Orchard Books, part of Hachette Children’s Groups, is aiming to revitalise the Animal Ark brand by acquiring series rights from Working Partners.
Animal Ark is a multi-book series created in 1994 by Working Partners, the company behind Beast Quest, and written by “Lucy Daniels”, a pseudonym for a team of writers. The books were originally published by Hodder Children’s Books and have since 1998 sold a combined 2.55 million books for £10.3m through Nielsen BookScan. The last original book was published in 2002 and global sales topped 20 million, according to Orchard.
Orchard Books will bring the series back with four new titles in July after publishing director Megan Larkin bought world English rights from Working Partners.
Orchard also publishes Beast Quest, another Working Partners series, and Larkin said: “Animal Ark is a global publishing legend, and it’s wonderful to add this classic brand to the roster of market-leading series published by Orchard. We’re thrilled to be able to reinvent the stories for a modern audience – while also delighting original fans with an update on their best-loved characters.”
Four paperbacks will be released in July: Kitten Rescue, Bunny Trouble, Fox Cub Danger and Puppy in Peril, which will all be priced at £4.99. They will follow a new protagonist called Amelia, who has moved to the village of Welford. There she meets Mandy, the protagonist of the original Animal Ark books, and finds herself helping with animal rescues at the local veteniary practice.
A bumper-length special book will publish in October 2018, £5.99, followed by more publishing in 2019.