In 2011 Lets Look Publishers decided to jazz up their marketing of the Sibo Series
(books written by Ginny Stone) and employed Amaiye Productions to get
creative. The producer of Amaiye thought that bringing little Sibo to life
with a series of cartoons based on the books might just do the trick.
Now we all know, sadly, that most kids would much rather watch TV than
read a book – but reckoned that this was a good “mass-produced” way of
introducing Sibo to children. It was hoped that they might then be
inspired to not only consider recycling their cool drink cans, start
conserving water and generally think more about saving the earth, but
also think about dashing off to their local bookstore to check out Sibo’s
Of course, “dashing off to your local bookstore” is also funny hah hah because it’s actually not so easy
to get books into bookstores unless you are a famous author – which Ginny certainly is not. It would
appear that joe public has to ask (repeatedly in many cases) for the books – before they would dream
of stocking them on their own. Otherwise, one has to work through distributors who demand such
large discounts that you might as well hand over body parts. It gets worse… the “big” bookstores
then happily send back a significant portion of the books supplied saying that they are soiled goods
and nobody wants to buy them. A bit ironic when the goods actually got soiled in their very own
So… creating a “Sibo and Friends” TV show seemed like a great idea.
Based on the Sibo Series books, a 13 part, 2D animated cartoon series was created. Each episode a
snappy 3 minutes short with a powerful “lets help save the earth” message embedded. The series was
sponsored, and in return for their generosity the sponsors were looking forward to a “tag” at the end
of each episode.
Of course, nothing is ever simple … whilst the TV stations were more than willing to flight the series
free of charge they were not willing to give the sponsor free advertising. And… in some cases, there
were dodgy conversations around who Sibo belonged to from then on and for how long?
In the end – after Amaiye Productions had done some serious haggling with eTV, along with several
postponed going on-air dates – a compromise was finally reached.
“Sibo and Friends” aired for the first time on 7th February 2011 at 14h30 on eTV. There are 13
episodes therefore this series will run for 13 weeks.
If you have young children… make a note, set your recorder, put a knot in your hankie, set your alarm
clock… but whatever you do – don’t let them miss it. Blink and it’s gone, it’s only 3 minutes long!
(Mondays at 14h30 on eTV.)
When you’ve finished watching – dash off to your local bookstore and demand that they stock the
Sibo Series – all 9 of them! Failing that – go and visit Sibo’s website – http://www.sibo.com where
you’ll find a direct link to Lets Look Publishers and you can buy the books on-line. And… you can also
download the cool “Sibo and Friends” song – written by Karen Zoid – for free!
Remember – if your children have handy tips on earth saving habits, or draw cute pictures of anything relating to the books or cartoon series – feel free to email (or post) them to Ginny and she’ll put them on the website.
We only have one earth. Sibo wants to join hands with all the children in South Africa and help save it. She cannot do it alone.