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Kids Turn Toy News


Cleo Beanie

Pet the Lion Family -- Lionel, Leona, Cleo & Theo -- at Toy Fair Booth 2941

East Windsor, N.J. (February 1, 2009) – Kids Preferred is getting wild about literacy in 2009 with their new license to create developmental plush of the Lion Family, stars of PBS Kids’ award-winning TV show, Between the Lions™. Loveable Theo and Cleo and their cubs, Leona and Lionel, jump from the small screen into the arms of tots as oh-so-soft hand puppets and plush.

In February visitors to Booth 2941 at the American International Toy Fair can pet these captivating lions and lionesses. Kids Preferred, one of the leading U.S. plush manufacturers, will showcase the four literary felines in their new huggable form, as only plush expert Kids Preferred can.

Between the Lions premiered on PBS in 2000 and was created as a multimedia initiative to help children acquire beginning literacy skills and a love of reading. The Emmy Award-winning series features a family of lions: Theodor (Theo for short) and Cleopatra (known as Cleo) and their cubs, Lionel and Leona who live in, and run, an enchanted library. The series is targeted to children ages 3 to 7 who can enjoy the PBS Kids program weekdays.

Every episode centers on a book, story or other everyday reading experience that is modeled and celebrated by the Lion family and a cast of characters. The series is built around a curriculum that incorporates the most recent evidence-based research in literacy instruction. Each episode features an engaging variety of entertaining animation, puppetry, live action, and music that addresses the literacy curriculum goals.

Kids Preferred will launch The Lion Family as six plush products due on store shelves in early April:

    Cleo Beanie • $10 • Ages 0+
    This mama lioness stands 8” tall and loves to demonstrate the power and pleasure of literacy to young cubs everywhere. On the hit TV show, Cleo becomes an investigative reporter—a talent that reveals itself when she hosts "Between the Covers" and literally enters books so she can report on what's happening.

    Theo Beanie • $10 • Ages 3+
    This proud papa is 8.5” tall and sports a full dark mane that kids will enjoy stroking. On PBS Kids, this regal lion has a zestful love for stories, biographies, plays, periodicals, poems, and ballads and also for individual words, letters, phonemes, illustrations, punctuation marks—even page numbers.

    Leona Beanie • $10 • Ages 0+
    Little Leona is a playful 4-year-old feline who stands 7” tall. The little lioness is frequently hunting and stalking and pouncing -- on her brother and on unsuspecting samples of text that she loves to bring back and show off to her family.

    Lionel Beanie • $10 • Ages 0+
    As a 7-year-old, Lionel has discovered the joys of independent reading -- he'll devour any text he can get his paws on. He also loves being read aloud to, and serving as a mentor and "designated reader" for his younger sister, Leona. Lionel stands 7.5” tall and sports a baseball cap.

    Leona and Lionel Hand Puppets • $15 • Ages 0+
    These enchanting cubs measure 10.5 inches long and showcase their purr-sonalities with their distinct look. Leona wears her signature ponytail, tied with a ribbon, atop her head while Lionel is adorned with his baseball cap and sports shirt.

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About Between the Lions
Between the Lions is produced by WGBH Boston, Sirius Thinking, Ltd., and Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The show is funded in part by a Ready To Learn grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the U.S. Department of Education, and by the Barksdale Reading Institute. National corporate funding is provided by Chick-fil-A, Inc. Between the Lions can be found online at The Between the Lions team is committed to making quality television available to all children. Each episode is accessible to blind and visually impaired viewers through WGBH Boston's innovative, Emmy Award-winning Descriptive Video Service (DVS). The series also is closed captioned by the Caption Center at WGBH for viewers who are deaf or hard-ofhearing.

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting station, producing one-third of PBS's prime-time lineup—more than any other single production house. WGBH is the creator of the awardwinning PBS children's series Arthur, Between the Lions, Postcards from Buster, and ZOOM, as well as the critically acclaimed new favorites Curious George, Martha Speaks, and FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman. WGBH also produces the award-winning Peep and the Big Wide World (seen on TLC's Ready Set Learn! and the Discovery Kids Channel and Time Warp Trio (seen on the Discovery Kids Channel).

About Kids Preferred, LLC
Kids Preferred, LLC is dedicated to creating superior quality, innovative soft toys and gifts for children of all ages using unique, playful designs that help instill a love of learning and create everlasting childhood memories. They serve the specialty, juvenile, gift, and better department store trade. The Company’s distinctive soft and plush toys and gifts are marketed under the Company’s own Kids Preferred™ brand and through licensed brands including amazing baby™, asthma friendly®, The World of Beatrix Potter™, Madeline™, Charlie & Lola™, The World of Eric Carle™, Elmer, Naturally Better Peter Rabbit™, Emily Goes Wild, Guess How Much I Love You™, Harley-Davidson®, NASCAR™, The Snowman™, Between The Lions™ and Spot™. For more information, visit their website at

For more information visit their website at
Between the Lions is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation.