The Walker Books Group will next year publish a picture book by rapper and actor Ben Bailey Smith across the Walker Entertainment and Candlewick Entertainment imprints.
Smith, who raps under the name Doc Brown, has penned I Am Bear, a rap-style read-aloud story about a mischievous bear. The book is illustrated by Sav Akyüz, who worked as a storyboard artist on the John Lewis "Bear and Hare" Christmas advert.
Joan Powers, group editorial director for Walker Entertainment and Candlewick Entertainment, bought the world rights from United Agents. Group art director Kristen Nobles will design the layout of the book and Walker is planning a global publicity campaign including online advertising, a dedicated website www.iambearbook.com and promotional giveaways. UK publication is set for February 2016.
Helen McAleer, Walker Books Group chief global development officer, said: “I Am Bear is such an exciting addition to our growing global Entertainment list. Ben and Sav are multi-talented creators and this book shows an innovative, genuinely refreshing approach to picture book making.”
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