Fitness guru Joe Wicks is releasing his first children's book with HarperCollins in September, called The Burpee Bears.
Last year it was announced Wicks was leaving Bluebird for HarperCollins, signing a multi-book deal for adult lifestyle and children's titles with the publisher. HQ executive publisher Lisa Milton and HarperCollins Children's Books executive publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh snapped up world rights from Bev James at Bev James Media Limited.
The Burpee Bears has been written in partnership with author Vivian French. It will be illustrated by artist Paul Howard.
The publisher said: "For this modern-day bear family, every day is a new day: a day for adventure and discovery! True to Joe’s ethos, each book in the series will begin and end with an illustrated warm-up and wind-down exercise routine – perfect for energetic little bears everywhere! The Burpee Bears is infused with Joe’s signature passion, energy and sense of fun with stories and characters that jump off the page. Children will laugh out loud when they recognise the ups and downs of everyday family life, and will delight in the Burpee Bear characters, who bring a little bit of Wicks magic and a whole lot of Joe energy to each and every page. The Burpee Bears will touch your hearts and get families moving together and reading together."
Wicks is known to millions of fans as "the Body Coach" and has written 10 cookbooks. He was branded "the nation's PE teacher" during the 2020 lockdown, when every weekday he delivered remote fitness sessions to children and adults alike. He was awarded an MBE in October 2020 for his work during the pandemic.
French is the author of more than 300 books and has been awarded an MBE for her services to literature, literacy, illustration and the arts. She has also received the Scottish Book Trust’s outstanding achievement award and is the co-founder of the critically acclaimed Picture Hooks scheme to help emerging art graduates find their feet in the world of book illustration.
Howard is the illustrator behind classics such as The Bravest Ever Bear (Walker Books) written by Allan Ahlberg, and winner of the prestigious Blue Peter Book Award. He was a founding illustrator of the multi-million-selling Animal Ark series.