Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group US now launching in the UK, has acquired a new children's book project with Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.
Editorial director Samantha Smith bought UK and Commonwealth rights in the series, Frankie's Magic Football, for 5+ children, from Zoe King of The Blair Partnership in conjunction with Steve Kutner Management.
The first book in the series, Frankie versus the Pirate Pillagers, will be released in June 2013. Two more titles, Frankie versus the Rowdy Romans and Frankie versus the Mummy's Menace, are scheduled for 2013 with two more slate for early 2014. The series will be illustrated by Mike Jackson, who was also an animator for "Shrek".
Smith said: "We couldn't imagine a better fit for this developmentally important area of children's publishing than Frank. It's crucial to get kids excited about reading at an early age and Frank's vision for a series about friendship, football and fun will do just that. We think it’s brilliant and we're sure readers - and parents - will agree."
Lampard said the characters are "loosely based on friends and team mates I've played with over the years", and added that he first had the idea when reading stories to his own children.