Enid Blyton Entertainment (EBE), part of Hachette Children’s Group, has announced a raft of new projects at Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2017, including a cookbook with TV chef Allegra McEvedy.
McEvedy, co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain and “Junior Bake Off” judge, has collaborated with EBE to create Jolly Good Food, a collection of 42 new recipes inspired by Blyton’s stories. Publishing in October 2017, it will feature extracts from some of Blyton’s best-loved series including The Famous Five, Malory Towers and The Magic Faraway Tree.
Meanwhile, comedian and “Great British Bake Off” host Mel Giedroyc will narrate the audiobook of Five on a Treasure Island, which will be released in May to coincide with the publication of 75th anniversary editions of the entire series, featuring a new cover livery by illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson.
EBE has also partnered with Microsoft’s SWAY digital storytelling app to launch a nationwide competition to find talented young authors aged eight and nine. The contest will launch in May to tie in with the Famous Five 75th anniversary activities.
A new games deal is also announced with Kuato Studios, who will be creating a Famous Five game as part of its Tales Maker series. The game, which will be released this summer on iOS and Android as a premium app, will allow players of all ages to create, play and share their own Famous Five tales.
Other high-profile collaborations for the 75th anniversary include a flagship partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, Visit England celebrating Blyton as part of its Year of Literary Heroes, and an expansion of the Enid Blyton licensed product range under merchandising agent Bulldog Licensing, with Danilo creating greeting cards, gift-wrap and calendars and The Lagoon Group creating toys, board games and card games.
Other 75th anniversary publishing for The Famous Five includes: July’s The Famous Five Colouring Book; hardback, clothbound gift editions of the first three books in the series for August; and The Famous Five Treasury, an anthology of short stories, extracts, fun facts, history and puzzles, featuring illustrations from Anderson. Seasonal publishing will include Summer Holiday Stories, which publishes in June, Stories of Wizards and Witches, publishing in September ahead of Halloween, and Christmas Treats, which publishes in October, each featuring 25 short stories.
The first official Georgian and Singhalese editions of Blyton’s works will be published this year, while new publishers have been announced in three territories: Italy’s Mondadori, Malaysia’s S. Abdul Majeed & Co Sdn Bhd and Knesebeck in Germany.
Hilary Murray Hill, c.e.o. of Hachette Children’s Group, said: “Last year we announced ambitious plans to grow the Enid Blyton brand across the board, and I am delighted with what we have achieved so far. There are many exciting developments in publishing, licensing, partnerships and rights to look forward to in 2017, enabling us to continue to place Enid Blyton well and truly at the heart of every childhood.”