Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Quirk Books to Release 'A Rugrats Chanukah: The Classic Illustrated Storybook' on September 28

In time for the Rugrats' 30th anniversary, the beloved Chanukah Special is now a delightful picture book for readers of all ages!

On the eighth night of Chanukah, Grandma Minka reads aloud a story about the meaning of the holiday to Tommy, Chuckie, Lil, Phil, and Angelica. The babies imagine themselves as the characters in the story, but then Grandma stops reading to make latkes, and the ending is left unknown. 
Soon they’re all off to the synagogue, where Grandpa Boris is acting in the Chanukah play. The children, misunderstanding the phrase “the meaning of Chanukah,” believe that an actor in the play is the “meanie of Chanukah” and storm the stage to save Grandpa. How will the Rugrats get out of trouble this time? And will they ever learn the true meaning of Chanukah?

This storybook is a perfect blend of silly, sweet, and educational and will make a cherished gift for children, nostalgic millennials, and anyone who’s ever wondered about the true meaning of the holiday.

A Rugrats Chanukah: The Classic Illustrated Storybook by Kim Smith will be released as a hardcover book on September 28, 2021, priced $19.99. The book is available to pre-order now, including on Amazon.com.

Product Details:

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Quirk Books; Illustrated edition (September 28, 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1683692861
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1683692867
Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 - 8 years
Grade level ‏ : ‎ Preschool - 3
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.25 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9 x 11 inches

About the Author


Kim Smith is the illustrator behind the best-selling Quirk Books Pop Classics series, including Home Alone, Home Alone 2, The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Karate Kid, and Doctor Who: The Runaway TARDIS. She has illustrated several other children’s books, including The Great Puppy Invasion (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), Builder Brothers: Big Plans (HarperCollins, 2018), and Boxitects (Clarion Books, 2020), her author/illustrator debut. Kim lives in Calgary, Alberta with her dog, Whisky, and husband, Eric. Visit her online at kimillustration.com.

Stream all new CG-animated Rugrats series, exclusively on Paramount+!

From Forbes:

Nickelodeon’s Iconic ‘Rugrats’ Chanukah Special Lives On In New Picture Book From Artist Kim Smith

A Rugrats Chanukah: The Classic Illustrated Storybook & illustrator Kim Smith COURTESY OF QUIRK BOOKS/KIM SMITH

“A Maccababy’s Gotta Do What a Maccababy’s Gotta Do!”

For the last quarter of a century, the Chanukah-themed episode of Rugrats has enjoyed a special place in the hearts and minds of those children who grew up watching the classic Nickelodeon cartoon. Produced in a time when Judaism wasn’t often depicted in kid-friendly programming, the holiday special — which first aired in early December of 1996 — represented a watershed moment in television history.

Not only does the episode provide a kid-friendly approach to the Jewish “Festival of Lights” and its wider cultural significance, it also features surprisingly mature elements (i.e. Grandpa Boris’s decades-long rivalry with Shlomo is poignantly reframed by the end).

So, it’s no wonder why Quirk Books decided to give the iconic episode new life in picture book form. The latest addition to the publisher’s Pop Classics line of books, A Rugrats Chanukah: The Classic Illustrated Storybook was drawn by New York Times best-selling illustrator, Kim Smith.

“As a kid who grew up in the ‘90s, I used to watch Rugrats a lot,” Smith tells Forbes Entertainment via email. “For one reason or another, that episode really stuck with me for the long haul, so it was wonderful to be able to revisit it. It was great to be a part of the team to bring it back in picture book form.”

Smith (who has helped introduce a generation of young readers to classic pieces of media like Back to the Future, E.T., Home Alone, and Elf) didn’t want to leave anything to chance. In addition to working off the adapted manuscript from writer and Quirk editor Rebecca Gyllenhaal, Smith went back to the visual source material.

“Often, I'll go back to the episode again and again, just to make sure I'm getting it right,” the artist explains. “I take lots of screen shots, take notes on the colors, the important parts of the scenes, and try and find a way to combine it all into a limited number of illustrations. I always want to make sure the die-hard fans will notice the attention to detail in the illustrations.”

Check out a interior [page] below:

A Rugrats Chanukah: The Classic Illustrated Storybook COURTESY OF QUIRK BOOKS

“The most fun was getting to use that wonderful ‘90s Rugrats color palette. All the bright purples, oranges, and blues,” Smith reveals. “It's not very often I use vibrant colors in my work, and I wanted take advantage of it. The most challenging was figuring out how the characters would translate in my own art style. We wanted to make sure that they looked true to the original series, while also fitting in with the style I used for the Pop Classics series. It was tricky to find that balance. One more tricky thing was making sure the menorahs had the appropriate amount of candle holders. There was always a lot of counting and recounting to make sure they were correct.”

“Representation is so important. Our culture is flooded with media that focuses on Christian based holidays,” Smith continues. “It's impactful when a show, especially a children's show, focuses on holidays and important traditions from other cultures that make up our society. Especially through characters we already have strong connections with. I'm not Jewish, but I loved seeing those episodes and learning about the history of these traditions through the adventures of Tommy and his friends. Those episodes always stood out to me, like any great holiday special should.”

A Rugrats Chanukah: The Classic Illustrated Storybook goes on sale from Quirk Books tomorrow (Tuesday, Sep. 28). While the book is intended for readers aged 4-8, it’s definitely a nostalgic must-have for millennial parents who want to introduce their own children to the golden age of Nickelodeon.

In addition, the project marks Smith’s final involvement with the Pop Classic banner.

“I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the fans who loved and supported the series so far!” the artist concludes. “I had such an amazing time helping bring these classics to the picture book form. I can't wait to see what the next one will be.”

The original nine seasons of Rugrats are currently available to stream on Paramount+ along with the recent CGI revival (a second season of the latter has been green-lit).


More Nick: Paramount Plus Renews the All-New 'Rugrats' for Season 2!

Originally published: August 02, 2021.

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