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Penguin Children's reveals brand plans for 2013
08.02.13 | Charlotte Williams
Children's laureate Julia Donaldson's follow-up to Edward Lear's classic, The Owl and the Pussycat, will be released this autumn, with two further Peter Rabbit titles from Emma Thompson also among upcoming highlights for Penguin Children's as the publisher focuses further on brand building.
Penguin Children's m.d. Francesca Dow said: "We make stories and create brands", and used Disney's approach to explain the publisher's focus on building "brand ecosystems"— "thinking beyond the book" to create brands with merchandise, television programmes, films and web/digital identities, as well as books. Additionally, the publisher said it will use the Penguin brand on "all teen books going forward".
Donaldson's sequel to The Owl and the Pussycat, The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat, will be released on 5th September, aimed at readers aged 2-5 years. The book is illustrated by Charlotte Voake, and Penguin Children's signed world rights through Donaldson's agent, Caroline Sheldon. The story follows the Owl and the Pussycat as they search for a thief who has stolen their ring.
Puffin Picture Books and Warne publishing director Kate Hayler said: "It feels particularly fitting to have Julia do something classic for the Puffin list, matching a classic author in Julia, with another classic author in Edward Lear. Her use of language is so special."
Meanwhile, in a further development of classic brands, actress Emma Thompson's second Peter Rabbit book will be published on 3rd October 2013, titled The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit. It will feature Peter's cousin Benjamin Bunny and a new character called William, and will be set in the Lake District. Other Peter Rabbit publishing activity will include two story books and a sticker book in August 2013. The full series of animated Peter Rabbit launches on CBeebies in spring 2013, with 52 x 11-minute episodes.
Other new plans for 2013 include a new Ladybird Read it Yourself series launching in July, featuring characters such as Moshi Monsters, Peppa Pig, Charlie and Lola and Peter Rabbit. Graham Sim, Penguin Children's creative director, said: "We have very big ambitions for Ladybird."
Puffin will launch a range of Angry Birds publishing in July 2013, with four titles: The Official Sticker Books, Pig & Mix Puzzle Book, Fowl Play Sticker Activity Book and The Mystery of the Green Bird story book. Puffin Books has signed a three-year deal to be key publisher for the digital strategy puzzle game Angry Birds franchise through Rovio Entertainment. The deal covers global English language rights, excluding North America, and includes story, activity, official guide and sticker books.
As well as this, Penguin Children's will be working to build a "digital universe" for classic author Roald Dahl, with the theme of Roald Dahl Day later in the year to be "Mischief and Mayhem". It will also be reissuing Rick Riordan’s bestselling Percy Jackson series’ backlist in a new cover look in July this year.
Publicity director Adele Minchin left the possibility of an eighth book in the bestselling Wimpy Kid series being released in 2013 open, saying: "Watch this space".