Scholastic UK is printing 40,000 copies of the humorous picture book The Wonky Donkey after a video of the story being read aloud went viral.
Last month a video of the book being read by Scottish grandmother Janice Clark was uploaded onto YouTube. Clark reads the story to her baby grandson but finds it hard to keep a straight face and struggles with lines such as “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey” because she is laughing too much.
The video has since gone viral, racking up millions of views on Facebook and YouTube.
The Wonky Donkey, by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley, was originally published in New Zealand by Scholastic New Zealand and a previous print run was released in the UK by Hachette Children’s Group in 2014. HCG reverted its rights for this title in all formats so Scholastic UK struck a deal with Scholastic New Zealand to print more titles for the UK market.
Pauliina Malinen, editorial director for picture books, told The Bookseller: “We were delighted to seize the opportunity to publish The Wonky Donkey in the UK having seen the viral sensation of this incredibly funny book being read aloud. Our copies are currently on press and tens of thousands of copies will be available within the month. We’re looking forward to Craig Smith’s irresistibly brilliant words and Katz Cowley’s hilarious illustrations delighting even more people in the UK.”
The e-book edition, previously published by HCG, became the first picture book to enter the e-book top 20 earlier this week.
In the US, Scholastic US is reprinting 50,000 copies, according to Publishers Weekly.