventures with us and sometimes, even sings for his little viewers!
In French, caillou usually means "pebble" or "stone", but it can also mean "bald head", which was most likely the writer's intention. The official Caillou website answers the common question "Why is Caillou bald?" by explaining that the original storybook character of Caillou was much younger than the television character, and like many very young children, had no hair.
Caillou series was originally broadcast in French in Canada - from August 29, 1998 to November 10, 2006 - and Caillou episodes were later translated into English. The original Caillou books were also in French.
Caillou was designed primarily for toddlers aged between 2–6 years old and was created by child developmental psychologists.
Caillou books have been made since 1987 by Chouette Publishing Inc. In 1998, 65 5-minute episodes of Caillou were aired in Canada and in selected markets worldwide. In 2000 they were added with 40 30-minute episodes of the show, containing a mixture of the 5-minute episodes plus new stories, songs, real kids segment and puppets. This was followed with another 16 30-minute Caillou episodes containing all-new stories in 2003. Afterward, Caillou TV show went on hiatus for three seasons (2004–2006). Additionally, the film Caillou's Holiday Movie was released direct-to-DVD and video on 7 October 2003. On 3 April 2006 a new set of 20 Caillou episodes finally premiered after a three-year hiatus. With the new season of Caillou, came many changes. Caillou started attending preschool, and there were new themes and a new opening. New episodes of Caillou were animated in-house using Adobe Flash animation rather than the animation being outsourced to Korea, as it was in previous seasons. Caillou also has a different voice in the new season. Cookie Jar Entertainment has renewed Caillou for Season 5.
Caillou has received various awards, including Bronze World Medal from the New York Festivals.