Puffin acquires more Wimpy Kid

<p>Puffin has acquired the next three books in the US bestselling series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney. The publisher has already published the first book, which is to be made into a film by 20th Century Fox. The film company has launched a nationwide open casting call for a 10 to 14-year-old to star as the hero, Greg Heffley. US newspapers are reporting queues around the block of children desperate to be given the chance to play the lead role of the hapless Greg.</p><p>Puffin acquired the rights to three more books in the series from from US publisher Harry N Abrams, UK &amp; Commonwealth rights including India, Singapore and South Africa (exc Aus, NZ and Canada).</p><p>Francesca Dow, Puffin m.d., said: &quot;<em>The Diary of a Wimpy Kid</em> is a book children love&mdash;we can see this from the phenomenal US sales and the brilliant word of mouth and early sales here. It&#39;s funny and there aren&#39;t many books which make you laugh out loud&mdash;and the cartoony illustrations add extra appeal.&quot;</p><p>Puffin has high ambitions for Wimpy Kid and plans a big marketing spend to make Wimpy Kid &ldquo;a big new brand&rdquo; in British children&#39;s books.</p><p>Fox 2000 acquired the film rights earlier this year and the film is already in production. Wimpy Kid began as an online cartoon in 2004 on FunBrain.com and to date 65 million have checked out the online edition (which receives nearly 100,000 hits a day).</p><p>US publisher Abrams published the first book in 2007.</p><p><em>Diary of a Wimpy Kid</em> tells the story of a smart-alec student, named Greg Heffley, who finds himself thrust into a new year and a new school where undersize weaklings, like him,&nbsp;share the corridors with kids who are taller, meaner and already shaving. It is aimed at boys and girls aged eight years plus. <em>Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules</em> will be published by Puffin on 5th February 2009.</p>